By George Anderson
While it’s the nature of independent grocers to switch wholesale suppliers, the cases of two grocers demonstrate that finding the right trading partner can go a long way in determining
success and failure.
When Supervalu announced that it was seeking buyers for its corporately run Shop ‘n Save locations in the Pittsburgh area (see RetailWire
9/7/05 – Supervalu Puts ‘For Sale’ Sign on Shop ‘n Save), the company said it was hoping that most of the locations would be purchased by current independents doing business
with the company.
Independents currently operate 55 stores under the Shop ‘n Save banner in and around Pittsburgh.
Among those interested in possibly pursuing a deal for the stores is Bob Duritza, whose family operates two Foodland stores and four Shop ‘n Saves supplied by Supervalu.
“We, as a family business, look at it as an opportunity to expand our store base,” said Mr Duritza. “I truly believe there will be opportunity for the independents.”
While Mr. Duritza told the Pittsburgh Business Times he sees opportunities with Supevalu, other independent store operators, such as Mark Davis, see obstacles.
Mr. Davis, who until recently operated a store under the Foodland (Supervalu) banner, has switched to Associated Wholesalers’ ShurSave for his store in Bloomfield, Pa.
“I don’t think a lot of stores can survive under Supervalu,” said Mr Davis. “There were a lot of costs associated beyond the cost of goods.”
Moderator’s Comment: How important is finding the right wholesaler for an independent grocer’s success? What is the difference between the various supplier
groups doing business in the U.S. today? –
George Anderson – Moderator