Sunflower Could Grow Big for Supervalu
By George Anderson
Sunflower Market, Supervalu’s discount organic food concept, is looking to bloom in Central Ohio by building as many as seven stores in the Columbus area.
The decision to open in Columbus, home of Ohio State University, is part of the company’s plans to open up to 50 stores in Big Ten towns over the next five years.
Supervalu opened its first Sunflower Market last month in Indianapolis.
John Sturm, director of Sunflower Market for Supervalu, told Business First of Columbus, “We opened with no advertising. It’s been unbelievably successful. Our biggest problem in the grand opening was keeping the shelves stocked.”
The stores, which typically run between 12,000 to 15,000 square-feet and carry between 8,000 and 12,000 skus, place a heavy emphasis on private label ala Trader Joe’s.
Supervalu’s specialty produce company, W. Newell & Co., providing most of the banner’s fruit and vegetable needs and the markets also carry over 100 items under the parent company’s “Nature’s Best” brand.
Supervalu plans to operate all Sunflower Markets as corporate stores, providing information technology, merchandising and operations support.
Moderator’s Comment: Has Supervalu got a winner on its hands with Sunflower Markets? Where is the organic foods/natural products business heading?
George Anderson – Moderator