retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Sacramento Bee reports that Raley’s, “facing increasing pressure in a brutally competitive marketplace for grocers, announced Tuesday that it will close two Northern California stores, including one in Elk Grove.”

The move will put about 150 employees out of work.

The story notes that Raley’s, a union shop, says that it is at a competitive disadvantage when facing off against non-union retailers, and that it is one of several chains seeking wage and benefits concessions from the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) in ongoing labor negotiations.
KC's View:
I get the whole union vs. nonunion issue, and I wish there were ways to get management and labor working together to guarantee the survival of companies like Raley’s.

But I guess here is the question that I would also pose to Raley’s - and every other retailer facing brutally tough competition:

Have you done everything possible to assure that you are offering shoppers a differentiated shopping experience? And I mean, really differentiated?