"Grocery Wars"

        In an article entitled, Grocery Wars: Supermarkets face new challenges as consumers shop around, Joan Verdon outlines that now, more so than ever, consumers are using the “shop-around” method of supermarket buying. Gone are the days where someone went to one store once a week for the families shopping in a one stop fashion. Today, people are more likely to go to specific stores for specific specialty items that can only be offered to them at one place.

       All different types of stores are fighting for that food dollar. Not only are supermarket chains competing with one another, but stores like Target, Walmart, even some drug stores are now carrying groceries- taking away from the bigger grocery chains that have dominated the market for decades. Additionally, online retailers like Amazon are throwing their hat in the ring; raising the bar further for supermarkets to deliver a unique quality experience for their customers at high speed. 

       Specialty stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Uncle Giuseppe's and even Wegman’s, a  Rochester, New York-based supermarket with a dedicated following, are forcing major chains like ShopRite and Stop & Shop to elevate to the next level. ShopRite and Stop & Shop have been renovating their New Jersey stores at a rapid rate over these past couple of years. ShopRite is even building a brand new store in Wyckoff, New Jersey. With these renovations has come an increase in organic food sections and an emphasis on locally grown produce in an attempt to combat the competition of the smaller specialty stores.

       With all of the glitz and glamour of new major stores like Wegman’s it is easy to lose site of the bigger picture. While some may see these new competitors as serious competition, which in many ways they are, it should be remembered that not always are these stores what consumers are looking for. Many, view stores like Uncle Giuseppe’s and Wegman’s as “Special Occasion” stores, where a customer may go to them for their bigger parties and events. It is highly unlikely that the loyal customers of chains like ShopRite, Stop & Shop, and Acme which have serviced them for decades will stop going to these major supermarkets for their everyday high quality products. 

 

To read the original article posted on northjersey.com , click here