Instores are responding to changes in consumer spending habits in a wide variety of ways, including embracing new technology tools, reshaping business structure and expanding into new markets.

Brookshire Grocery Company, a 150 store chain based in Tyler, TX, recently completed rollout of ADC's P-Cubed In-Store Fresh Production Planning module in all stores. The P-Cubed In-Store Fresh Production Planner takes much of the guesswork out of fresh food production planning. With the software, Brookshire Grocery Company now has educated in-stock information on availability in their fresh food departments.
“All 150 of our stores are now running production planning in four departments ( deli, bakery, chef prepared and produce). On average, we run around 1,000 production plans per day per department across our 150 stores," says Jonathan Key, fresh item management coordinator at Brookshire Grocery Company. 

Brookshire Grocery Company implemented the software in phases to enable rigorous training in each store. "The first stores to start using the software reported that the production numbers were incredibly accurate. One store director reported that they have had their best quarter ever, with more sales and less shrink," Key says.

Brookshire Grocery Company also tracks how the stores comply with the production plan. "With management oversight and support, we are seeing, on average, a 97% compliance rating across our stores," he says.

As more than 2 million Meijer shoppers now subscribe to the Michigan-based chain’s free mPerks program, Meijer has made significant investments to make digital savings easier for its customers. The retailer now has free Wi-Fi capability in all 204 stores, making it easier for customers to access their mPerks accounts and the Meijer mobile app.

“Our customers are relying on digital tools more than ever as they shop, which is why we’re constantly providing them with resources to enhance their shopping experience,” says Michael Ross, vice president of customer marketing and emerging technology.

The retailer’s open Wi-Fi network gives its deal-seeking mPerks subscribers the opportunity to easily review and clip digital coupons while in the store. Growth in the retailer’s mPerks digital coupon program has been steep, surpassing 2 million subscribers last month – just one year after hitting the 1 million subscriber milestone. In December alone, the program generated more than 129,000 new members, nearly 31 million clipped offers, and $12.6 million in savings issued to customers. The program has a redemption rate up to four times higher than the national average.

Corporate structure is another key component of keeping pace with changing consumer habits. As part of a new structure for 2014, Supervalu’s independent business will consolidate from three regions to two regions, forming new East and West teams. The new East and West independent business regions will be located in Mechanicsville, VA and Hopkins, MN.
With this new independent business organization, Supervalu will streamline the organization and reduce operating costs while continuing to drive sales growth with its current and prospective customers. The changes also take into consideration the company’s ongoing commitment to delivering excellent value, service and customer programs and offerings that meet the rapidly changing needs of its independent grocery store customers nationwide.

Other chains are embracing the expansion trail to capture higher sales in new markets. Hy-Vee, Inc., with 235 stores in eight states, this spring announced plans for a major expansion of its Minnesota operations into the Twin Cities market. Hy-Vee has been a fixture in Minnesota communities since 1969 and currently has 17 employee-owned stores statewide with approximately 5,100 employees.

“Our commitment to excellent customer service, health and wellness, and culinary expertise is unlike anything in the market to date,” says Randy Edeker, chairman, CEO and president of Hy-Vee, Inc.

The proposed expansion would add several new stores to the Twin Cities market per year, over the next several years. Each store opened will be approximately 90,000-square foot, with an investment of approximately $14-16 million, creating anywhere from 400-550 new jobs.