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A Legacy Retailer King Kullen Sells...

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A Legacy Retailer King Kullen Sells...

Written By: Joel Albrizio - President, Bad-Adz Digital

The Retail Supermarket Industry Is A Tough Road Often Ending In A Sale!

King Kullen, recognized by the Smithsonian Institute as America's First Supermarket will now be sold to Ahold, known locally at the retail level as Stop & Shop Supermarkets.

King Kullen founded in 1930 by Micheal Kullen had become a staple in the New York retail supermarket industry. King Kullen introduced the full service, diversified retail food marketplace to what would become the modern supermarket industry.

As retailers like King Kullen wind down locations and sales growth so many will look and will discuss what went wrong. Why didn't King Kullen do so many different things. They should have and could have done so many things.

So many will forget King Kullen innovated and grew in a tough industry for almost 90 years. An industry King Kullen created and thrived within for so long.

This month it was announced King Kullen would sell the remaining 32 retail locations to Ahold. We believe in one of the most difficult industries for a company to innovate and thrive for this long much can be learned from King Kullen.

King Kullen created departments as we know them today and expanded and experimented with these departments to build at its peak +-$800 million in sales. Opening locations and expanding, it seemed for so long King Kullen did everything right.

It seems clear that the powers to be at King Kullen felt today's valuation by Ahold held more promise than looking ahead at increased competition and what the coming years might hold in return for the continued retail food battleground.

Kudos to King Kullen and its employees. What a legacy to have been a part of. 

In looking forward to the independent marketplace....

Retail Supermarket Acquisitions Raise Concern For The Independent Grocer

The sale of King Kullen, Best Markets and Olean Wholesale Grocery by themselves seem somewhat benign. Big deal, three longstanding independent oriented companies sell rather than deal with all of the obstacles of retail food in the coming months and years.

However the sale of these companies are quietly significant. These three acquisitions alter the supermarket ecosystem of balanced shopping opportunities for the consumer. 

Best Markets sold to Lidl, King Kullen sold to Ahold & Olean Wholesale Grocery sold to C&S Wholesale Grocers.

Simply put the consumer, when faced with less shopping alternatives will likely pay more for staple items necessary for daily meals. Without the independent grocer and in Olean's case the smaller grocery wholesaler, less retail and wholesale food sources are available.

Any time in any business environment when we witness less retail shopping alternatives the consumer ultimately pays more for the food they will purchase.

In Upstate New York, Olean Wholesale Grocers was purchased by C&S Wholesale Grocers. C&S Wholesale Grocers is a major player in the grocery wholesale industry throughout the United States.

Hopefully in 2019 and forward, new retail opportunities will present themselves for the independent grocer.

Many have asked why I choose to write about what I see in the supermarket industry today and my ideas. At Bad-Adz Digital, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife we believe great ideas and the resulting branding will give new life and direction to any company. So for that reason we chose to open the discussion.

Yes, I understand I probably misspelled something or butchered the English language in a few places, the goal however was to open your minds to new ideas. 

Joel Albrizio - Bad-Adz Digital, Bad-AdzVideos.com PreparedFoodPhotos.com, Adlife

Follow Me On Twitter @joelalbrizio, and don't forget to "Like Or Share" with your colleagues!

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Whole Foods Masters Social Media With..."User Generated Content"​

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Whole Foods Masters Social Media With..."User Generated Content"​

What Is User Generated Content & What Do Retailers Need To Know About It? 

U.G.C...Today's reference term to the all important User Generated Content. User Generated Content is the fastest building core of what social media is all about. How more information is distributed than ever before.

Whole Foods and "Brands" like Chobani contribute, encourage and foster a social media environment where there respective "Brands" are highlighted and their abilities almost exaggerated to build retail food sales. How do they do this?

Touching the customer digitally...feeding and sometimes overfeeding the social media channels. This is what has led these companies to "Brand" level recognition directly attributed to social media

A great example is how Chobani grew a new dairy category "Greek Yogurt" by promoting to the point of exploitation yogurt recipes across all of its distribution channels as well as all of the available social media channels.

According to BuzzFeed's companies like Tasty have more than 94 million Facebook followers. This becomes the definition of User Generated Content. So we as retailers must contribute to and better understand content will ultimately prime the retail food sales building pump.

