Mom and Pops Find Life After Wal-Mart

Mar 31, 2003

By George Anderson

Bob Hermanns, chief executive officer of Associated Grocers, told the Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) that independents are succeeding in markets, even if Wal-Mart is there.

“We have retailers in Eastern Washington who have remained standing after Wal-Mart entered their market, so we know there can be life after Wal-Mart. Our job is to make sure our retailers understand where to pick their fights.”

The fight ultimately comes down to consumer understanding and customer service, says Mr. Hermanns. “The market has changed dramatically demographically and we need to understand these purchasers’ profile.”

Other Grocery Wholesaler News
Last week Fleming announced it was seeking
alternative financing sources. The company released a statement on March 28.
“Based on discussions with its lenders earlier today, the Company (Fleming)
does not expect to reach closure on an amendment to its credit facility and
now believes that additional near-term financing is necessary … to continue
to fulfill its obligations on a timely basis.”

Moderator’s Comment: What does the future look like
for grocery wholesalers and the independents they serve?

Fleming’s difficulties could be a disaster for some and
a windfall for others. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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