After The Strike Is Done

Discussion
Feb 27, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Although neither party is releasing specific details, all reports say the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) and the big three supermarket chains, Albertsons, Kroger
and Safeway, have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract; bringing to an end the roughly five-month-old strike/lockout of grocery workers in Southern California.


Now that it appears the pickets will be going back to work, what happens next?


Burt Flickinger of the Strategic Resource Group told the Los Angeles Times, “What we are anticipating is a price war of unprecedented proportions starting next month.”


Mr. Flickinger is also looking for grocers who benefited from the strike, such as Stater Bros., to lower prices to keep the new shoppers it gained while the picketers were out.


Gary Giblen of CL King & Associates agrees and sees tough times ahead for the chains, “their problems have just begun, because you’re going to have a massive price war to
regain the business.”


Moderator’s Comment: What should retailers that benefited from the strike, such as Stater
Bros., do to hold on to their customer and business gains?


Frankly, if we were in charge of Stater Bros. Marketing, we’d like to see a message from Jack Brown and company telling consumers that the Stater Bros.’
customer is too smart to fall for a short-term price gimmick that takes them back to the old way of shopping.


While the competitive chains were fighting with the union and interrupting the lives of their customers, Stater Bros. was open and ready to serve shoppers
in Southern California. Stater Bros. delivers service Californians know they can count on.
George
Anderson – Moderator

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