LAS VEGAS — A more disciplined approach to pricing by Roche Bros. Markets — as part of a concerted effort to lower its high-price image — enabled the chain to convince its primary customers it had lowered prices, but was not quite as effective at convincing secondary shoppers, a chain executive said here Monday.
Speaking at a workshop session at the National Grocers Association annual convention here, Arthur Ackles, director of marketing for the 18-store chain, based in Wellsley Hills, Mass., said the company's goal is to reach those secondary customers. “That's what we need to work on over the next year.”
Roche Bros. recognized the need to enhance its price image early in 2009, when its high-end customers began looking for lower-priced alternatives, Ackles said. “Loyalty is not what it used to be, and customers today are more willing to shop around,” he pointed out.
Historically, Roche had separate pricing strategies for groceries and perishables, “with no overall strategy to get a better message across,” he acknowledged. Its goal in adopting a new pricing strategy was “to put us in the same ballpark as our competition — to stay close to them while staying below the tipping point [the point at which shoppers perceive a difference].”
One result has been more positive item movement in two of the last three quarters, he noted.