Will Eagle Take Flight Again

Discussion
May 15, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Having entered bankruptcy protection for the second time in three years, many inside and outside the company are wondering what will be the fate of Eagle Food Centers.


The company’s options seem limited to reorganizing or selling. The Dispatch reports Jill Cirivello, vice president of human resources and general counsel, Eagle Food Centers told the paper, “The company does not have a buyer but has entertained offers.”


Eagle management is presently seeking to reduce out-of-stocks caused, in part,
by vendors that have suspended shipments over concerns about receiving payment.


Eagle is looking to reduce costs through the sale of some stores. It is also seeking to increase customer count and rings in other stores at the same time.


The company plans to “win new customers through its advertising, special sales and improving customer service.” The chain has expanded its Eagle Saver Card program as well as BOGOs on branded items.


Moderator’s Comment: What do you think of Eagle Food
Center’s plan for improving sales?


We’re sorry to say this but Eagle’s plan for attracting
and keeping shoppers sounds awfully similar to the “we’ve got to refocus on
the consumer” babble that is heard pretty much everywhere today.


Offering greater card discount savings and BOGOs is just
more of the same that has landed the chain in bankruptcy this time and the time
before.


Eagle needs to start from scratch and decide what it wants
to be when it grows up. Management has a unique opportunity to create a store
dramatically different from all the others with which it competes.


What’s the worst that could happen? The company gets sold
or goes out of business. Aren’t those its options, pretty much, now anyway?
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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