Progressive Grocer Independent

AUG 2016

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22 | Progressive Grocer Independent | August 2016 e counselors help a store ensure that it's offering the correct product mix, which can include private label. Recently, the brand introduced a private label wine — the red is called Squeal and the white is named Pigasus. Piggly Wiggly has been known to have very good private label products, but PWADC also has negotiated for secondary private label product lines like Western Family, Topco and Shurfine for the non-Piggly Wiggly stores that it services. PWADC also recently began to focus on its produce program. "Our produce before David came on board was adequately good, and that's being generous," McCann says. "Today, it's world-class." Bullard turned his attention to the category and made an effort to bring in a director who would focus on quality. He found that in Jay Bennett, PWADC's director of produce, who came from a chain retailer. During his first month on the job, Bennett rejected 30 trucks of produce because of its poor quality. "People recognized that we would take bad stuff," Bul- lard says. "If they know you'll take it, they'll send it to you." Upping Produce ose first few months were difficult, but the end result was that PWADC began shipping out high-quality pro- duce to its retailers, and consumers responded by buying more and reducing shrink in-store. "It's freshness, that's what it's all about," Bennett says. "We're seeing customers responding to the fact that they're seeing something differ- ent in our stores." Retailers may be seeing a big push for local producers in their stores, but Bennett, who has to purchase products for a seven-state area, is more focused on promoting the story behind the producers, no matter their location. "Instead of locally grown, it's a concept of family-grown," he explains. Family farms are still the ones growing the oranges or apples, regardless of whether they're in California or Washington state instead of the Southeast. To promote this family-grown program, Bennett is working on signage that will be consistent throughout the department and allows the template to be easily updated on PWADC's end to send out to the retailers to display as the source of the product changes. "For example, here's the Lewis Taylor Farm, here's the information on that. en the next truck, it may be some- body else's product, and here's their picture and here's their information," Bennett adds. "It won't be expensive, but we'll have consistency throughout the department. is is changing the concept to family, not local." is idea of family is rooted in the very tenets of PWADC. "We've maintained a family-type culture here," Bullard says. "at's one of the things that when you lose it, you don't get it back. We've been able to hold on to it, both inside of the building and with the rela- tionship with our stores." PGI Piggly Wiggly Alabama Distributing Co. FULL RANGE OF SKUS PWADC's distribution center in Bessemer, Ala., has more than 1 million square feet of space housing more than 22,000 SKUs in the grocery category alone. Over 80 Base Sizes Get Your Products Off the Floor! www.masonways.com

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