Achieving and Sustaining Profitability in Grocery Retailing

Introduction

Let’s be clear: Grocery retailing has never been easy. There are fundamental challenges with making available the right mix of products to an ever-shifting customer base, immediately and cost-effectively. However, it is not unreasonable to say that meeting those challenges has become increasingly demanding.

In the past few decades, many of the ongoing challenges were met with sizing up. New efficiencies were gained with larger automation in larger distribution centers delivering to larger retail stores. But while there remains definite advantages to be realized by this approach, grocery retailing has reached a point where sizing up can no longer be a sole solution.

Customer interests have become more specialized; customer tastes have become more nuanced. Today you are just as likely to have a significant customer-base looking for bulk-sized packages at a massive suburban supercenter as you are to have one looking for fresh produce at a convenient urban mini-store. Often, they are the very same people.

In this — let’s call it the post-modern world of grocery retailing — sustained profitability and logistic success will come from the strategic application of technology. It will be less following a tried and true system and more anticipating change. And more change is most definitely coming.

This white paper is provided as a resource to summarize the key trends you are facing in grocery retailing, summarize the logistics issues, and outline solutions for success in achieving sustained profitability.


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