Lets look deeper into the Whole Foods...User Generated Content pipeline. Whole Foods is said to feature more recipes than promotions on its website homepage. Understanding this fact points to users coming to the web for information and not just price.

Whole Foods has a dedicated newsletter and constantly promotes recipes on Twitter and Instagram. Then there is the WholeFoods Facebook chatbot in which customers can check out products or search recipes searching keywords..which are "Content", again not price.

As Supermarket Retailers We Must Escape From The "Digital Denial" 

 Supermarkets across all demographics will tell you "Flat sales are the new good"...seriously, when we accept as purveyors of an analog dialog (print) that flat is the new OK we have embraced "Digital Denial"

The primary use of print for supermarket retailers to build sales is in essence relying on an old friend we like but fully recognize can no longer deliver for us. 

The sales growth opportunity results with User Generated Content as digital coupled with social media is before us like never before. 

A Recent Nielson Study Found....Over 80% of Millennials want to know more about how their food is not only produced but prepared....73% of Millennials are willing to pay more for the "Brands" they trust.

Now we better understand User Generated Content and the resulting information and digital transformation translates into retail sales growth. We could live with the past, send out only the printed ad and with that forget User Generated Content.

Stop for a moment and think about the "Vendor Program" opportunities. Branded items looking to expand their reach digitally. While any "Brand" can easily go digital themselves the retailer allows the "Brand" the availability to now purchase the items. 

A few years from now we will all chuckle about sending ads to press 10-14 days in advance of any sale.

 Imagine hoping we picked the right sales items and prices. We believe we could wait for that knowledge by receiving the competitions printed ad and reach out to the customer with all of the latest information and pricing only hours before a potential sale easily targeting the competitions featured sale items.

In 2019, We Must Become The Retailers We Have The Ability To Become.

Content & real time information will drive retail sales growth. Given the opportunity to drive content together we will soon understand its as much about User Generated Content as it is about the price of bananas.

Forgetting or avoiding digital content and its information driven environment is in fact forgetting and avoiding the consumer as well as our ability to sell.

Check our recipe videos at 

Bad-AdzVideos.com... Thank you for following.

Many have asked why I choose to write about what I see in the supermarket industry today and my ideas. At Bad-Adz Digital, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife we believe great ideas and the resulting branding will give new life and direction to any company. So for that reason we chose to open the discussion.

Yes, I understand I probably misspelled something or butchered the English language in a few places, the goal however was to open your minds to new ideas. 

Joel Albrizio Bad-Adz Digital Bad-AdzVideos.com PreparedFoodPhotos.com Adlife

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"Lidl Acquires Best Markets"​

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"Lidl Acquires Best Markets"​

Is This A Shift From "New Build" Back To Acquisition For Major Retailers?

It's always better to have the option or opportunity to sell a retail location with competition building. Most supermarket retailers would rather have the option to sell than just have a major player move into the same marketing area and destroy your valuable supermarket asset.

So that is the positive...the negative becomes another major player comes into greater volume in an already over serviced New York retail food marketplace. The growth of Lidl would seem to be quicker and the danger larger to conventional retail supermarkets.

Conventional supermarkets who are already facing a shrinking center store presence will now erode even quicker.

For Best Markets this would appear to be a lifeline. Best Markets had solid supermarket competition form all sides. The ability to generate profitable growth for Best Markets had all but dried up as it has for most of the smaller conventional retailers in New York.

Not of any fault of Best Markets, the New York marketplace seems the intersection of so many aggressive big box retailers.

Could This Be A Conventional Supermarket Retailers Opportunity?

Conventional grocers now within the Lidl marketing area almost anywhere could well have been awarded an unusual opportunity. While Lidl remains serious competition the focus for Lidl will be one more attuned to grocery and less towards perishables.

Should Lidl take this model of acquisition rather than new build today's supermarket retailers may find new value in some older and often overlooked brands.

Recently Brookshire acquired many Winn Dixie locations. Should this trend continue and perhaps expand to other growing supermarket organizations this will present new options. While competition is never good news we would all rather see a competitor enter the marketplace giving the independent financial options not seen for some time.

