by Adam Zack — September 12, 2018
“Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older” – David Bowie
Maybe the people most resistant to change in the country are conventional format American grocers. I’m talking the old school, this-is-how-we-do-it-because-it’s-always-how-we’ve-done it grocery lifers. The produce managers who grew up unloading 50 pound sacks of potatoes. The meat guy who apprenticed breaking down sides of beef. The baker who insists white bread is making a comeback. The grocer who says “If they don’t like it, they can take their business elsewhere.” Well guess what? Quality potatoes don’t come in 50 lb sacks. Carcass beef is virtually non-existent. Milinneals like whole grain breads. The American consumer has changed and is taking his business elsewhere. Of course there are hundreds of exceptional grocers whose leadership has led their stores down the path of change. No, they have actually blazed the trail of change, and many have followed. Or at least attempted to. We work with dozens of grocers who live the motto: Change is good.
My uncle, who was an incredible water skier, once told me “If you’re not falling, you’re not trying.” I’ve never forgot that ski wisdom. It is so practical to our business. We’ve got to try change if we want to get better. There is no guaranteed formula to successful change. Rather, it’s coordinating ideas that you, or more likely your staff have that change and evolve your business. They have to be organized, well planned, thoughtfully communicated and earnestly executed. The changes you make can be small (Um, you need a small trash can by the deli) to huge (Let’s add a station for made to order salads). The changes won’t always work. I live by the 70%-30% rule, and who wouldn’t be proud of batting .700?
It’s guaranteed that your competition is looking at you, thinking of things they can change to take some of your customers, and unless you keep changing to delight your shoppers, they will. As for that old produce manager who is “just too busy” to implement an exciting new cut fruit and vegetable program, well maybe it’s time for a change.
David Bowie – Changes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl3vxEudif8
Filed Under: Company Blog