When the economy is growing there are lots of growth opportunities, but what can you do when it's not? We've been thinking about this a lot at Brick Meets Click since we read the 2012 Supermarket News Analyst Roundtable discussion. It was a sobering assessment: The economy is stagnant, the grocery sector is flat, margins are shrinking, and households have 7 percent less real income to spend than they did in 2008.
So is it possible to grow in this environment? We think so. We've been noticing what's working for grocers who are growing. Maybe one of these ideas will fit your stores.
Middle class shoppers are feeling income pressure. Can you serve the needs of price/value shoppers more aggressively? A "dollar rack" at the front of the store could draw in more of these shoppers.
Some upscale retailers still generate strong comp sales. Can you crack the code of successful upscale supermarkets? Feature high-quality products in a specific area that makes your store a destination for shoppers, then get them to add a few items to their basket.
Shoppers are buying more fresh. Can you ride the growth of fresh produce? Start a community-supported agriculture program, or develop "price lines" that give your shoppers a clear good/better/best option.
Winning retailers have a strong value proposition. Can you clarify and strengthen yours? Be excellent at what you do best, and stay even with the rest. Can you identify your competitions' weaknesses and improve your performance in those areas?
Millennials are still on the sidelines. Can you connect with them by "speaking their language?" This group doesn't like to spend time in the grocery store. You can make it easier for them to plan shopping trips in advance so they can swoop into your store quickly. Be sure to promote Millennial-friendly shopper marketing tools like your IGALink recipes and shopping list features.
These are some of the ways we're seeing food retailers grow despite the slow economy. Which ones might fit your market? Check out our What's New page for ideas.