Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010 - (Page 38)

Fresh Perspectives Spartan’s Fresh Outlook Spartan Stores’ fresh-first philosophy is fueling its merchandising engines to go the distance in a multichannel contest. By Meg Major “D espite high unemployment, inflation and other challenging trends, opportunities have never been greater for Spartan Stores and our retail partners,” declares Alan Hartline, EVP of merchandising for the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based “hybrid distributor” that he says is laser-focused on thriving in a multichannel world replete with warehouse clubs, drug chains, alternate formats and other multistore supermarket rivals. “The importance of aligning strategies with trends will allow us to not just compete, but [also] to win in a multichannel world,” continues Hartline, and nowhere is it more important than with fresh foods and floral, which he says collectively remain the critical components of true differentiation for Spartan’s corporate and independent stores. “Under the Fresh Umbrella” A crucial means of driving home those objectives — and several other related strategic ones — with both its corporate stores’ retail associates and independent grocers were two recent events Spartan hosted, Motivated by a fresh-first philosophy for Spartan’s An integral aspect of Spartan’s Model Store event took place at its concept Family Fare store in 350 independent grocery customers in Michigan, IndiKentwood, Mich., which showcased new signage and other merchandising and promotional ideas. ana and Ohio, and its 96 corporately owned Family Fare, Glen’s, D&W Fresh Markets, Felpausch Food Centers and VG’s ban- for which Hartline served as the chief architect. ners, the company strives to maintain a robust fresh foods mindset In mid-October, Hartline and his fellow merchandising and procureas the primary platform from which everything else flows. “There are ment teams presented a two-pronged Model Store event that showcased so many things we can do under the fresh umbrella to make an impact a variety of new products, merchandising concepts and marketing … from grinding fresh beef throughout the day to having attractive strategies revolving around Spartan’s key ongoing differentiation initiadisplays of a variety of fresh breads and rolls when the consumer tives, including value and private brands, as well as demonstrations of shops. It’s imperative that we offer fresh, quality products to capture how value-added merchandising strategies and consumer-driven solusales and stay competitive,” notes Hartline. tions can drive sales.• Progressive Grocer • January/February 2010 A H E A D O F W H AT ’ S N E X T

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010

Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010
Nielsen’s Shelf Stoppers/Spotlight
Progressive Grocer’s Outstanding Independents Awards: Independent Inspiration
Outstanding Regional Retailer: All Together Now
Outstanding Community-based Retailer: Sharing the Vision
Outstanding Independent Wholesaler:Values for Growth
Independents Report: A Lasting Legacy of Leadership and Inspiration
Fresh Perspectives: Spartan’s Fresh Outlook
Produce: Priced to Move
Refrigerated Meat: A Great (Meaty) Start
Frozen Seafood: Reel it In
Beverage Alcohol: Let it Pour
OTC Medications: Extended Flu Season
FutureTech: Going Mobile
Retail Profile: Food Lion: Renewed
GMA Director’s Note: Leading the Charge
Best Practices: A New Approach to Knowledge
Food Marketing Insights: Got Talent?
Upcoming Events: International Eats
What’s Next

Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010