Last week when Kroger announced that it will close all 14 of its Kroger banner stores in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina it reminded the team at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® that three years ago we were the first food consultants to predict that Walmart would be the leader of the grocery sectors “middle’.
While being stuck in the middle of any retail sector did not use to be a good thing as times change so does our thinking. Being the leader of the ‘middle’ of the grocery sector just may be the safest place to be according to Steven Johnson the Grocerant Guru®. Walmart’s rollout of rotisserie chicken proved that their current ability to succeed within the Grocerant niche may still be five years away.
Kroger has another banner in Raleigh-Durham Harris Teeter that does well with grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food positioning in the mind-set of the consumer. Yet, we question if they can maintain that customer mind-set with their current product mix offerings.
Harris Teeter much like Mariano’s a Kroger banner in the Chicago area mind-set customer relevance, sales, and profitability can prove to be a mixed bag. Kroger has several markets that they have two competing banners. If Raleigh-Durham is a clue it just might be that brands and banners that compete against themselves just migh be a strategy that worked best in the 1980’s or 1990’s rather than today.
WinCo, Aldi, and Lidl are all building new stores, evolving their solo brands to best compete in the retail foodservice world and have proven that the three of them have lower price points than Walmart, fewer ‘out of stocked’ items than Walmart, and service that rivals or beats Walmart. It is for that reason we once again say Walmart is now the leader of the ‘middle’ of the grocery sector. Today that is a good thing.
After all just think about it what does that mean for Albertson, Giant Foods, Kroger and Publix which one of them can win against Whole Foods, Wegmans, or Central Market? The foodservice sector is evolving faster than ever. Customer migration back and forth from restaurants, grocery stores, c-stores, drug stores, and dollar stores has never been so intense.
Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that tomorrow? Visit www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information or contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us Remember success does leave clues and we just may have the clue you need to propel your continued success.