Saturday, April 18, 2015

Are Wal-Mart’s Plumbing Problems WinCo & Aldi?

Could the undercurrents of customer migration be a larger problem than talks of union’s at Wal-Mart?  When Wal-Mart simultaneously closed five stores in four states on the same day this past week for alleged “plumbing problems” our Grocerant Guru™ asked is there any other reason that they might close five stores in four states? 

Want fresh food fast at a great price? Well if you do you are not alone.  Operational efficiencies that once propelled Wal-Mart to success, cutting cost out of the supply chain have been bettered. Both Aldi and WinCo sell high quality food for less and the shelves are stocked full. 
For at least the last fourth years in a row that Aldi has been named the ‘low-price grocery leader’ in the U.S. by Market Force Information Inc. according to its latest survey. With 1,300 stores open and a three year plan to open 650 more Aldi is a serious threat to Walmart, Publix, and Safeway all grocery stores stuck in the middle. . 
Today WinCo Foods  has  99 stores open and is a fast growing low priced competitor who’s products are priced below Wal-Mart in the Western U.S. with a quality integrated Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food strategy and is completely unfazed by Wal-Mart.  
While Wal-Mart has touted Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food in commercials lately the truth is even Publix with in our opinion seriously inconsistent quality issues with grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food is miles ahead of Wal-Mart.
Sam Walton was a merchant with an outstanding balance of intellectual intelligence and emotional intelligence quotient (IQ & EQ), which combined created a platform perfect for customer brand activation.  We ask does Wal-Mart have a fresh food merchantl?
Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru blames Wal-Mart’s heavy reliance on category managers over food merchants. It’s the exact problem that displaced A & P, Safeway, Albertson’s and other legacy grocery stores from a once prominent industry position.
Consumers shopping habits are shifting and legacy retailers not focused on quality fresh food, fresh prepared, and price are losing market share.  Wal-Mart’s Ready-2-Eat fresh prepared food offerings are more akin to offerings of industry leaders in the 1990’s than today. 
Sometimes PhD’s and MBA’s get it wrong.  In Wal-Mart’s case the MBA’s are running the numbers so tight that our channel checks constantly find shelves empty, out of stock items, and large gap holes on aisle shelves are common. .  When we press less than 30% of the time is the product even in the back room.  When we press harder we are informed there is not enough help to get it out on the shelf.  When it comes to grocerant niche fresh food, Wal-Mart places last in every market we have tested.  Wal-Mart has more IQ than EQ.
The shelves are stocked at WinCo and Aldi.  Out of stocks rare, just how can that be? Thus we ask is it time for Wal-Mart to hire a food merchant.  Has category managements time come and gone?  Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food must taste good.  Do you wonder how much of Wal-Mart’s own Ready-2-Eat Fresh Food and Heat-N-Eat fresh food Wal-Mart category managers eat?
While companies the ilk of Whole Foods and Wegmans continue to lead the industry in fresh prepared food quality and options.  WinCo a lower price point rival is able to outperform Wal-Mart in large part because of the value and freshness of its fresh prepared food.
We think that there are plumbing problems at Wal-Mart and other legacy grocery stores that now find themselves stuck-in- the-middle.  
Sam Walton was a merchant with an outstanding balance of IQ & EQ, which combined created a platform perfect for customer brand activation. Sam Walton hired category managers and display merchandisers but did anyone ever consider hiring a food merchant at Wal-Mart?
Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit: for more information

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