MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Sewell-Allen-James Piggly Wiggly and Mega Market price-impact stores here are using a dollar-store concept to recapture Center Store sales.
As much as 3,000 square feet is devoted to a Value Max section in some stores, and signage points customers to the values. Most of the discounted merchandise is in the household cleaning and laundry detergent categories in an effort to combat the big discounters, according to Rick James, president of the 13-store company.
He sells some brands, like Viva laundry detergent, for $1.96 compared to $4, $5 and $6 at other retailers, "and we still make a reasonable margin on it. We have had repeat sales." Another one he mentioned, Dawn dishwashing detergent, 28-ounce liquid, is retailed at 99 cents, and he recently priced soft drinks at 2 for $1.
"We are looking for whatever source, and it doesn't have to be something we have every day on the shelf. We are able to buy at the lowest cost, to return some of that business we had lost to the big discounters," James said. Wal-Mart, currently with seven stores in the area, has influenced this market greatly since it entered in 1995-96, he added.
"It's the best thing we've ever done to try to recapture those sales, the early returns indicate," James concluded.