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Action Plan for Reeds Growth

Background: Meredith Collins, VP of Marketing, Reed, needs a plan for 2011 to execute to
grow its current market share from 14% to 16%. Margins for error are negligible as
competition has intensified in every segment and current economic conditions arent looking

Recommendations for Growth:

Stop the dollar special for each week: 1st step is to stop the dollar special promotion
immediately. This is not consistent with the brand equity and positioning built over the years.
Its resulting in net operating loss of 76% on each discounted item and overall decreased the
net operating profit for 2010 to 0.4% only. Moreover, this promotional activity is polluting the
message for regular consumers, considering that some of the dollar stores are located
Increase Sales Target: To increase the current market share to 16%, sales target is set to
775Mn for 2011. Its an increase of 95Mn. from 2010, on the assumption that total market
size (4.74Bn) remains same.
Focus and Maintain current Target Segment and Increase the Wallet Share: Continue
focusing on the current target segment of affluent and older customers with smaller
household size. Their wallet share is 8.93% only as compared to average supermarket
customers wallet share of 10.0%. Wallet share of Reed customers will be increased by at
least 1% which will result in additional revenue of 79Mn/year.
Maintain current Brand Positioning: Maintain current brand positioning by serving to high
end of customers with good and specialised quality of products (like sea food and organic).
Continue leveraging on better customer experience by providing attentive staff, shorter
check out times, and opening stores for long hours, with clean and better lit lay outs. This will
enable Reed to defend the competition from Delfina, Whole Foods Market and Galaxy and
Top Val.
Improve Product Mix: Improve the product mix by introducing more private labels. Increase
the private labels to 25% of total products on offer while maintaining the same Gross Margin
and SG&A. Offer 2 types of product in each category, one with different brands (total 75% of
that category) as a premium product and second with private label with lower prices as
compared to branded ones. This increase in private labels will send a signal to stores like
Aldi to not to enter their territory of high end market with private labels.
Roll out the bundled products containing food and beverages. Increase the organic and
prepared food (high margin) in a product category where feasible and continue the organic
pets food for its customer (comprises 20% of existing customer).
Increase Customer Base: Reed will grab at least 1% of market share of Galaxy stores
resulting in additional sales of $47.15Mn (details in justification).
Price: There will be no change in pricing policy for all the products (dollar sp. is scrapped).
Promotion: Leverage the integrated marketing channel of online, print and ad to promote
new addition of more private labels, organic food and prepared food. Promote the message
that healthy food adds to betters quality of life and for this no compromises should be made
esp. in later part of the life (for older affluent population). This will help in tackling the
perception of consumers that prices are high. Promote the excellence in customer service,

clean stores and convenient locations. These promotions will drive the increase in customer
loyalty, awareness, choice and will increase the trips to store.
Maintain Current Locations As far as distribution is concerned dont add new stores or
acquire any new store this year. Lot of dollar stores have come up at convenient locations to
consumers but it has made only a marginal impact (increase of 0.05%) on their habit of
regularly shopping at supermarkets, so dont react to it. Additionally there are no plans for
any capital expenditure for next 2 years as market conditions are quite tough.

Industry Players & Competition

Players in this industry make money by applying high volume and low margin strategy. The
onus here is to leverage the economies of scale driven by operational efficiency to reduce
the cost. They buy large number of products across various categories in bulk from different
suppliers and sell them at lower prices as compared to a smaller store which have limited
shell space, product range and category. Net Operating Margins are quite thin, 1.5% - 2.5%,
room for error or slag is nearly negligible in operations. There are 5 types of player in the
industry competing in 3 segments, from high end to low end of market. They are
differentiating with each other on the following parameters:
Pricing as a strategy is used by retailers to differentiate. Some are positioning their price
low (Dollar stores) and some at premium like Reed, some use discounted pricing or
everyday low prices (TopVal).
Product specialisation and variety is another way of differentiation being employed. Some
retailers are offering specialised products, like Reed specialises in organic and fresh sea
foods and some differentiate on packaging. Some retailers are selling various products in a
category by different manufactures and some retailers like Aldi sell only 1 product exclusively
(private label) in a category.
Quality is another way of differentiating the product, higher the quality, higher the price.
Reed and Whole Foods are leading the pack when it comes to quality.
Customer Experience driven by customer service and presentation plays a bigger role in
attracting customers. For customer service, stores like Reed open for long hours, have more
staff on check outs to reduce the servicing time, have runners for shuttling the baggage.
Some stores (like Dollar stores) have less/minimal staff (reduced cost) for help and check
out. For presentation stores are leveraging cleanliness, bright and better lighting (Aldi, Reed)
and a better layout of shelves and stores.
Distribution is a another lever being employed, players are using strategic location of
stores, some stores like Reed are located 2-3 miles from home and some are further 5-10
miles away like Wal-Mart. Size of stores also plays a bigger role in this, as bigger stores
leverage more shelf space, hence more products, more variety and quantity; some have
limited space hence less products & variety for distribution. Retailers like Reed are using
integrated marketing and numerous channels like, print, online, broadcast and some use 1
or 2 channels. In terms of market positioning perceptual map of price vs. quality (shown
above) clearly lays out the market position of Reed in comparison to other industry players.

