The King of Kmart’s Grocery Strategy
Former Albertson’s president and current consultant, Richard King was brought in last month by Kmart management to fix the retailer’s food business. Disappointing food sales have been given as one of the reasons for Kmart’s continuing losses.
Mr. King told the Detroit News, “The bottom line is I want to sell more groceries. We have a lot of opportunities out there. We think it’s important to get more customers into our stores, and then once the customer is in the store to get them to buy more.”
Improving the working relationship with Fleming, Kmart’s primary grocery wholesaler, is another focus of Mr. King’s efforts. He says he works with the supplier daily to improve operations and get the right products in the right stores.
Those products, according to Mr. King, are fill-in items. “A mom shopping for back-to-school clothes and supplies would go into the pantry for her kids’ lunches if we had the right items there for her.”
Mr. King is also looking to store managers “to tweak merchandise selections”. It is believed that store managers will be more effective in identifying and stocking items popular with local consumers.
Moderator’s Comment: How important is grocery to Kmart’s
Bill Bishop told the Detroit News, “Getting the
food part right is going to be critical for Kmart. It brings in more customers
and creates an energy between the food side and general merchandise.” As is
quite often the case, Mr. Bishop (industry consultant and RW BrainTrustee) was
Anderson – Moderator]