inStorebuyer - April 2012 - (Page 32)

Cornhusker Proud B&R Stores harvests a bountiful reputation as Nebraska’s hometown local retailer. by John Unrein In Nebraska, locals like to say that Omaha is the more cosmopolitan city, while Lincoln is “cosmopolitan enough.” The state’s two largest cities are like cousins. Omaha is the richer one – home to five Fortune 500 companies including Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. Lincoln is perhaps the more grounded one, named after “Honest Abe,” and where citizens swear allegiance to Cornhusker football and Runza sandwiches. Lincoln is also home to one of the most successful independent supermarket operators in America’s Heartland – B&R Stores, which boasts popular store banners including Super Saver and Russ’s Market. Their mission statement is simply stated: “Hometown Proud.” “Our store directors get involved a lot with their communities,” says B&R’s bakery/deli director Eric Schafers. “For example, we organized a paczki-eating contest this year for Fat Tuesday. We brought in a radio personality and local business leaders to participate. Ideas like that help you stay connected to the community and build awareness.” Such local-based promotions also drive sales. Packzi sales at B&R are up 40% from a year ago, says Schafers, adding they plan to start the paczki-eating contest earlier next year. Founded in 1964 by Russ Raybould and Clayton Burnett, B&R Stores is an employee-owned corporation based in Lincoln. The company owns 17 stores in seven cities, including Omaha and Lincoln, across Nebraska and Iowa and employs more than 2,000 people, nearly half of which are employee owners. The Raybould name is a constant at B&R. Fifteen years ago, Russ Raybould retired and turned to his son, Pat Raybould, to steer the $325 million company as president. “In Nebraska, being a Nebraskaowned retailer is a big deal,” says Joe Bickley, a retail consultant in Raleigh, NC. “Local is really important to people. They perceive national chains as companies that distribute products | 32 | inStorebuyer | April 2012 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of inStorebuyer - April 2012

inStorebuyer - April 2012
The Fresh Factor
Front Line News
Dairy-Deli-Bake 2012 Preview
Food Service Retail
Baking & Decorating
Bakery Development
Deli Development
Ahead of the Digital Curve
Cornhusker Proud
Sprout Safety
Grains & Fibers - Health & Nutrition
Know Your Cheese - Cheese Corner
Product Trends
Product Trends
Product Showcase / Marketplace Network
Marketplace Network / Ad Index

inStorebuyer - April 2012