Independents’ Day

Dec 23, 2002

By George Anderson

Independent supermarkets are finding their niche and business is good, says The Baltimore Sun.

Customer service is the common thread that links the independents that are holding fast against larger chain competitors both in and outside the grocery industry.

Phil Lempert, editor, and RW Braintrustee told the Sun, “People don’t want to shop in bowling alleys; they like smaller stores. The consumer wants a relationship with a store, to be visibly acknowledged, to walk up and down the aisle and find what they want.”

Being smaller has other advantages, as well. Mr. Lempert said that independent stores, “can react faster, can listen better to consumers, because [owners] are in the stores more and seeing on a direct basis what consumers are buying.”

Moderator’s Comment: Is niche marketing in grocery
a phrase to describe catering to an upscale customer base or does it have a
broader meaning?

The theme song from the Cheers television series includes
a lyric that sums up what many consumers can’t find in chain stores but do find
in successful neighborhood grocers: “Where everybody knows your name.”
Anderson – Moderator

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