retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Associated Press reports this morning that food cooperatives all over the country are making changes in how they operate - eliminating slow-moving SKUs, and expanding and renovating their stores - because of existing or expected competition from Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.

"With demand for organic, natural and specialty food continuing to outpace other segments in the grocery industry, co-ops say they must improve their stores, identify trends and appeal to a changing audience as the competition moves in," the story says.
KC's View:
Co-op food stores have enjoyed a unique niche for some four decades, as they've parlayed customer ownership and a focus on local, natural and organic foods into a neighborhood orientation that has been a differential advantage.

That said, these stores need to take the competition seriously ... and I'm glad that they are not taking their market positions for granted. I've always said that if I had a co-op near me, I'd certainly shop there; maybe even sharper competition will create an environment that will allow one to open somewhere close by.