NEW YORK - Traditional grocers are being squeezed in the middle of an hourglass economy, Progressive Grocer reports. With the new normal having affluent customers at one end and value-seeking consumers at the other, grocers like Safeway and Supervalu that market to the middle class are having a tough time.
Food retailers that are experiencing growth include those at either end of the hourglass, such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe€™s at the upper end, and Dollar General at the value end. Supermarkets need to look at their competitive positioning to see how services should be tweaked to meet the needs of each core customer group.
For example, Giant Eagle has developed smaller footprint stores with new services, such as eat-in cafes, free Wi-Fi and drive-thru pharmacies. Mariano€™s specialty chain has different stations, like a classroom kitchen, wine and coffee bar and gelato cafÃ©.
Many chains are coming up with better ready-to-eat offerings to position themselves as alternatives to QSRs. Still others, like Walmart, are adding restaurants inside stores to better compete.
Supermarkets are working with food makers on developing innovative ideas, especially in price and quality. Redefining themselves will help grocers address the changing needs of consumers.