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    Supervalu Rolls Out Independent-Focused Sales, Marketing Platform

    The goal of the realignment is to enhance strategic solution development, improve collaboration, and strengthen communications between the distributor and independen grocers' customers.


    Aiming to bring together dozens of existing value-added offerings in a complete suite of business solutions to help independent operators run their supermarkets more effectively, Supervalu has united its professional independent retail services under a new platform known as Independent Sales and Marketing (ISM).

    Previously, each professional service or program was independently branded and marketed. Armed with a new "independent minded" tagline, the new platform will now enable the Minneapolis-based retailer/distributor to work collaboratively with customers and internal departments, reinforcing consistent communication and making it easier for customers to manage their business while taking advantage of the best the company has to offer, company officials said.

    "We developed the Independent Sales and Marketing platform to be flexible and focus on the unique needs of each independent retailer, whether it's a single-store owner, a large regional company or anything in between," said Brian Audette, Supervalu's corporate VP of independent sales and marketing.

    As a means of making it easier for independent retailers to learn about available programs and services and to connect with experts who can suggest and tailor offerings to fit diverse business needs, the rebranding effort also includes an update of Supervalu's external Web site and its SV Harbor portal.

    Shooting to avoid the "one-size-fits-all" approach, the new ISM platform further enables retailers to have the flexibility to choose one program or many and/or use them off-the-shelf or customized, based on their individual business needs.

    "This reinvestment in professional services affirms that Supervalu is positioned to be the choice for independents looking to grow their business in today's competitive and dynamic environment," said Bill Chew, EVP of the company's Pleasant Prairie, Wis.-based Midwest/Southeast region "At a time when consumers are expecting more from their local grocers, Supervalu is the right wholesale collaborator for independent retailers because it has the experience and expertise to develop meaningful, relevant programs and the national scale and leverage to make them affordable, accessible and achievable."

    There are four service areas with the new ISM brand, which will be easily identifiable, thanks to its bright yellow and green colors and fresh-apple logo:

    --Business Services help retailers effectively manage their businesses through offerings that take the worry out of everything from weekly employee scheduling to preparing annual tax returns.

    --Development Services support retailers who want to create a unique store experience, with services like market analysis, architectural design and equipment procurement.

    --Marketing Services aid retailers in building loyalty through consumer research, advertising and marketing.

    --Sales and Merchandising Services assists retailers in their efforts to drive sales, with special promotions, new item speed-to-shelf, and effective layouts that direct consumers to the products they crave at the prices they want.

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