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By Joel M. Albrizio, President

 Don't Give Up On Center Store Sales!  

  Other than the big boxes most retailers feel defeated in the "center store sales fight".  The attitude is "we can't get the big box cost of goods on center store products". The important issue is what does your customer expect and will you deliver what he or she might expect?

  Most surveys today tell us the customer loves the lowest price but needs to conserve time and therefore finds the value proposition most important. Those few words, "Value Proposition" ring hollow without a plan.

  So lets think about what your customer considers the value proposition. Store location, perishable quality and consistency, customer service, private label strength, ease of navigation within the store where the specials are available and properly displayed, housekeeping, store identity. Retailers loose more customers because of these items most take for granted rather than price. 

  When the customer shops the new store what do they miss about your store? This is the value proposition. So knowing that almost every shopper will at one time or another seek other opportunities to shop we need to provide the customer with what they will miss. Most important we need to clearly define the individual retailers "value proposition" so the customer realizes what they will miss when shopping elsewhere.

  When we are successful developing and employing the "value proposition" so every employee understands and exemplifies this we have created customer confidence and loyalty. That said, we know the customer shops the store they trust whenever an important retail purchase is to take place. 

    So now with a new tool to fight the big box lower cost of goods we need to exploit the "value proposition" in increasing our customer counts and average sale.   Job one is to be certain that every employee both understands and employs every aspect of your "value proposition" every day.