A Great Example of How to Create Retailing Success Through Differentiation and Investment
I recently received a call from a survey company that was asking questions about my habits with regard to buying groceries. I have six large grocery stores located within a couple miles of my home and by the end of the call it was clear which one the survey company was working for…and it was not my favorite grocery retailer, which is Wegmans.
In fact, I actually drive several miles and past all six of those other grocery retailers to visit my closest Wegmans store. Wegmans doesn’t have the lowest prices, and while the quality of their products is good, the truth is that I have the same brands available at the other locations…so why do I shop there? The answer is because Wegmans provides me with the best customer experience.
The privately owned, Rochester, NY based grocery retailer is a classic example of how you can build and grow a successful retail business by doing the right things consistently year-in and year-out. They currently have over 70 locations and over $5 Billion in annual revenue and have achieved this by creating a unique experience for their customers. They have done this by keeping their stores current; introducing new products and services; and by investing in their retail employees. Here are some examples and accomplishments:
- Unlike most grocery retailers, Wegmans has bucked the trend toward “self-serve” check-out . Instead, they offer personalized service and short check-out lines with friendly staff.
- They have some of the lowest employee turnover in their industry because they provide excellent benefits, robust retail training programs, and fair pay.
- They have been ranked in the top 10 of Fortune magazines “Top 100 Companies to Work for in America” for eight consecutive years
- They have been named the best food retailer by both the Food Network and Consumer Reports.
- They have made a conscious decision not to offer tobacco products in their stores, yet their foot traffic continues to grow
- Their locations offer a wide variety of prepared foods, name brands, “club packs”, and private label products that allow them to compete with retailers in all segments of the grocery industry
- They are consistently honored for their stores’ involvement in their local communities
It just goes to show, that when you are committed to investing in your stores, your people, new products, and your community, you can provide a better customer experience and reap the rewards of long-term and consistent growth.
If you want to learn more about how you can improve your retail customer experience and your team member’s retail skills contact us today!
– David Goodwin is the Principal of the Retail Advocacy Group. As a 30 year veteran of the retail industry he has hired, trained, and performance managed thousands of retail sales representatives and retail managers. You can learn more about instructor-led, e-learning, and other training solutions for retailers at www.retailertrainingservices.com.