TYLER, Texas -- In a move to revamp its 8-foot kitchen gadget departments, Brookshire Grocery Co. is seeking a new supplier.
The 106-store chain has decided to drop a private-label line of gadgets that is being supplied by a service merchandiser in a cross-docking arrangement at Brookshire's warehouse.
In doing so, the retailer will eliminate the service distributor's upcharge for buying, picking and shipping products. In cutting department costs, the retailer hopes to become more competitive in kitchen gadgets. Brookshire also would like to carry only one brand in the new 125-stockkeeping unit section.
"We'd like to go to a one-line approach using a national branded manufacturer," said Jerry Moore, the chain's general merchandise category manager, who confirmed the chain is now reviewing kitchen gadget lines. However, Moore pointed out that if the one-brand approach is not cost effective, Brookshire would set the section with several brands.
Although Brookshire's customers perceive the uniform packaging of the rack jobber's proprietary gadgets "as something like a national brand, we'll have better control of the items and costs by going through our own warehouse direct," Moore said. He said that in the cross-docking program "our people order and stock the product. If we can bring it into our warehouse and eliminate paying a distributor for assembling and delivering it, then we'll save the middleman's costs." Once the new gadget assortment is completed, Brookshire will promote the in-line departments more aggressively than it has in the past with dollar-day and 25%- and 50%-off sales.