Last updated: It’s high time grocery stores had an existential crisis

It’s high time grocery stores had an existential crisis


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This weekend, while sprinting through our local grocery store with my 6-year-old and 9-year-old whining and trying to surreptitiously drop Lucky Charms and Chocolate Krispies into our cart (Teehee! Unless, of course, you’re an exhausted working mom), I wished, just once, the CEO of whatever grocery store I’m in that’s convenient could actually follow me around for a week.

If that happened, maybe, just maybe, these fearless leaders would realize why in Gods name they are in business.

Its not just to distribute stuff efficiently, although that’s part of it. Supply chain is hard – and that part – they seem to do relatively well (although when you take food waste into consideratio nmaybe not?).

The part that they are definitely, absolutely failing at miserably is this: problem solving

I’m not sure if they’ve noticed or not, but their core customer has taken on a new role or two in the past half-century. Today,women make up the majority of professional workers in the US.

Yep. Weve got stuff going on as I mentioned inmy post last week. Fueling our families with healthy food theyll actually eat three times a day is merely one of many things on our plate (or is it three things on our plate, every day?). Regardless, the anticipatory challenge of figuring out what we need to have on hand so that we can do that is massive.

Why aren’t you helping us try to solve that problem?

It is really hard to figure out what (relatively healthy) meals your people will eat. And even more difficultto manage a household’sfood inventory to make the aforementioned possible.But on top of board meeting prep work, stupid office politics, work travel, hockey, music, homework, pants that don’t fit, working around holidays schools give but businesses don’t, making sure prescriptions are filled and dentist appointments are made, ensuring the car is inspected, and lunches are packed…in the spirit ofRodney Dangerfield, it’s like doing aTriple Lindy...every bloody day

Hint No. 1: you are not in business to earn slotting fees from manufacturers

Why do you care more about stocking your selves with crap that makes every mom a “No Ogre” (until she’s too darn exhausted to say no anymore)? The slotting fees you earn from food manufacturers may feel good right now, but beware, its exactly what makes Blue Apron seem so appealing – minus that pesky landfill issue.

Hint No. 2: you are not in business to sell purchase data to manufacturers who want to sell stuff we don’t want.

Why do you use loyalty data to give shoppers more choice (not less) via tone-deaf competitive coupons? Why aren’t you using loyalty data to help your overstretched core customers solve their inventory management and planning problem more effectively? The grocery retailer that figures out how to do this will have the undying loyalty of millions of working moms.

Hint No. 3: You are in business to meet the needs of your buyers with relevant products.

Please. Please. Please. Personally, I am so very tired of working around your collective blind spot. I’m guessing my fellow working moms are, too.#ProblemSolveAlready #YouHaveTheDataYouNeedToDoIt #WhatAreYouWaitingFor #MaybeYouNeedSomeFemaleCLevelExecs?

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