Many have asked why I choose to write about what I see in the supermarket industry today and my ideas. At Bad-Adz Digital, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife we believe great ideas and the resulting branding will give new life and direction to any company. So for that reason we chose to open the discussion.

Yes, I understand I probably misspelled something or butchered the English language in a few places, the goal however was to open your minds to new ideas. 

Joel Albrizio, President Bad-Adz Digital, Bad-AdzVideos.com, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife

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Sprouts..."Delicious Information"​

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Sprouts..."Delicious Information"​

Sprouts Farmers Markets...Delivering Delicious Information Digitally

Sprouts Farmers Market Understands How We Read & What We Want To Read About!

When we dig deeper into marketing and what does and doesn't work we first must better understand today's customers reading habits. Twenty five years ago on a Sunday morning the Sunday newspaper ruled the morning read.

"The Sunday Newspaper Was King"

When we would first awake on a Sunday morning we wandered to the front door. Hopefully the paper boy or girl had carefully placed our most valuable weekend treasure, the Sunday newspaper between the front door and the screen door. 

The coffee was brewing by the pot, not in a k-cup and you could smell that fresh coffee everywhere in the house. We sat with our coffee and what was to be the next hour or two engulfed by what all of this newsprint was about to tell us.

What we never realized reading the Sunday newspaper, that more than educated we were entertained. We had all of this information in what amounted too information a mile wide and an inch thick.

What Is Information A Mile Wide & An Inch Thick?

The Sunday newspaper had a lot of what interested the majority of us in capsule form. We could better understand almost anything from world news to today's sports in what amounted to results. not lots of details but here are today's results.

The car of the week was just that, "The Car Of The Week" with a short article with little information describing this as a car in a few tidbits of information about this car.

"How We Acquire Information Has Changed"

What Sprouts Farmers Market understands and annunciates with all of its communication and web site is how we expect to receive information has changed. With these lifestyle changes Sprouts has changed the way they will now deliver information.

Today's reader and shopper wants to be fed information constantly. When readers go to the web they go first and foremost for information. Then once a follower or better yet a customer Sprouts is there with the content you will search for meals as we like them today.

So today's reader interested in a car on Sunday morning would go to a search engine on their cell phone. They would read about the car of interest and once finished would find another article and another article until they had consumed all that they cared to read about this vehicle of interest.

That said this information is more than entertainment and is in fact information fed to us just the opposite as the Sunday newspaper. The information is not a mile wide and an inch thick, it is an inch wide and a mile deep. This is how we have some to read today. Differently where we expect more detail.

Sprouts Farmers Markets delivers information a mile deep. Ad specials, organics, recipes, unique approaches to healthy living and on and on.

Sprouts understands we want to better understand what we eat, where it came from and perhaps even how to prepare a new meal idea just a little quicker.

So if we came to the web for information and that information was healthy meal planning, Sprouts Farmers Market had a story we would not only enjoy, but perhaps employ.

Marketing Is Storytelling...Tell Your Story!

Marketing is about storytelling. As retailers we need to present the facts in a digestible and attractive format describing who and what we are as a supermarket resource to the consumer. Telling your story is likely to open the doors as a trusted resource. 

Once as retailers we become trusted resources we have lessened our reliability on price alone. Retail sustainability comes from the value proposition as a combination of service, quality & price.

The more the customer is serviced and trusts your supermarkets quality the more price will become just one of many successful calls to action.

Check out Sprouts Farmers Market and their go to market strategy: 

https://www.sprouts.com

Let me know what you think.....

Many have asked why I choose to write about what I see in the supermarket industry today and my ideas. At Bad-Adz Digital, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife we believe great ideas and the resulting branding will give new life and direction to any company. So for that reason we chose to open the discussion.

Yes, I understand I probably misspelled something or butchered the English language in a few places, the goal however was to open your minds to new ideas. 

Joel Albrizio, President Bad-Adz Digital, bad-AdzVideos.com, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife

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Publix...Hot Price VS. Trusted Retailer

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Publix...Hot Price VS. Trusted Retailer





Why Do We Give The Turkey Away On Thanksgiving...Could Companies Like Publix Rely On "Brand" To Carry The Day?

If you have not picked that "Right Price" on the fresh or frozen turkey yet this will become your dilemma in the next day or two. 

