Spartan Stores Shares Successful Business Strategies

November 18, 2009 Grand Rapids, Michigan. Competition is intensifying. The economy continues to challenge. Consumers are more closely watch their spending. Each is impacting the grocery industry and influencing supermarkets and their grocery distributors to adjust their business strategies. With that objective in mind, two recent Spartan Stores events brought new ideas, new products and new strategies together to present to customers and Spartan-owned supermarkets creative and innovative initiatives to enhance the consumers shopping experience and drive sales and profitability. Spartan believes that focusing on the consumer by offering products they want to buy and providing the services they desire is the key to successful growth in any competitive market and challenging environment.

Spartan Stores Fall Model Store 2009 – Competing in a Multi-Channel World
While the industry is facing one of the most competitive landscapes of our time, Spartan Stores brought Fall Model Store 2009 to its corporate-owned retail associates to address these challenges with innovative ideas, products, merchandising and marketing strategies. The theme of this years event, Competing in a Multi-Channel World, focused on industry trends and the strategies that Spartan is currently utilizing to compete with the warehouse clubs, the drug chains, the alternative format stores and other multi-store supermarkets.

According to Alan Hartline, Spartan Stores Executive Vice President, Merchandising & Marketing, Despite high unemployment, inflation and other challenging trends, opportunities have never been greater for Spartan Stores and our retail partners. The importance of aligning strategies with trends will allow us to not just compete, but to win in a multi-channel world!

The Model Store event included a motivating presentation by several members of Spartan Stores leadership team who explained strategies that Spartan Stores has put into action. Some of those strategies are: Differentiation, Value and Private Brands.

Also included in the Model Store event was a tour of the new Family Fare in Kentwood, Michigan on Kalamazoo Avenue. The store reopened in September after being closed throughout the summer for a $6 million total renovation. This prototype store featured attractive products displays, demo sampling, bold new signage and plenty of innovative and insightful merchandising and promotional ideas that Spartan retailers could take home and utilize in their own stores. Model Store demonstrates how value-added merchandising strategies and consumer-driven solutions can drive sales.

A Fresh Experience 2009 – Facing the Future Together

With record-breaking retail attendance, a record number of vendors participating and record sales, A Fresh Experience 2009 was an outstanding perishables show featuring all departments Meat, Seafood, Floral, Produce, Bakery and Deli. The venue of the Fall show was DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. Bakery and deli departments were set up with fixtures used in a store setting and all vendors shared the same space. Beautiful produce displays shouted freshness and quality, as did attractive meat and seafood displays. Several Breakaway Sessions were offered which allowed retail customers to gather insight, ideas and information for their own departments.

“The Fresh Perimeter is a point of differentiation for stores, says Scott Ruth, Spartan Stores Vice President Fresh Merchandising, and that is where we need to lead. Its all about fresh food. There are so many things we can do under the Fresh umbrella to make an impactfrom grinding fresh beef throughout the day to having attractive displays of a variety of fresh breads and rolls when the consumer shops. Its imperative that we offer fresh, quality products to capture sales and stay competitive. Fresh is where we are going to WIN.

In addition to dynamic booths and displays, highlights of A Fresh Experience 2009 included Hot Deals, an exciting cake decorating contest and a dynamic presentation by Joe Theismann (Former NFL MVP quarterback and Super Bowl champion) which outlined the game plan that brought him success both on and off the football field.

Spartan Stores was pleased that all fresh merchandise displayed at the Fresh Show (over 40,000 pounds of products) was donated to Grand Rapids Feeding America for local and surrounding food banks.

According to Spartan Stores supplier John Field, I speak for the six of us who attended The Fresh Experience from Cargill when I say that if was the most engaging food show that we have ever attended. As the supplier of Tender Ridge and Angus Beef for Spartan Stores, we had the opportunity to talk with so many of Spartans customers. Any time our company has the opportunity to get in front of customers to share our enthusiasm and support of our products, the better it is. We couldnt have been more impressed with the way the show was coordinated, the set up, the venue, all of it!

Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Spartan Stores, Inc., (Nasdaq: SPTN) is the nation’s tenth largest grocery distributor with warehouse facilities in Grand Rapids and Plymouth, Michigan. The Company distributes more than 40,000 private-label and national brand products to approximately 350 independent grocery stores in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Spartan Stores also owns and operates 99 retail supermarkets in Michigan, including Family Fare Supermarkets, Glen’s Markets, D&W Fresh Markets, Felpausch Food Centers and VG’s Food and Pharmacy.

Source: Spartan Stores Inc.