One-on-One with Meg Major
Welcome, Tres! Let’s begin by discussing
how the space devoted to selling food
in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area has
surged 30% in the past decade. Beyond
the amplified competition, what do you
believe is significant to note about the
Minnesota grocery scene these days?
Tres Lund: While brick-and-mortar has
certainly expanded in our market, what’s
grown even more is the number of digital
screens in our consumers’ hands. As
consumers become more and more digitally
connected, it is changing the way many of
them shop. You don’t have to look any further
than the rise in online meal kit subscription
services, wine clubs and online grocery
shopping providers to see how competition
extends beyond the traditional brick-and-mortar environment. Success in today’s
evolving landscape requires a commitment
to creating a consistent brand experience that
meets your customers’ needs in whatever
way they choose to shop with you. To
that end, we continue to make signi;cant
enhancements to our product o;erings and
online shopping experience.
Lunds & Byerlys is renowned for its
pioneering role in culinary options, which
now span meals for all dayparts. What do
you believe is most often misunderstood,
assumed or overstated about the
increasing clout of retail foodservice
As grocery retailers, we are all fortunate
to have the opportunity to meet our
customers’ needs multiple times each day
through breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner
o;erings. And make no mistake about
it: There’s a strong play for every retailer
with regard to prepared foods. What’s
critically important, however, is to have a
clear understanding of where your brand
;ts in the retail spectrum to ensure you’re
delivering a level of quality and variety that
aligns with your customers’ expectations.
Our culinary experts have done a masterful
job of creating a nice mix of high-quality,
The 21-year marriage of Lunds and
Byerlys is widely viewed as one of the
industry’s most productive and seamless
integrations of two retail brands. What
nuggets of wisdom would you o;er to
other regional retailers that might be
considering doing the same?
The marriage of our two brands began
with a tremendous level of respect for
Byerly’s and a strong belief that we would
be stronger together. After we purchased
Byerly’s in ;;;;, we invested a lot of
time in meeting with sta; to gain a deep
understanding of Byerly’s processes and
culture because we knew there would be
strengths from both brands that we would
want to leverage moving forward. One
example of our commitment to growing
together relates to how we handled seniority
for all union sta;. Because we valued
the contributions of every employee, we
integrated seniority across both brands. It
demonstrated immediate respect, which in
turn immediately strengthened our culture.
What excites you most about the planned
highlights of your company’s forthcoming
Apple Valley, Minn., store?
We’re deeply committed to expanding our
presence here in the Twin Cities and have
recently secured three new locations, in
Apple Valley, Minneapolis and St. Paul.
The ;-acre site we purchased in Apple
Valley—one of the fastest-growing areas of
the Twin Cities—secures our future in this
community and will give us the ability to
build a Lunds & Byerlys and leasable space
for additional retail tenants.
Lunds & Byerlys was an early adopter
of harnessing the power of local vendor
partners to enhance its o;erings and
quality proposition. Please discuss.
We love doing business with local, privately
held companies that complement our
o;erings and share our passion for providing
the highest levels of quality and service. It’s
a commitment that began long before I was
here and one we’ve been proud to build on in
the past ;; years. We’re also grateful for the
opportunity to help local makers bring their
products to market. Over the years we’ve had
the pleasure of being the ;rst retailer to carry
many local products, including Angie’s Kettle
Corn, which grew into a remarkable national
brand as Angie’s Boomchickapop.
Tres Lund is CEO of Lunds
& Byerlys, which operates
27 stores in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.
What leadership trait do you most
admire of a past mentor?
Having an appreciation of the higher
calling of your daily work.
What was your dream job
as a kid and why?
A merchant just like my grandfather
Russell T. Lund Sr., who founded our
company in 1939.
Do you have a favorite Prince song?
I’m a country boy, but “Purple Rain”
is a good one.