Harris Teeter

Harris Teeter - Harris Teeter John T Lilly Retail...

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Harris Teeter John T. Lilly October 27, 2008 Retail Distribution Professor Gielens Harris Teeter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ruddick Corporation, has been able to be very successful in its market of Grocery Stores. The chain in the long run has been able to outperform their industry’s average, and while now their earnings have been hurt more by the recent economic downturn, they are still performing at a level higher than the industry. Harris Teeter has been able to do this by positioning themselves in the middle of the market so as not to limit themselves to one small group. In addition, they have been successful due to not attempting to be the lowest cost provider but instead a cost competitive provider with excellent services. Harris Teeter: General Information Store Format Harris Teeter operates large supermarket stores. The store is set up to allow customers to serve themselves. According to Wikipedia, this concept dates back to the origins of the Harris Stores being the first self-service grocery store in North Carolina. When a customer enters a store, they can retrieve either a shopping cart or a basket and proceed throughout the store. The store is divided into different sections, such as deli, bakery and frozen foods, to allow for the customer to easily find their goods. The internal layout differs from store to store with in the chain but usually identify each section by overhead signs. The largest store operated by Harris Teeter has floor space of 72,000 square feet 1 . The different layout of the stores can be attributed to the company’s tradition of mergers and acquisitions 2 . With the mergers and acquisitions, some locations had supermarkets already designed and had to be adapted to be similar to the Harris Teeter model. Recently, Harris Teeter has taken another step in making their store format even more self- service by adding in checkout lines where the customer can scan, bag, and pay for their groceries 1
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without the help of a Harris Teeter associate. Harris Teeter while allowing the customer to self- service also offers services to customers who request it, as will be seen in the services section, under Marketing Strategy Analysis. Target Customer The target customer of Harris Teeter is upper middle class. While operating some stores in low- income areas, Wikipedia states that Harris Teeter is focusing new growth in more lucrative upscale markets and closing down older low-income stores 1 . This seems to match the company’s statement of not being the lowest priced but instead maintaining competitive prices while being “known for exceptionally clean stores, superior customer service, the highest quality perishables and prepared foods, and an extensive selection of products 3 .” The company is able to attract this customer through a combination of strategy, promotion, pricing, and availability. Competitive Strategy and Positioning
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Harris Teeter - Harris Teeter John T Lilly Retail...

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