Good morning, shareholders. As CEO of Candid Markets, I'm happy to welcome you to our company's annual meeting. In the next 30 minutes, I believe you'll get a true picture of the state of our company and the supermarket industry -- all in my usual, candid style.
It's obviously been a tough year for our chain. We saw many more invasions into our marketplace by all types of stores selling food. It was as if someone laid down a welcome mat right in the center of our territory. First came warehouse clubs. Then drug stores. Then dollar stores and limited-assortment operators. Finally Wal-Mart showed up with its heavy artillery. The good news is we're not likely to see many more assaults in this quarter. The bad news is the quarter ends next week.
How did we respond to the barrage of new stores? First, we tried slashing prices. As we all now know, that was a big mistake. It started a price war in which we were quickly undercut. Then we moved to Plan B. We improved customer service, added more unique products to our private-label program and took a bigger stand in produce by increasing variety. All of these strategic moves are working well.
Now, I'll tell you what's also helping: a different kind of price break. We are offering triple points in our frequent shopper program and ringing a bell in the stores every time a consumer reaches enough points to get a ham, meat loaf or some other gift. Now our ears are ringing all the time, but so are the cash registers.
So the lesson was that price is very important in this economy, but that the times call for a more subtle kind of price game. We're avoiding aggressive high-low wars in which we deeply slash prices across multiple product lines. That's now considered a base way of marketing. Instead, we're taking the high road by adopting less obvious price-cutting tactics. We're concentrating our price offers within loyalty programs so that only our best customers are informed. We've also switched to everyday low prices on select commodity items in order to have regular, sharp pricing without entering into a public promotional war. You might say we've become politically correct with our pricing policies. But make no mistake. The goal is still the same: to pummel the competition.
I want to stress that our company is addressing all of today's key consumer food trends, such as convenience, health and freshness. I have every reason to believe that the moves outlined will help us make inroads with our market share battles. As a result, I believe Wall Street will begin to look more favorably upon our stock.
But this being Candid Markets, I don't want to downplay the risks. No one can really forecast stock prices. Wal-Mart could make another push here at any time. Then our business might turn south, and all bets would be off for the stock. Things could get bad. But, my fellow shareholders, even in that kind of situation, all isn't lost. After all, keep in mind that Wall Street loves turnaround scenarios.