retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Arizona Daily Star has a piece about how Bashas’ is fighting wars on two fronts – “coping with a surge of Wal-Mart Supercenters, which predictably have grabbed market share at the expense of incumbent grocers,” and “waging a bruising fight with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which wants to organize more Bashas' employees. The union drive has generated negative publicity about the company that may have weakened the desire of some consumers to shop with Bashas'.”

The good news is that despite some competitive disadvantages, the paper reports that “according to Nielsen Co., the Chandler company's share of the Phoenix-area Valley of the Sun market has only dropped from 16.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2002 to 15.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, the latest figure available. In comparison, the market shares of Fry's (owned by Kroger, another industry giant), Safeway and Albertsons have fallen by greater percentages while Wal-Mart has increased dramatically. The data indicate that Wal-Mart's growth has come primarily at the expense of the other three.”

KC's View:
Nothing wrong with being an underdog in a dog fight…as long as you bring different weapons and expectations to the battle.