Grocer Doing What It Needs To Survive

Jul 06, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

The president and chief operating officer of Minyard Food Stores, J.L. “Sonny” Williams, said larger retail competitors have a luxury this Dallas-Ft. Worth-area grocer doesn’t.

“The larger chains have other markets if they don’t make money here. We have to make it here or break it here.”

The 72-store chain has more than enough competition when it comes to making it in its own backyard. Minyard’s does battle daily with the likes of Wal-Mart, Albertsons, Randalls
and Tom Thumb.

In recent times, Minyard’s has struggled to increase sales with annual revenues stuck at $910 million for each of the past three years.

Mr. Williams told the Dallas Business Journal he remains optimistic as recent changes at the company have corresponded to an up tick in sales.

“It has been stagnant, and it’s been harder to get it back. But, all of a sudden sales are on the upswing, and we are really excited,” he said.

Minyard’s has begun doing store remodels, adding gas pumps at some locations, merchandising dollar store items on designated shelves and aisles within its stores and exploring
new format concepts, including possibly opening a dollar store or “bazaar” concept.

As to what else Minyard’s has planned to make it against its stiff competition, Mr. Williams said, “We are doing what we need to do to survive and to make money.”

Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on what it will take for Minyard’s to regain share of the Dallas-Ft. Worth
Metroplex retail market? Are there lessons Minyard’s can learn from other smaller local chains that have faced similar competition in other markets around the country?

Sonny Williams thinks Minyard’s is in a better position to compete because it operates three separate formats including Minyard Food Stores, Sac ‘n Save
stores and Carnival Food Stores.

“We’ve continued to tweak our concepts for the market,” he told the Dallas Business Journal. “The fact that we are fighting with three sticks, has made
it somewhat easier.”

George Anderson – Moderator

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