Smart & Final Slides Into New Strategies in Expansions and Trending Products
- by Laura Hillen
COMMERCE, CA - With retail chains drastically shaking up their product offerings and leadership decisions, Smart & Final has its own set of industry plans to stay on top of the market game. One of the more notable changes are expanded produce and organic offerings, and a leap in store coverage.
As reported by The Orange County Register, Smart & Final is extending its organic produce department to attract more customers. The company is also reportedly moving the section closer to the front, to entice customers as they enter.
CEO David Hirz said that the bigger organics section will now include 113 organic items, and has already brought more repeat customers to the brand.
Adding to boosted organics is a line of in-store cut fruit at 15 of the locations, made possible by a recent acquisition of stores by the company throughout California, which came with the equipment necessary to cut the fruit.
The 33 closed Haggens stores purchased by Smart & Final within the past year, are part of the company’s plan to add 120 stores to its lineup within the next four years. In Orange County, the chain has added seven stores in the past twelve months. All the former Haggens locations are expected to open within the year.
This expanded store reach comes at a more manageable rate which will be profitable to the chain. “Ten percent growth is just the right amount to attract great associates,” Hirz said in a statement to The Orange County Register. “Haggen expanded from 18 stores and added 246 stores. That’s very aggressive and hard to pull off.”
So far, the company has spent $70 million on renovating the roughly $70 million purchase of Haggen stores, and the stores contain a larger footprint than the standard Smart & Final store which has enabled the chain to increase its produce offerings. The company currently owns 246 stores, and employs 10,000 people.
Smart & Final reported its Q1 2016 earnings on Tuesday, May 3. The company reported a net sales increase of $908.5 million, up 10.5 percent from 2015’s Q1 reporting. Smart & Final did report a net loss of $2 million, which the company stated was due to development costs.
Keep up with AndNowUKnow as we continue to report on expansions and produce trends in the buyside industry.