Frozen or fresh? A name brand or "Grade A" for a hot price? What price will the big box come out at for Thanksgiving? How about the specialty meat store and their always great fresh brand?

We have all tried so many different brands, fresh or frozen year in and year out. We spend so much time on agreeing how much to loose to be in the Turkey Price" game and for what?

If we are successful on that great turkey price and have a few fresh or frozen options we will have simply achieved becoming the king of the ultimate category killer.

"What Are The Options To A Hot Turkey Price.....Instill Trust?

Trust, so overlooked in the daily marketing equation but integral in building sustainable retail food sales and their resulting profits. As retailers we could and likely should concentrate throughout the year on marketing programs that build trust. With a trusted retail food location we can overcome some of this price deterioration.

During the holidays customers tend to lean most on the retailer they trust. Does the lowest price alone on a turkey instill a lasting trust? We think not.

Stop and think for a second how much your retail food location will spend on how many category killers and on how many weeks per year. The unique perishable item for that week that must be priced really hot.

"Trust & The Value Proposition Trump Hot Pricing Alone"

In the end trust will allow for a reasonable value proposition. A trusted retailer at a reasonable price will win that price battle every week. So if we are to rely on trust which is simply "Branding" we need to work on this every week to become effective.

Buying retail food business with just the proverbial lowest price never works long term. A trusted brand with a competitive price is an obstacle we must present to our retail food competition.

Allow your marketing focus to be about a great story....your story. So make it a great story and you will not rely on just price. In closing lets think for a few minutes about all of those great retailers who always had that hot price that are no longer there....That said, something could be wrong with that strategy.

Sustainable retail food sales growth run parallel with time spent on "Branding & Trust" centered on trust as the core value. When we think about branding & trust Publix more than almost any other retail comes to mind. Lets not solely follow the competition look to the industry leaders and how companies like Publix build and then tell their story.

Many have asked why I choose to write about what I see in the supermarket industry today and my ideas. At Bad-Adz Digital, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife we believe great ideas and the resulting branding will give new life and direction to any company. So for that reason we chose to open the discussion.

Yes, I understand I probably misspelled something or butchered the English language in a few places, the goal however was to open your minds to new ideas. 

Joel Albrizio, President Bad-Adz Digital, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife

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Skipping Ads..Skipping Retail Sales

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Skipping Ads..Skipping Retail Sales

"We Live In An Age Of Immediacy...Digital Is Real Time"

Whether your the inspirational genius for Amazon Prime or the local neighborhood grocer, retail today is real time....period. 

So many retailers believe in skipping ads on those predictable off weeks while the big boxes coupled with the internet gurus pound away "real time" 52 weeks per year.

Advertising Perishables "12" Days In Advance?

Do we really understand ten to twelve days in advance what the right price on turkeys will be on Thanksgiving? Is the consumer going to purchase "Fresh" items 12 days in advance?Likely, the customer will not.

Does it make sense to skip an ad and leave the retail sales door open to the competition? Again, likely it does not.

Grocers for generations have lost a fortune in search of dominant perishable pricing on items like turkeys on Thanksgiving. So to save marketing dollars and offset those expensive markdown losses many retailers will skip one of the ads.

This Becomes The "Proverbial Two Week Ad" Retail Sales Bomb

Lost in the dollar savings translation is the loss of retail sales. Valuable top line sales that cover overhead costs and help to reduce shrink throughout all of our perishable departments. The very retail sales that could cover some of those huge holiday markdowns.

As decision makers we must acknowledge the cost of print distribution coupled with the inability to make accurate retail pricing decisions ten to fifteen days in advance of the sale. This is where the savings lies to remain in touch with the consumer, your customer.

This is especially specific to those category killer holiday perishable items. That said, we must become "Real Time" retailers. E-mail, web sites, Facebook, Instagram. Choose the channel you trust but real world real time you will not be printing it.

While Facebook will often be critiqued for information sharing, it is difficult to argue Facebook has the goods on consumer habits and your demographic information. Your potential customers information especially valuable to you.

Real time demographics that as grocers we need utilize to operate efficiently. If we are to compete we need to better understand how real time will become real sales geographically within our marketing area.

Try some of these digital sales channels and have fun. Great sales translate into retail fun.

