Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

(Urban) retail #5: vision, etc.

So this week's Supermarket News has a piece on Whole Foods Market's new strategy of opening stores in smaller markets.  It's interesting in that a couple paragraphs in the story confirm the point I made the other day, that as the company acquired smaller regional chains, they also used those acquisitions as opportunities to amalgamate new strategies and practices and tactics--they didn't just convert the stores to some standard Whole Foods model.

From the article:

... the company has been surprised 'by how well we fit into some of the smaller markets we've entered.

That stems from the Wild Oats acquisition, where we acquired stores in smaller markets that we had not previously focused on.  That gave us the confidence to look at these smaller markets, and we've been very pleased with the reception we've gotten.'

That success has prompted Whole Foods to sign leases for stores in places like Lincoln, Neb. and WIchita, Kansas, Sud said--'markets that we wouldn't have been focused on five or six years ago but that will lead us to our goal of 1,000 stores in the U.S.'"

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has a story on the failure of Supervalu, a large supermarket chain operator and food wholesaler, and Best Buy, the electronics retailer, because both companies are based in Minnesota.

The basic point is that to be competitive, incremental change isn't enough, you have to be prepared to make fundamental, structural changes.

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