Smart & Final Focusing on Bulk Organics and Online Delivery in Post IPO Phase
COMMERCE, CA - On the heels of its $161 million IPO, Smart & Final is refocusing its retail game around bulk organics like fresh produce. Companies like Sprouts and Trader Joe's have enjoyed amazing success thanks to the strength of their produce aisles, and according to the Los Angeles Register, Smart & Final is looking to move away from its image as a warehouse superstore towards a similar business model.
Smart & Final is incorporating this aim into the process of converting and opening Smart & Final Extra stores. These larger stores have thousands of additional products for household use, giving the retailer far more flexibility with respect to its product listing.
“Our customers really tell us everyday what they want and how their tastes are evolving. Over the years, we’ve done a good job of evolving with that,” Smart & Final's President and CEO David Hirz told the Los Angeles Register. “For instance, in our produce department, we carry 520 fresh produce items; in addition, we carry 80 organic produce items...We began putting bulk food departments in where people can buy fresh, natural or organic.”
He also shared how Smart & Final sees its produce aisle as the key to setting itself apart from the competition.
“Smart & Final combines the produce department of a farmers market with the low prices of a mass merchant – 12 to 16 percent lower than a conventional supermarket,” Hirz said. “Then we have almost 2,000 unique business items. Not another retailer I know of caters to both households and businesses.”
Hirz also spoke to the Los Angeles Register about his interest in expanding Smart & Final's presence in online grocery delivery.
When asked if Smart & Final would be adding delivery down the road, he replied, “We are actually testing delivery in 10 Smart & Final stores for businesses. It’s in a pilot mode. Initial results are encouraging, but it’s too soon to determine whether it’ll be expanded.”
“We’re also doing tests (with household customers) in Northern California as well as Southern California in West Los Angeles with Google Express,” he continued. “They can order products from Smart & Final... and have those delivered by a Google Express driver – same day or next day delivery.”
With its IPO wrapped up and fresh cash flowing through the company, Hirz certainly sounds like he has a plan to lead Smart & Final into a successful future. I'll be looking forward to reading about this company's next moves as we head into the new year.
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