Justification for Recommendations

Focus on current Customer Segment and Increase Wallet Share: Reeds current
customer segment is composed of affluent and older customers with, smaller household
size. Their annual income is 12% higher ($58,200) then states median household income of
$52,000. On Average Annual spend by customers in US is $5,200. Hence on average wallet

share of Reeds customer is 8.93% (refer Appendix) as compared to 10% wallet share of an
average customer. Additionally, on average customer in US spends $47.62/trip to a
supermarket and currently Reeds Average Sales Value is $31.42/transaction. This must be
leveraged to increase the average sales value and wallet share. Having said that, it seems
that current downturn has impacted the spending habits of Reeds customer segment.
Competition and Brand Positioning: Reeds main competitor is Delfina, Whole Foods
Market, Galaxy and TopVal. These players together comprise 45.10% of total market and
Reed is leading overall. Since they are in same segment of market (except Top Val), its vital
Reed maintain its current brand equity and position (defending the territory) which has been
built over the years. Whole Foods which is competing with Reed on same positioning in
same segment, but it has only 3 stores and has 1.2 % of market share. Reed need not worry
about them at this stage. As far as threat from Galaxy (supervalu) is concerned, they dont
have good locations and only some stores are marginally profitable. They are in trouble and
its a matter of time when they are up for sale. Reed doesnt need to react to them, in fact
there is a potential for Reed to get some customers from Galaxy.

On competition from TopVal it is positioned as low price player in the middle market
segment. Its very aggressive and is reacting hard to maintain its presence in competition
with Wal-Mart & Costco, this is not sustainable, and therefore there is no need to react to
their everyday low pricing discount roll out. To further defend against competitors, continue
leveraging on better customer experience by providing attentive staff, shorter check out
times, and opening stores for long hours with clean and better lit layouts. Its neither
attractive and nor possible for Reed to move to middle end of market where bigger players
like Costco and Wal-Mart hold the place with total share of 13.46%. Any signalling (using
Game Theory)/movement in that segment can drive the price wars leading to a disaster for
Reed as they have bigger pockets and global capacity to sustain the price war.
On the lower end of market dollar stores doesnt impose any serious threat as they have
combined market share of 1.2% and can reach up to maximum of 3%. They have a different
customer segment and market positioning. Similarly Aldi/Trader Joe has 1.62% of market
share today and can reach up to maximum of 5%. Store like Aldi rely heavily on lean

operating model and efficiency. It leverages private labels (95%) and limited products
(14,000 only) compared to 50,000 in a supermarket) by Reed. Aldi targets niche customers
with low and medium end of price market. In short term it doesnt pose any threat to Reed, in
longer term they can pose some threat as they have the expertise to compete and can grow
aggressively by introducing private labels for high end of market.
Improve Product Mix: Currently 17% of sale is attributed by private labels in food and
beverage and has grown since 2005. Private labels arent perceived a low quality product
anymore because of aggressive campaigning over the years in industry. These are being
used successfully at lower and middle end of price market by Aldi/Joe Traders. It will be wise
for Reed to increase its product mix by increasing their intake of private labels in high end of
products (high price and quality). This will add more choice for consumers along with
branded ones. Negotiate with the bigger suppliers and tell them that they need to
increase/add private label offerings as consumer doesnt perceive them low value anymore.
If they dont come to the party then look for new suppliers in private label category.
Bundling of food and beverages must be done as they complement each other and goes
well with target customer base. This will help in driving the sales and margin. Organic and
prepared food is high margin as a product category and goes well with the health conscious
and affluent people (less time for cooking). So these products need more attractive shelf
space and intake by Reed and it will help in driving the increase wallet share. Organic pet
food is a good way of retaining (loyalty) affluent segment and increasing the trips to store as
they take their pets when they go out for shopping.
Increase Customer Base: Reed need to target to grab at least 1% of market share
($47.15MN) of Galaxy. These stores are poorly located & are in trouble as they cant sustain
these promotions. Addition of more private labels, more prepared food, good customer
service & convenient locations will help in driving the customers to Reed.
Scrap Dollar Special Promotions: Since June 2010, 250 items have been offered on a
dollar special on weekly basis where prices have been reduced by 44% (refer Appendix).
This sale constitutes 4% (12.69 Mn.) of total sales in a week, which is 0.51 Mn/week of
sales. This has increased the traffic in some stores by 3% but each sale is registering a net
operating loss of 76% on these discounted items and decreasing the overall net profit of
Reed for 2010 to 0.4% only (refer Appendix). This is not sustainable from economic point of
view, if this is run for 12 months Reed will make a loss. Secondly from brand equity point of
view it is destroying the equity built over the years. It is sending mixed signals to target
customer segment as dollar stores are nearby. The 3% increase in traffic at some stores is
driven by bargain hunters, which is opposite to Reeds Positioning.
Price: There is no need for change in pricing policy for all products as COGS and Expenses
are built in using economies of scale. Its already a very low margin business (NPM of 1.5%
to 2.5%); further reduction of price (only and having same GM and S&A) will impact the
economic model and the bottom line of Reed. This is also evident from the Dollar Special
Recommendations on Distribution & Promotion dont need further explanation as they are
justified while making the recommendation.
Conclusion: These points above provide the justification for recommendations. Reed must
stay the course on what it has done successfully over the years. This current cycle of
downturn and increasing competition must be used to focus on target segment & defend the
territory and grow on what Reed does well. Reaction like weekly Dollar Special without a
thorough analysis and plan can be detrimental to business. Soon there will be more
opportunities as some players will burn themselves by employing unsustainable practices.

On average each customer make 2.1 trips/week to a supermarket

Annual spend by each customer is $5,200
Therefore each customer spends $47.62 on each trip. [47.62 = 5,200/ (2.1*52)]
Reeds Average Sales Value is $31.42/transaction.
Other supermarket Average Sales Value is $27.7/transaction (12%lower)

Impact of Dollar Special on Reeds Net Operating Profit

Dollar special sales are 4% of total weekly sales.
COGS for Dollar Special Sales is same as Normal sales as price was reduced from $2.7
to $1.5
Dollar Special ran for 7 months (28 weeks) starting in June 2010

Impact of 7 months of Dollar Sale on overall Bottom Line