End of Store Services Predicted
regarding supermarket retail trends sometimes miss the mark. Take, for example, the conjecture of one Midwestern store operator, who was featured in a 1968 SN cover story. He proclaimed that the industry would see the demise of store services by the end of the 1970s. Yet in 2002, perimeter services and extras are more important than ever to a growing number of retailers.
Said the store operator in 1968: "The voice of the consumer says she wants more services, but the pocketbook of the customer says she doesn't want to pay for these services. The supermarket operator must make a judgment on which services he should retain, regardless of the cost, and which he must eliminate to preserve profits."
This is surely sound advice on managing one's store carefully. However, this retailer's further prediction that the bakery, deli and other perimeter departments were on their way to becoming passe has not reeked of similar wisdom.
While preservation of profits, for obvious reasons, remains extremely important for retailers competing in a supercenter-dominated world, many food retailers are reaping the benefits of beefed-up services as a means to stay competitive.