GROCERY: Competition, costs driving consolidation within segment

The Times Board of Economists - Report from Dave Wilkinson, president and CEO, Strack & Van Til
2013-01-27T00:00:00Z 2013-12-18T16:30:37Z GROCERY: Competition, costs driving consolidation within segmentBowdeya Tweh, (219) 933-3316
January 27, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Conditions within the grocery segment are encouraging the trend of smaller chains of stores selling out to become part of larger "super-independent" ones, said Dave Wilkinson.

The firm Wilkinson leads, Strack & Van Til, announced the acquisition late last year of seven WiseWay and PayLow stores in Northwest Indiana. Strack & Van Til has 36 stores under three brands.  

The amount of competition that has developed within the grocery segment along with technology has changed consumer shopping habits. Now shoppers can compare prices in an instant, he said.

"Customer shopping patterns have changed quite a bit," Wilkinson said. "People still have to eat, but how they buy and where they buy is significantly changing."

Wilkinson said traditional supermarkets are going to have to evolve to continue to attract customers whether it be through service, product selection or loyalty programs.

This year, customers will notice that the prices for meat products such as pork and chicken wings are higher, and Wilkinson said that is the result of an increase in prices for animal feed and demand overseas.

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