STORES Magazine - December 2009 - (Page 22)

EXECUTIVE SUITE / RETAIL PEOPLE Sister Act Bonnie McGinnis Vello Sharon McGinnis Young Noreen McGinnis Campbell McGinnis Sisters Special Food Stores Pittsburgh What are you doing to stay ahead of the big guys? Bonnie: A small company like ours can never get ahead of [chain] supermarket buying power so we focus on providing excellent customer care. We’re listening to our customers, meeting their needs and following through on our brand promise. Sharon: We believe we can actually compete well with the large chains because we are small, agile and can easily change midstream to meet customer needs. We have access to great last-minute buys that we pass on to our customers. Is the ad campaign showing all three of you in a farmer’s field or on a fishing boat helping you hold your own? Noreen: We’ve used our pictures in advertising for the past lwood and Rosella McGinnis opened a small produce stand in the Pittsburgh borough of Baldwin on Christmas Eve 1946. Over the next 30 years, both the business and family flourished. All eight McGinnis progeny spent their early childhoods in the playpen behind the cash register, eventually graduating to stacking returnable soda bottles, stocking produce and learning how to cut meat and make sausage. A second location opened in the 1970s, and by 1981 sisters Bonnie, Sharon and Noreen assumed ownership of the company now called McGinnis Sisters Special Food Stores. Bonnie is president, handling merchandising and customer service. Sharon oversees advertising and branding, as well as store decor. Noreen manages buyers, store team leaders and human relations while overseeing the financial aspects of the business. Brother Pat McGinnis is a buyer focusing on procuring locally grown foods; more than a dozen family members work for the company. A third McGinnis Sisters Special Food Store opened last year in Adams Township north of Pittsburgh. The 17,000-sq.-ft. store, featuring a sit-down cafe, joins sister stores in Monroeville and Brentwood. What is the story behind your slogan, “Favorite Sister”? Noreen: We all have that on 20 or more years. This year, our tagline was “Trusted Partner.” With all the economic turmoil … we thought it important to make sure customers know we stand by, ready to do the work and roll up our sleeves to make sure they are well taken care of on all fronts. Bonnie: It’s been less about an ad campaign and more about communicating what we’ve already been doing for over 60 years. We’ve always been focused on family, quality and being a good neighbor. We’re just telling our own story and it’s one that resonates with customers. They trust us because we deliver on our promises. Sharon: We have a very happy family, and sharing our lives with the customers has brought us closer to them and helped with customer loyalty. Describe a favorite meal with friends or family. Noreen: We often get together at Sharon’s house. Our chil- our business cards; it’s a nod to our dad, who passed away five years ago. Growing up, we’d ask him who his favorite was and he’d always say, “Whoever I’m with.” Bonnie: We’ve extended that idea to our customers as the basis for “My Sisters Favorite Customer Card,” which is our loyalty program. Sharon: When you grow up in an Irish family, you always want to be the favorite. But just for the record, I’m the original favorite sister. 22 STORES / DECEMBER 2009 dren, husbands and whoever’s in the mood will whip up a fantastic meal. The food doesn’t matter, just the camaraderie and fun as they work together, try to out-do one another and rib each other. Then we all help clean up. Bonnie: Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy over everything. Sharon: I do a clambake with lobsters every New Year’s Eve for 30 to 40 guests at my mountain log cabin. We have wine and champagne and shoot off fireworks. What do you do with downtime? Noreen: I study ballroom dancing. Bonnie: I like to hike and spend time outdoors. Sharon: My main pleasure is cooking for my family. St ORES — Janet Groeber WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - December 2009

Stores - December 2009
Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Wrapped in Mystery
Hot Colors for 2010
Holding the Line on New Lines
Busting Bad Customers
10 Things You May Have Missed
JCP Teams with Olsen Twins
Retail People
Half Full–or Half Empty?
Retail Industry Buying Guide
Loeb Retail Letter
ARTS Update
NRF News
Point of View
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES Magazine - December 2009