The Un-Wal-Mart

Discussion
Oct 27, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson


The strike continues in California and coincidentally, or not, Wal-Mart has moved up its plans to open its Supercenters in the state beginning next year with 40 units to be opened
in the next four years.


Will the supermarkets in California be any more successful competing with Supercenters than those in other places around the country where Wal-Mart has opened for business?


Not if they seek to compete on price, Sandra Skrovan, of Retail Forward told the Los Angeles Times.


Karen Brown, senior vice president, Food Marketing Institute (FMI) told the paper, “Supermarkets are just trying to determine what their niche is going to be. They are asking,
‘How can I be different than my competitors?’ “


“Not everyone perceives value the same way,” she added. “For some, value means higher levels of service.”


Moderator’s Comment: Are there any supermarkets in direct competition with Wal-Mart that provide a positive example of what it takes to compete successfully
against the supercenters?


From our vantage point, H.E.Butt is the poster company for competing with Wal-Mart. It knows its markets, its customers and its own people. This is one
company that does the walk right along with the talk.


When others were talking about real category management, H.E.Butt was doing it. When ECR was the main topic of conversation, the company had already been
doing it for years even if they didn’t call it efficient consumer response.
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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