Wegmans, Publix, and H-E-B Rely on Local Strategy
ROCHESTER, NY - We like to say the retail landscape is changing, but seriously, the landscape is changing—retailers like Walmart and Amazon that historically focused on consumer goods are now cementing a place in the grocery sector. These mega-retailers often work to introduce as many services, policies, and programs as they can in an effort to cast a wide net and secure the highest percentage of consumers—an understandable use of the tools at their disposal. But smaller, more regional grocers are finding that their best recourse for competition lies not in attempting to replicate and keep up with the others, but in playing to their strengths and offering consumers in their regions something special. Wegmans, Publix, and H-E-B are some retailers that experience the kind of regional success that is natural for smaller grocers.
CNN Business reports regional grocers like Wegmans, H-E-B, and Publix are looking for ways to distinguish themselves in a highly-competitive market. These retailers have turned to strategies that provide shoppers with further savings.
Customer service also factors strongly into the equation—smaller retailers focus closely on their employees to train and encourage their workers to run their stores in a way that can provide an exceptional experience. This year, Fortune rated Wegmans as the number one Best Workplaces in Retail, a spot that the grocer has held for some time.
Wegmans and many other regional grocers are privately owned, and can make company-wide decisions without the approval of stockholders and boards of directors. Smaller grocers may also benefit when it comes to expansion as well—a detailed sense of the area can enable strategic and careful plans on where to open new stores. Publix, for example, has significant insight on the trends and needs of its customers, enabling the retailer to think outside the box, recently with plans for an inventive new waterfront store.
There are benefits and drawbacks to every retail format, and while regional grocers do enjoy certain benefits, there are other ways in which larger retailers excel. Each retailer must do what they can to leverage their strengths and focus on what makes them special. As the industry continues to evolve, companies will seek out and try new directions and new ideas to ensure the highest profitability and customer satisfaction they can.
What can the rest of the industry learn from Wegmans, Publix, H-E-B, and other regional grocers? AndNowUKnow will continue to report.