Supervalu Looks to Grow Organically
By George Anderson
Supervalu appears to be going the way of Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Wild Oats and others with a new organic and natural foods store concept under the Sunflower Market banner. The first unit is scheduled to open in January in Indianapolis.
In a released statement, Jeff Noddle, chairman and CEO of Supervalu, said, “Across the nation, we are seeing a growing demand for affordable organic foods with exceptional taste and nutritional quality. Sunflower Market draws on our expertise in small-box formats, and leverages our supply chain expertise, which enables us to deliver outstanding natural and organic products at a price point consistent with consumer expectations.”
Supervalu’s president for corporate retail, John Hooley, added in the same release, “At Sunflower Market, we will offer customers the convenience of a full shopping experience, with access to natural and organic products in all categories. We’ve developed a unique merchandising approach that will highlight our perishables, which include an extensive produce offering, natural, case-ready meats and fresh bakery and deli items. Simply put, our goal is to provide customers with great tasting, wholesome foods at affordable prices.”
The typical Sunflower Market is expected to run 12,000 to 15,000 square-feet and stock between 8,000 and 12,000 skus.
The stores will have a heavy emphasis on private label with the Supervalu’s specialty produce company, W. Newell & Co., providing most of the banner’s fruit and vegetable needs. Sunflower Market will also carry over 100 items under Supervalu’s new “Nature’s Best” brand.
Supervalu will operate all Sunflower Markets as corporate stores and will provide the banner with information technology, merchandising and operations support.
Moderator’s Comment: What is your reaction to Supervalu’s announcement that it will launch the Sunflower Market banner? What will it find to be different
running this concept compared to others it operates and what must it do to succeed?
Follow this logic and see if it makes sense to you.
On paper, Sunflower Markets sounds a lot like Save-A-Lot but with organic and natural foods.
Trader Joe’s is a lot like Aldi but with natural and organic foods.
Aldi stores generally outperform Save-A-Lot units.
Supervalu should concentrate on opening Sunflower Markets where there are no Trader Joe’s presently operating.
Whole Foods and Wild Oats, on the other hand, are open game if Sunflower Markets intends to keep a tight reign on prices. Can’t tell you how many times,
while doing research at Trader Joe’s, we heard customers comment on how much less expensive it was to shop there than at Whole Foods, aka Whole Paycheck. –
George Anderson – Moderator