Dr. G in the News

As an industry expert Dr. George's insights and opinions are frequently sought...

“Walmart May Win The Store Pickup Battle, But Not The War With Amazon” George Anderson, Forbes.com, April 19, 2017

April 26 2017 No Commented
  • “The program drives customers to the store with the opportunity for incremental/impulse higher-margin items. This takes advantage of Amazon’s current lack of brick-and-mortar alternatives. The key will be the ease of in-store pickup at Walmart.”
  • “Amazon’s lead is still daunting, especially with more brick-and-mortar concepts on the way from the e-tail titan.”
  • “Amazon will probably test something similar to Walmart’s pickup discounts in the stores it develops.  Also, I envision Amazon offering something comparable to other large specialty retailers.”
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“Costco, BJ’s, Sam’s Club: Why Millennials Love Clubbing” Jeff Wells, Food Dive, February 22, 2017 (Feature)

April 16 2017 No Commented
  • “As club stores and many other retailers are discovering, the term “millennial” covers a wide age range that can make uniform markers misleading. Those at the younger end of the spectrum, aged 18 to 25, are more likely to be urban dwellers living in apartments. They also are more likely to rely on mass transit and other means for transportation — “the Lyft and Uber generation.”
  • “Club stores typically don’t resonate with these younger millennials. Not only are the products too big and the typically suburban locations too difficult for them to access, he said, but these shoppers are also less likely to see the value in paying for 48 rolls of toilet paper at once.”
  • “Club stores are seeing significant gains with older millennials, those aged 30 to 36. These consumers typically have more disposable income, have bought or are looking to buy a home, and are more likely to have young children.”
  • “These are what I call the true millennials. These are the folks that are forming households. They’re more likely to have a garage, an attic, a pantry where they can store all the things they buy. This is the sweet spot for club stores.”
  • “Product sampling, particularly when new, flavor-forward foods and beverages are available to try, is a hit with younger shoppers. Costco is a leader here, and its lively and ever-changing merchandise mix is a differentiator. Costco really reinforces the experience beyond price savings. They really make it a treasure hunt.”
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“Dollar disruptors: How discount stores are shaking up the grocery world” Jeff Wells, Food Dive, February 6, 2017 (Feature)

March 4 2017 No Commented
  • “Twenty-five years ago, you saw dollar stores inside strip malls and supermarkets because they generated some decent traffic. In the last 10 years, their amount of consumables has increased to the point that they’re a major competitor.”
  • “If you talk to millennials, you learn that many of them haven’t stepped foot in a traditional supermarket for a very long time.”
  • “I don’t see their growth being as exponential as it’s been in the past, but I don’t think it’s going away.  I think you’re seeing evolution with the urban format, and I think you’re going to see more and more evolution in food and consumables.”
  • “One growth avenue for dollar companies is targeting convenience stores, which offer similar goods and the same sort of fill-in shopping trips.  They’ve got c-store products at dollar store prices, and they’re in the same places as c-stores.”
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“Food Desert Pains” Richard Turcsik, Grocery Headquarters, July 1, 2016 (Cover Story)

July 1 2016 No Commented
  • “Supermarkets have to readapt to the changing marketplace, and especially in a small town, implement strategies to keep consumers from traversing elsewhere to shop.”
  • “You have to be the town’s draw.”  “If you have a parking lot, offer it one day a week for the high school band to practice in and serve them cookies afterward. Let the local CYO or Little League use your parking lot for a car wash, and work with the local dietician so you are perceived as the local health and wellness place.”
  • “They also need step up their game when it comes to quality.”
  • “You’ve got to have the right assortment and be spot on when it comes to fresh.”  “If people are going to a Walmart Supercenter or the town is large enough to warrant a CVS or Walgreens, they are going to have food, but not too much in the way of fresh. You have to be identified as the butcher, the artisan baker. You have to offer the things that the other stores either do not or cannot go into. You have to be perceived as the community’s grocer—you are the lifeblood and you have to do whatever it takes.”
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“Dollar stores are changing the way they do business, thanks to rich millennials” Alfred Ng, New York Daily News, June 21, 2016

