FDBuyer: Clubbing The Clubs
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion
is a summary of a current article from Frozen & Dairy Buyer magazine.
supermarkets getting clubbed by club stores and losing share, experts advise
grocers to focus on selection, convenience and quality. And — perhaps most
important — be sure to stand for something.
“If you are all things
to all people, you are nothing to anybody,” said
Jim Hertel, managing partner, Willard Bishop LLC.
He advises being sure you
are equal or better than your competition on things that are important to your
best customers. That starts with a thorough understanding of your best customers,
something that supermarket operators are getting better at all the time.
“Go through everything in your offering — meat, produce, service,
cleanliness, dairy, frozen and all the key differentiators,” Mr. Hertel
said. “Consider your own strengths and vulnerabilities, and do the same
for your competitors. Choose areas where you want to make a stand, and then
be the significant leader in your market.”
Michael Clayman, editor of Warehouse
Club Focus, a newsletter based
in Foxboro, Mass., said that part of every supermarket operator’s homework
should be walking the club stores on a regular basis.
“Theoretically, at least, the clubs stock only those items with high
sales per square foot, or they wouldn’t be there. If you see something
have, consider it — either branded or private label,” he said.
Discussion Questions: How should supermarkets position themselves to face
competition from club stores? What advantages should supermarkets be exploiting?
Where shouldn’t they try to best clubs?