Shaw’s Knows One Size Doesn’t Fit All

May 22, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

The supermarket chain, Shaw’s, is opening its first neighborhood store in Providence, RI.

The new store concept was created to cater to the ethnic groups in a specific neighborhood. The store merchandises using multilingual signs throughout. It also houses a separate aisle for items priced at a dollar.

The neighborhood of Shaw’s new market is 41.5 percent Hispanic, 24 percent Italian, 17 percent African American and seven percent Asian. One-third of households within a mile of the store have an income of less than $15,000 annually.

The store’s product selection reflects the neighborhood it serves. The Providence Journal reports, “The produce section includes both yellow and green plantains, yucca root and cane sugar. There are pigs’ hearts, live crabs and barrels of salted cod. In the Hispanic food aisle, a shopper can find corn husks, Jamaican Ginger Beer and American-made cereals in Hispanic packaging.”

Tom Farello, senior vice president of retail operations at Shaw’s says the new neighborhood store will have a strong low price image but that isn’t what the company is counting on to succeed. “More important,” says Farello “is the (product) variety because of all of the diverse ethnic backgrounds.”

Moderator’s Comment: How would you rate Shaw’s? Is
it doing anything differently than its grocery store competitors in New England?

Shaw’s knows its consumers. That’s why it is building
and operating stores to meet the needs of consumers in the neighborhoods they
live, work and shop.

In the case of the Providence neighborhood store, Shaw’s
spent more than a year researching the community to determine what it would
need to be a success.

In an upscale Boston location that is part of the Prudential
Center, Shaw’s built a new flagship store – Marketfresh in the City. (Photos
courtesy of Perennial Inc. of Toronto)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

The 40,000 square foot store has a triangular shaped floor
plan with a heavy emphasis on fresh foods, natural products and ethnic cuisine
including Italian, Irish, Hispanic and Japanese. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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