Grocer Seeks to Transform Business in 37 Hours

Jun 17, 2003

By George Anderson

Farmer Jack is closing its 105 stores in Michigan and Ohio for 37 hours in an attempt to “remake itself with lower prices and a focus on fresh food,” according to the Detroit Free Press.

Stores will close at 6 p.m. tomorrow and reopen Friday at 7 a.m.

The company said it is taking this step to introduce “major new initiatives relating to freshness, new guarantees and a new outlook on customer service.”

Unidentified sources in the Free Press article said the chain intends to cut everyday prices, reduce the frequency of promotions and offer savings without the use of its Bonus Savings Club card, as part of its “Think Fresh” initiative.

Gary Giblen, director of research, C.L. King remains unconvinced. “It’s a hope and a prayer, but the lessons of A&P (parent company) history are weighing heavily against it. My concern is that they’re going to advertise fresh, fresh, fresh and have wilty, wilty, wilty lettuce as usual.”

Moderator’s Comment: Is Farmer Jack’s “Think Fresh”
initiative a sincere effort to reinvent itself or is it merely window dressing?

As usual, it will come down to the execution. It’s hard
for us to imagine a corporate culture, where customers complain cashiers do
not even acknowledge them, being able to reinvent itself in 37 hours. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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