our products’ attributes with customers.”
There is so much more to talk about. The retailer’s
meat, deli and bakery sections are chock-full of quality
merchandise, presented in extremely bright and inviting
cases that make the consumer focus more on the quality
of the merchandise than its pricing. The candy section,
for example, is another area that is presented in a unique
fashion that is designed to grab the consumer’s attention.
Bone Marché, an upscale pet department, featuring a
wide selection of pet products, is located in five stores.
The department size ranges from 900 to 2,800 square feet.
A “bone bar” carries such products as Angus beef to rawhide bones to water buffalo and flavor-filled bones.
The retailer also operates 10 wine and spirits shops,
nine of which are attached to stores and one, in downtown Minneapolis, located just feet away from a store. The
shops range from 2,000 to 6,000 square feet and offer a
broad selection of beers—including a wide array of locally
brewed craft beers—wines and liquor.
“Yes, our service and perishable departments are very
important to us, but the center store is also an important
part of our operation, and we want to make that clear to
our shoppers,” Lund says. “As a whole, we are trying to
make a statement with our center store categories.”
Adds Jim Geisler, the chain’s COO and an employee
since 1995: “We are quite proud of our produce and per-
ishables side of the business. And we think that our pri-
vate label program is well above what everyone else offers
in our market. But we are just as proud of how we are rein-
vigorating the grocery department in our stores. We are
trying to punch up the center store and create some excite-
ment there through strong merchandising and our popu-
lar Deals of the Season, to name a couple of examples.”
Vendor partners also play a big role in making Lunds
& Byerlys stand out. The company has partnered with a
number of outside companies, offering services to consumers that are
designed to make shopping a bit more convenient. They include US
Bank, Caribou Coffee, Bachman’s, a locally-owned and operated floral
provider, Hissho Sushi, Big Bowl Chinese Express and Tucci Italian,
which offers a range of pastas and Italian entrées.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Not bad for a company that has quite humble beginnings. Lund’s grandfather, Russell T. Lund, began his grocery career at Hove’s in Minneapolis
in 1922. Years later, he became a partner in Hove’s perishables department. Hove’s was renamed Lunds in 1964, and over the next 30 years
opened several stores throughout the Twin Cities region.
In 1997, Lunds, with eight units, acquired Byerly’s, a larger 11-store
“We are all excited about what the future holds,” he adds. “We are
local retailer that was founded in 1968 and immediately integrated the
two formats under one company umbrella: Lund Food Holdings. Over
the next 18 years, the company opened new stores and acquired several
others. Then on April 30, 2015, the two formats were merged to become
one brand, Lunds & Byerlys, a move that Lund says is designed to create
a more powerful company in consumers’ eyes.
“Our unified Lunds & Byerlys brand is another powerful way in
which we demonstrate that every one of our stores represents the best
of what each brand has always offered,” Lund says.
Future growth, Lund says, will be slow and steady. He foresees as
many as five or six new stores over the next five years, though they will
focus on the existing market area and place stores in areas not already
covered by a Lunds & Byerlys.
firing on all cylinders. I think my grandfather would be very proud
and surprised about what we have accomplished here. That makes me