GHQ Cover Story 05/05: Lund Stands Tall

Discussion
May 06, 2005
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Through special arrangement with Grocery Headquarters
magazine, we present these opportunities to discuss the subjects of GHQ’s monthly cover stories.

Grocery Headquarters magazine has named Lund Food Holdings, operator of Lunds and Byerly’s, as its retailer of the year.

Russell T. “Tres” Lund III, doesn’t think there’s any secret to the Edina, Minn., chain’s success. “The pride and passion of our people,” he said. “We have a culture that is highly collaborative. There are approximately 5,000 of us working for this company. Every job is important. We’re constantly humbled by the fact that we can come up with a great idea, but it needs to be a collaborative effort. We can’t pursue and accomplish anything without our staff being equally passionate about bringing the product and merchandising to light.”

The one thing all the company’s employees share in common is a focus on customer service, said Mr. Lund.

“We want to offer our customers sensational shopping experiences each time they visit any one of our stores,” he said. “Lunds and Byerly’s continue their tradition of being dedicated to quality and service, as well as innovation and growth. Together, we continue to exceed our customers’ expectations while maintaining the personalities and standards our customers recognize in each brand.”

John Pazahanick, senior vice president of business development and brand management for the grocer said, “We have people who have a passion for food or a culinary background that are working in the stores, spending a lot of time on the sales floor with the customer.”

Mr. Pazahanick said the company differentiates itself in product offerings, as well. “We’ve invested a fairly significant amount of money in a large central kitchen where we’ve got a talented team of chefs preparing the food and bringing it in to the stores. It’s very different than the traditional supermarket fare. It’s very much restaurant quality,” he said.

Moderator’s Comment: Is corporate culture the reason for Lunds/Byerly’s success? Does the company “treat” its workers any differently than other companies
with less employee-friendly reputations? If yes, how?

George Anderson – Moderator

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

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6 Comments on "GHQ Cover Story 05/05: Lund Stands Tall"


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Mark Burr
Guest
15 years 9 months ago

I know nothing but good things all around about this organization and agree with David – dittos all around to the prevous comments.

Gene Hoffman
Guest
Gene Hoffman
15 years 9 months ago

Byerly’s/Lunds offer the best total shopping experience in the Twin Cities … comparable to best almost anywhere today.

Their quality offerings, particularly prime meat and fish, are tops but their prices are the tops too. For those who want the very best that’s offered in the Twin Cities — excellent service and a wonderful environment that imparts a social and psychic income — Byerly’s/Lunds is the top place to shop. For almost everyone else, there’s the bustling and highly-accepted Cub Food Stores, where one can bag one’s own groceries.

Tony Orlando
Guest
15 years 9 months ago
God bless Lunds for their success. My question is simple. How can you even begin to duplicate the success when the town you live in is rural, and incredibly poor?? We do our best to give our customers homemade foods, and premium choice meats, but our successes are limited, because of the economy. Lunds would not survive six months in our town. All of us in business who strive to be different would love to have a great economic town of successful people who can afford to shop these fine stores. Wegmans up in Erie PA took a look at expansion here, and realized they would never succeed with their concept. I hope Lunds continues to thrive, because I can still pick off an idea, and channel it through here with a different pricing schematic. Most of us small town independents have to fight every day to find ways to bring shoppers in, and it’s not getting any easier. Great deals, high quality, and old fashioned service will get us through. I dream of the… Read more »
Stephan Kouzomis
Guest
Stephan Kouzomis
15 years 9 months ago

Management commitment, top/down and bottom/up, establishes
the culture for superior customer service and an exceptional
shopping experience. And this leads to marketing the Byerly’s
Brand in the marketplace that separates it from its competitors.
Additionally, the store personnel feel very proud, and enjoy
the work environment!
With its premium quality products and variety, added to the perishables…especially meals, catering and deli/bakery… Lunds is a very valid selection!

Don Delzell
Guest
Don Delzell
15 years 9 months ago
I had the privilege of shopping at Lunds and Byerly’s while living in Minneapolis….an experience which represents my sole source of insight into this company. As an informed shopper, I was struck by what felt like cohesive synergy. The merchandise assortment (very tailored, and very localized), the store layout, the customer service, and the in-store services, all seemed focused on essentially the same customer. Like Whole Foods or Bristol Farms, these stores are not actually “easy to shop” in an efficiency sort of way. The aisles are shorter, some sections are almost maze-like in their set up, and the breadth and depth within a section isn’t anything like the Kroger/Albertsons/Safeway offerings. What the stores are is comfortable, familiar, and lifestyle consistent with a segment of the customer base. The lack of breadth and depth is made up by regional favorites, fresh meals, and local products. The message here may be that when you’ve clearly envisioned who your customer is, and you keep that firmly in mind for all aspects of your organization, the probability for… Read more »
David Livingston
Guest
15 years 9 months ago

Lunds is another success story. Double dittos to the above comments. Lunds is able to focus on customers and employees rather than the eggheads on Wall Street. That gives Lunds a big advantage. The next time you hear some radical crybaby anti-Wal-Mart extremist whining about how supermarkets are getting destroyed by Wal-Mart and all their other nonsense ramblings – just point to Lunds and show them there are a few winners out there. Minneapolis is one of my most studied markets and I have followed Lunds’ expansion and growth over the past several years. Despite all the new Cubs, Targets, Rainbows, Aldi, and Wal-Marts, etc., Lunds keeps slowly but surely increasing market share.

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