Customer is King: Evolution of the Retail Food Industry

2263 Words Apr 6th, 2012 10 Pages
Customer is King
Introduction:

It is common understanding that you cannot have a business if you do not have customers to buy the product you produce or services you deliver; therefore customer is an integral part of every business. There was a time when customers was treated less critical and vocal by the businesses and markets was treated just as dumping grounds for the products, however this situation does not prevail anymore because of the tremendous transformation happening in the retail food industry since last five decades. Today customers have more choices than ever before, through more diverse channels. Even the expectations of customer are higher than ever before. Companies who fail to leave up to the expectation are finding
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Therefore Price become the way for many stores to differentiate them, which gave rise to the new mantra of super markets called “more products and lower prices”. Competition among the manufacturers also heated up which led retailers to get better incentives for the self-space. Therefore retailers was busy concerned on making deal money which was more profitable then customer service, Customer was almost invisible and the relationship between the retailer and the customer no longer existed(Terbeek, 1999).

During the decline phase the might of the supermarkets reduced drastically by the entry of fast food chains and low cost department stores (Wal-Mart, Target etc.) - which started competing for the stomach share of the consumer. Therefore retailers try to differentiate themselves by introducing new merchandising strategies such as home meal replacement and solution selling, also another strategy for growth was geographic expansion through consolidation and globalisation. Retailers were more concerned on making profits and increasing market share, however even in this phase they neglected the fact that customer is one of the important asset and failed to be customer oriented. Therefore retailers still moved even further away from the customer.

Following the decline
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