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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What were once fringe formats are now mainstream in grocery

Trend Observation:   Once upon a time, bigger was better… and all the market had to do to succeed was become a super-market.  But it would appear that a tipping point has been reached, in which smaller, “growth format” stores are taking more of the grocery budget share that used to belong to the gigantic grocers that offered “one stop shopping.”  That is one suggestion in a story from this recent edition of Supermarket News (click to link).

Marketing Implications:  One might argue that one-stop-shopping is still the clear winner, and that some share erosion has come in response to companies like Walmart and Target getting into the grocery business.  But growth formats are coming on strong, by this account.  Maybe, rather than use the term “growth format,” which is a popular industry moniker, we should call these stores what they are:  Stores with a theme or focus (i.e., Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, etc.)

What about your category?  Is bigger better?  Do you serve a niche that could grow to become a core for your business?  Innovation often (almost always) comes from the fringe...

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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