Progressive Grocer Independent

JUN 2016

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Bakery Departments 32 | Progressive Grocer Independent | June 2016 have a category where your product depends on a person. You can provide all the wonderful ingredients and everything else, but it really does boil down to having knowledgeable and trained people doing it." Recruiting efective employees was rated as the top challenge in the sur- vey, with a rating of 4.67 on a scale of 1 equaling "not serious" and 6 meaning "extremely serious." Attracting more shoppers to the department came in second, with a ranking of 4.59. For Fox, all of the other chal- lenges fall away if the focus remains on selling quality, both in product and in service. "Sales make up for a multitude of sins," he says. "We're salespeople, and that's what we really focus on. I'm big on getting people on the sales foor, customer service and building displays. I like to say, 'Let's play ofense in business, and not defense.'" Part of his strategy at Dorothy Lane Market is not to be afraid to remove products from displays or shelves to keep fresh items on sale, and he maintains a fully stafed bakery department at all times. Te service counter always features at least four associates, all of them tasked with just taking care of customers. Tey aren't decorating cakes or being pulled away from baking; they're at the counter asking to help the next customer. "For us, that's how we've built bakery sales through the years," Fox adds. "By playing ofense and going at it." Team Effort Bakery is a key category for the inde- pendent retailer. It's the one depart- ment that allows for full creativity, Fox notes, whether product is made from scratch or sourced from other manufacturers. Ev- eryone else has meat, seafood and produce, and while there are many levels of quality, bakery really allows retailers to set them- selves apart. "In what other department in the company can you be more creative and make more of a dif- ference from your competition than in bakery?" Fox asks. While bakery can make all the diference, its's truly a team efort, emphasizes Mitchell, with all depart- ments working together. "I try to encourage and really make it a point that we're all in this together," she says. "[Customers] don't just come in to buy potatoes; they need a roll with that. It takes all of us, and all of those ingredients and products and people, to really be successful." In the bakery department, that suc- cess can be driven by focusing on the integrity of the product, regardless of its provenance. "Everybody's looking for the magic bullet," Fox notes, "but at the end of the day, we have to make sure it tastes good. We have to make sure it's fresh. I think it's where we can build our image." PGI "Our integrity and our passion for real food keeps us ahead of the pack. Things are geared towards health-conscious, more clean-label eating, and I think it's always positive when bakery can be a part of that." —Samantha Mitchell, Harmons Gross % Sales Average Size Margin From Self-service of Bakery Dept. Bakery (Square Feet) 42.1% 45.5% How do Indies Stack Up to the Whole Market? Bakery department features 72.4% 70.7% 1,620 1,420 Independents Total Market Labor as Shrink as Bakery SKUs % of Sales % of Sales 29.2% 30.5% 6.7% 7.3% 235 266 Source: Progressive Grocer Market Research, 2016

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