It’s Boom Time for Grocery Outlet in Southern California

Posted Apr 5th, 2017

Rapid expansion in region is welcome news for experienced managers in grocery retail industry.

Despite a competitive grocery retail industry landscape in Southern California, Grocery Outlet’s unique business model has proven to be a winner in the region — in the short span of just over 18 months, Grocery Outlet recently celebrated the launch of its 20th store in the area.

Grocery Outlet’s continual growth, concentrated advertising and marketing campaigns are good news for experienced grocery store managers looking for a role reboot and a way of leveraging their expertise into running their own business. They can get in on an opportunity that is already carving a competitive and thriving niche in the greater Los Angeles and southern California region.

Diverse demographics play to experienced operators’ strengths

This is exactly what Sergio and Irene Soto, independent operators of Grocery Outlet’s Sun Valley, CA, store did. Sergio, an Army veteran, worked as Store Director at Safeway for five years before joining Grocery Outlet. Tired of being straitjacketed into merchandising and buying decisions handed down from corporate, Sergio knew he was ready for a change.

“I have so much more independence when it comes to decision-making for the business and so much autonomy to make decisions that I see are in my store’s best interests,” Sergio says, adding that since Grocery Outlet does not have a cap on earnings potential, the sky is really the limit.

With its diverse demographics, southern California is a dream come true for grocery store managers who can lean on their experience in tailoring ordering decisions for their customer base. For example, after experimenting, the Sotos have found that Grocery Outlet’s Natural, Organic, Specialty Healthy (NOSH) products are a big hit.

Rick Leyva, independent operator of Grocery Outlet’s National City, CA, location, in the greater San Diego region, says that catering to the high numbers of Hispanics in the southern California region pays rich dividends for Grocery Outlet independent operators. A member of the community himself, he uses his insider know-how to attract Hispanic customers who usually have bigger basket totals once they’re faithful to your store, he says.

Two pictures: to the left are Sergio and Irene Soto; to the right is Rick Lyva

Southern California’s micro-regions, which have a wide variety of demographics, are well-suited to grocery store managers from the area who know their region best, says Dan Charoenrath, LA Field Recruiter for Grocery Outlet. Management experience in the grocery industry is a plus, but any related retail management is a good asset to make the move to Grocery Outlet, he says.

Grocery Outlet stands out in competitive landscape

Admittedly, the grocery retail industry in southern California is very competitive with both big and small players. Grocery Outlet’s unique business model of offering a rotating catalog of brand-name discounted goods has really caught on with the buying public here, says Charoenrath.

Customers in southern California are very brand-conscious and appreciate Grocery Outlet’s discounted prices on name-brand products.
Customers in southern California are very brand-conscious and appreciate Grocery Outlet’s discounted prices on name-brand products.

Independent operators have found that customers are very brand-conscious in southern California and are delighted to find steeply discounted prices on the popular name brand products they want. Since the inventory is constantly changing, there is the thrill of the hunt and the mantra, “Shop Us First” has really stuck.

With Grocery Outlet’s rapid and continued expansion in southern California, now is the time for experienced retail managers to take a look at the business proposition. They can combine the autonomy that Grocery Outlet offers with their know-how and build a thriving business of their own.

Learn more about Grocery Outlet

If you’re interested in starting a grocery store and would like more in-depth details about the Grocery Outlet independent operator opportunity, download our free information report. You can also learn more by visiting our research pages.

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