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The modest-sized grocery chain Wegmans bested Kroger, Publix, and Safeway to be crowned “Top Grocery Retailer” in a Market Force consumer survey—based on 6,000 consumer responses. In a recent Chief Marketer article,“Why Wegmans Is Tops,” marketers can see the drivers behind Wegman’s success.

So how did a 75 store grocery chain based in Rochester New York with outlets in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland top the bigger chains?

Consumers gave high marks for:
• Convenient locations
• Strong pricing
• Accuracy in pricing and tag systems
• Excellent assortments
• High-quality meats and produce
• Polite staff
• Quick checkout
• Cleanliness

These are the things we might expect in a highly-rated grocery chain, but effective merchandising and promotions were also cited as influential. In fact,  “70% of trial was driven by merchandising or some kind of promotion in-store . . . People bought something that they hadn’t counted on buying,” according to Market Force CMO Janet Eden-Harris.

At a time when retailing is clearly in transition, Market Force’s survey reinforced the importance of appealing end cap displays, signage and shelf talkers, coupon,s and special promotions--especially in the food business. In fact, a combination of coupons, special promotions, and in-store sampling continue to drive sales.

This is proof again that whatever business we’re in, we don’t have to be the biggest to be the best. We just have to be hungrier and do things better than our competitors. That takes commitment from the top down. It takes an engaged staff and pride in the company brand. It takes a lot of hard work.

But it buys an incredible amount of customer loyalty—and how much does that mean these days?

Questions:
• Which retailer—independent, small chain or large—would you nominate as being “best”?
• What does it do that no other retailer does as well?
• When other retailers offer lower prices for a time, do you still decide to shop in your favorite store due to your overall feeling about it? How loyal are you?

I’d love to get your feedback.

Continue reading "You Don’t Have to be the Biggest to be the Best, Just Ask Wegmans" ... Read the full article

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ted Mininni is president of Design Force, Inc. (www.designforceinc.com), a leading brand-design consultancy to consumer product companies (phone: 856-810-2277). Ted is also a regular contributor to the MarketingProfs blog, the Daily Fix.