retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Idaho Statesman has a profile of Albertsons CEO Bob Miller in which he says that his company is "aggressively" rolling out home delivery services at its stores around the country at least in part as a response to the proposed $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon.

Saying that he believes Amazon will make Whole Foods more effective, describing the supermarket chain as "inking like a rock" and needing a lot of help, Miller says that he believes that in the long run his bricks-and-mortar stores offer a competitive advantage.

"At the end of this fiscal year, we'll be in eight of the 10 biggest markets in the U.S. We're going to spend lots of money on home delivery. A place like Chicago, we're number-one share in the supermarket sector. ... We're going to work hard on home delivery, even though Amazon is, too, and lots of other people. We think we can compete in that space, because somebody can order the complete variety from our store. And we have countertop service."

Miller also says in the interview that Lidl's US launch offers additional competition: "There's no end to new competitors. There's no end to people closing and going away, too. ... I think it's the normal course in our business."
KC's View:
It always has seemed to me that retailers like Albertsons have to act like they are the most vulnerable to the double-edged sword of competition from the likes of Amazon on one side and retailers like Aldi and Lidl on the other. It may not be true, but they have to act that way.

This creates a lot of pressures ... and the one thing they really have to do is act fast. Not every tactic is going to work out, but the broad strategy has to be finding a way to be extremely targeted about every customer, and extremely competitive for every dollar.