Many have asked why I choose to write about what I see in the supermarket industry today and my ideas. At Bad-Adz Digital, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife we believe great ideas and the resulting branding will give new life and direction to any company. So for that reason we chose to open the discussion.

Yes, I understand I probably misspelled something or butchered the English language in a few places, the goal however was to open your minds to new ideas. 

Joel Albrizio, President Bad-Adz Digital, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife

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Safeway Drives Digital Awareness

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Safeway Drives Digital Awareness

End The Big Box Advantage..."Touch Customers Digitally & Often"

Safeway Believes They Must Touch Digitally & They Do!

Today retail food is much like every other form of sales. Every retail market segment whenever possible sells food...every retailer from CVS, Walmart down to your local gas station...anytime possible they sell food.

Online there is every possible option for home delivery imaginable.

The most effective form of selling is learning to teach the customer to buy. That sounds a little odd it is really the only effective way to grow retail food sales consistently? However, while never quite that simple, developing a "Special" retail food destination will build retail sales.

If the customer is ready to buy, understands his or her options and at that time the supermarket retailer delivers on the desire to purchase sales will occur. There is no marketing channel that serves immediacy better than digital.

In most cases when the retailer delivers his or her digital ad we already know what the competing prices are and on exactly what products.

Now we immediately present a number of quality specials digitally to the consumer and we have begun the process of teaching the customer to buy.

How About An eMail Blast With A Recipe Video Inserted?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nxDSzL6UZw

"Now We Can Help The Shopper With "How To Cook Recipe Videos"

Retail food has changed over the years and to understand the customer we must all change. Both in the way we think and what we pass on to the consumer. The customer is digital.....period. Everyone is always on their cell phone. So send them the ad with the items on special within a recipe video.

Once thinking digitally and delivering the ad via eMail, today's merchandising program can be easily divided in to two areas of retail offers, center store & perishables. 

A seven day merchandising program for "Center Store" can be deployed along with a base perishable program. Now the supermarket retailer can choose a 3 or 4 day period to employ perishable specials.

Perhaps a "3Day Sale" for a holiday weekend like Labor Day or any 3 or 4 days of the retailers choosing.

"Multiple Shopping Visits Build Sales With the Same Customer Base"

Give the consumer what they will need for quick "grab and go" in week perishable offers and select the weekend or "3" day sale for that second visit to the supermarket that week.

So with that and many more "What Day Do We Run The Sale" options now the supermarket retailer must move toward "Storytelling"

"We All Shop The Store We Like Best Or Trust...Tell Your Story"

Storytelling is not some fictional approach to what your supermarket is all about. Storytelling is just that, telling your story. This gives both the retailer and the customer a chance to better understand just who this retailer is.

For the retailer, we all now have the opportunity to articulate what the supermarket is all about. If your not happy with your story when you really take a closer look, change your story and improve upon your value proposition.

When your regular customer shops another retailer on a given week what will they miss....Tell them. 

The customer with your now refined story better understands why he or she would likely want to shop your retail location verses the competition. Now you have told them in your own words. Give the customer a definable difference and all of the reasons to shop your store.

Good Luck....It seems the competition just keeps getting tougher.

Many have asked why I choose to write about what I see in the supermarket industry today and my ideas. At Bad-Adz Digital, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife we believe great ideas and the resulting branding will give new life and direction to any company. So for that reason we chose to open the discussion.

Yes, I understand I probably misspelled something or butchered the English language in a few places, the goal however was to open your minds to new ideas. 

Joel Albrizio, President Bad-Adz.com, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife.com 

Follow Me On Twitter @joelalbrizio or right here on LinkedIn!

Don't forget to "Like Or Share" with your colleagues!

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Surprise...UNFI Acquires Supervalu

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Surprise...UNFI Acquires Supervalu

UNFI & Supervalu...A Complex Coming Together leaves The Industry Wondering...Why These Two Companies...Why Now?

Is This Union An Incredible Opportunity Or Just the Loss Of Another Grocery Wholesaler?

The most realistic view point is obviously this makes one less independent grocery wholesaler available to the retail supermarket community. However, is this the beginning of a greater good for retail food? Perhaps different programs available to a healthier lifestyle oriented consumer?

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