retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that “the recession-driven shift to eating at home more often is giving new life to grocery stores' most basic offerings, and upending a multiyear strategy of using coffee bars, fancy bakeries and exotic products to attract shoppers … Kroger, Stop & Shop, Publix and other big food chains tried for years to make themselves into a one-stop destination by revamping their store perimeters to include floral shops, prepared meals and other offerings. But the recession has refocused them on the staples sold in center aisles.

“These chains are aggressively pushing private-label versions of canned vegetables, breakfast cereals and whole-wheat bread, draping center shelves with coupons and price comparisons, and bundling ingredients for homemade meals.”
KC's View:
What we may start to see – or at least should see - is retailers bringing the same kind of innovative thinking to center store that they have used in perimeter fresh food departments. Because you can't just stock it and sell…the center store has to speak about your store brand in the same way that fresh food departments do.