June 24 2016 No Commented
  • “My research has found that 38% of millennials are buying groceries in dollar stores.”
  • “This is a generation that is delaying parenthood, abandoning marriage and not buying cars — instead preferring to share versus owning most things, in addition to an automobile.”
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“Survey at Hornbacher’s and Hugo’s show slight differences in prices” John Hageman, Grand Forks Herald, June 18, 2016

June 24 2016 No Commented
  • “I do not recommend a new grocer coming to a market start a “price war.”
  • “You should only engage in a price war if you have a sustainable competitive advantage.” “I think the key for both players, is what is their unique differential advantage that they can compete on?”
  • “Offering the freshest fruits and vegetables, making the bakery or deli a destination or speeding up the checkout process can help attract customers as well.”
  • “I always say, ‘Give me another reason to shop at your store,'” “You have to be close enough to be able to compete, you don’t have to be the lowest.”
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“German Discounter Lidl Adds Double Threat to Walmart’s Model” Kim Sousa, City Wire, March 31, 2016

April 4 2016 No Commented
  • “Consumers in the U.S. have not yet experienced “frugal fatigue” as they became more price and value conscious during the 2008 recession.
  • “The combination of value retailers, which will be further lifted by the impending arrival of Lidl, and increased grocery price transparency should be a wake-up call for Walmart as well as for traditional supermarkets.
  • I would not limit my concerns that Walmart might have to Aldi and Lidl. While the combination of these two have done a terrific job of communicating their value proposition, the other value retailers, particularly the dollar stores are also real threats to Walmart. Dollar stores now carry over 60% consumable products at prices that are lower than Walmart.
  • The value proposition of Aldi, Lidl and dollar stores when combined with their small (manageable) store size is a double whammy for Walmart.”
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“Kroger’s Click-And-Collect Breaks Through” Forbes.com, February 16, 2016

March 10 2016 No Commented
  • “I believe the real impact of potential click-and-collect options is on the center of the store.”
  • “I envision a day when center store is significantly diminished. Many of the center store products will be purchased online from the brick-and-mortar retailer and delivered to the store for direct placement into a consumer’s vehicle.”
  • “This will then free up consumers to shop enhanced and exciting perishable departments, then proceed to a designated area and have their online purchases placed into their vehicles.”
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“How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Success” Richard Turcsik, Grocery Headquarters, January 1, 2016 (Cover Story)

January 21 2016 No Commented
  • “Everybody has caught up to Walmart on price and now they are having competition from fast-fashion retailers like H&M, dollar stores and limited assortment stores, like Aldi.  Even Walmart management refers to them as ‘ankle biters.’”
  • “Lidl is going to be like Aldi on steroids.  I’ve seen the Lidl markets in Europe and they are terrific. They will be a foe.”
  • “Even Target is now doing a great job with organics. All these other little pieces that used to be the ownership of Whole Foods, other people have taken on now, without the Whole Foods pricing.”
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“The Clock Strikes Midnight – Haggens Horrible Year” Richard Turcsik, Grocery Headquarters, December 1, 2015 (Cover Story)

December 4 2015 No Commented
  • “Haggen didn’t understand the marketplace in terms of customers.  They are kind of premium price oriented and the Albertsons stores they bought were not. They did not understand the competitive array. They didn’t understand the whole issue of cash flow. They just didn’t have enough resources to carry them through to make the transition.”
  • “They were going from 16 stores to 160 stores—that’s a 10-fold increase. They didn’t have the necessary cash flow. I think it just caught up to them obviously much sooner than later. And now you have their demise. Everybody is suing them. People are out of work. It is a sad situation.”
  • “Haggen’s only hope is that they are suing Albertsons for $1 billion.  But that will be a long, drawn out litigation and the only ones who will get rich off of it will be the lawyers.”
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