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    Super Strategies for Super Grocers

    Retailers on PG’s Super 50 ranking share common traits

    By Jim Dudlicek, EnsembleIQ

    What makes the Super 50 so super?

    We could talk for hours about the achievements of the leading grocery retailers, but I think their success can be summed up with three key points:


    Looking at the top 10 grocery retailers, it’s easy to see that competitive pricing is an important factor for success. Three of these 10 are superstore chains – Walmart (1), Target (3) and Meijer (10) – whose sheer size and buying power give them the economies of scale to be low-price leaders. Among traditional grocers, Kroger (2) and Safeway (4) possess ample size and leverage to meet or beat the big boxes in markets where they compete.


    Shoppers want variety, and the more brands they have to choose from, the more likely they’re going to shop retailers that offer such bounty. Grocers like Texas-based H-E-B (8) know this well, and they customize their selection not just city by city, but neighborhood by neighborhood.

    Customer Experience

    Along with price, this is arguably the most important factor to a grocer’s sustainable success: keeping shoppers happy time and time again. Few grocers grasp this concept better than Kroger, whose “Customer 1st” strategy keeps the retailer at the top of the heap by, among other things, investing aggressively in consumer insight data that helps to shape its loyalty programs. Other regional favorites like Publix (5), Hy-Vee (17) and Wegmans (19) consistently rank highly among consumers’ favorite places to shop.

    The grocery business is fiercely competitive – getting a handle on these three areas will give retailers an edge on their multichannel competition.

    Read PG’s ranking and analysis of this year’s Super 50 in our May 2014 issue, in print and here at PG.com.


    By Jim Dudlicek, EnsembleIQ
    • About Jim Dudlicek As editorial director of Progressive Grocer, Jim Dudlicek oversees daily operations of the magazine, spearheads its signature features, produces PG’s monthly Trend Alert newsletter on center store issues, moderates its regular webcast series, and writes and comments about a wide range of grocery issues. A food industry journalist since 2002, Jim came to PG in June 2010 after covering the dairy industry for 7½ years, during which time he served as chief editor of Dairy Field and Dairy Foods magazines. A graduate of Marquette University, Jim is fascinated by how truly progressive grocers inspire consumers to enjoy food, transforming the industry from mere merchants into educators that can take the most basic of all necessities and turn it into something profound and life-enhancing. Follow him at www.twitter.com/JimDudlicek

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