WHAT IS THE RALE Y’S WAY? Well, it is a combi- nation of offering the simple stuff—albeit in a more effective way—
as well as focusing on the new merchandising and marketing needed to engage
future shoppers, collectively known by all
of us in the know as Millennials.
The bottom line is
that Raley’s is a great
example of what supermarkets need to do to
be relevant in the 21st
combination of traditional items and natu-ral/organic products
designed to meet the
needs of many consumers in its marketing territory. Add to that a big
emphasis on its fresh section, wine/liquor
and the pharmacy, and it is clear that
Raley’s is not your typical supermarket.
That is why Grocery Headquarters has
selected Raley’s as our 2017 Independent
Retailer of the Year. The company will be
honored at a dinner in the Sacramento,
Calif. area in early March and is the subject
of our cover story in this issue.
There is a lot going on at a typical Raley’s
store. Depending on the location and
its base clientele, which can vary widely
in the Northern California and Western
Nevada area, the company has developed
four different merchandising approaches
to connect with as many shoppers as
possible. Looking for a fishing pole? In
some stores that makes sense, and they
are there. Searching for computer equipment? Some stores have a four-foot display of gadgets to help laptops and desk-tops operate more efficiently. How about
a decent selection of toys and games?
Well that exists in some units, too.
Then there is the company’s robust private label operation, a three-tier program
that accounts for about a quarter of sales
in the categories available.
The bottom line is that Raley’s officials
have embraced a one-stop shopping
approach that is designed to get as many
customers into the store as possible and
to give them the opportunity to purchase
a broad array of products under one roof.
So we honor Raley’s for being on the
forefront of merchandising today and into
the future. But, we also honor the chain
for making a dramatic comeback in its
marketing territory. Less than a decade
ago, the buzz on the street was that this
was a chain that was in a bit of trouble, lost
in a sea of heady competition and better
It took the return of Mike Teel, grandson
of the chain’s founder, and a reinvigorated
executive team of veterans, newcomers
and returnees, to get the chain back on
track. They realized what was necessary
to get consumers talking about Raley’s
again, in essence to make the chain relevant again. They also realized the importance of their employees and how they
are in the front lines of this battle.
Realization led to action, which, in turn,
led to what Raley’s is today—a supermarket retailer that stands apart from its
competition by giving its shoppers what
they want in a convenient setting and at
reasonable price points. Teel and his team
can be proud of what they are doing;
other retailers can use this as a blueprint
for their own success.
RELYING ON RALEY’S
Raley’s is a supermarket that stands apart from its competition.
By Seth Mendelson
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Seth Mendelson is publisher
and editorial director of Grocery