retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The CBC reports that Galen G. Weston, chairman/president of Loblaw Companies, says that "data from its latest quarter showed that customers are willing to pay more if they can get a wide assortment of high quality fresh food … Early indications across the board suggest that when we put the right proposition in front of the customer, price is not the biggest determinant of what they choose to buy."

Indeed, Weston says that this trend seems to cut across all formats, from no-frills stores to higher end units that have a greater focus on specialty foods.

The story notes that this is important to Loblaw because the company "is currently navigating its way through a competitive time in the grocery industry, with U.S. entrants like Target, Amazon and Walmart trying to lure away customers with lower prices and low-cost or free shipping."
KC's View:
Think of this in terms of the story above about how a strong value/values proposition allows a retailer and/or a manufacturer to avoid being dragged down in lowest common denominator pricing battles. Fresh is how you differentiate yourself … and how you make price just a little bit less important.