What Is a Grocery Outlet Location Like?
What customers see when they walk through our doors
Grocery Outlet’s store image has changed drastically since our first independently owned Canned Foods Inc. store opened during the 1970s in Redmond, Oregon. Our large red sign with the words “Grocery Outlet Bargain Market,” a format we introduced in 2009, lets customers know that we have everything from dry, frozen, fresh meat and deli grocery items to floral and produce, beer and wine, health and beauty aids and general merchandise.
Our stores average 15,000 square feet. We have about 5,000 products for sale, less than conventional grocery stores, because we focus on a narrow set of products and our goal is to sell these lots quickly. The average size Grocery Outlet stocks hundreds of thousands of dollars of inventory. Our independent operators individually determine the majority of their inventory selections, which they pick based on their knowledge of their customers’ preferences, as well as their knowledge of what moves off the shelves and out the doors fast.
Before you enter, you’ll often see displays of fresh produce or merchandise outside the store. When they enter, customers are immediately bombarded by the WOW deals set up along the Power Wall.
Those deals are marked with large, yellow shelf signs bearing our prices and comparing them to the elsewhere prices. We may be selling an item for 99 cents that is sold elsewhere for $2.99.
Discounted beer and wine continue to amaze Grocery Outlet Bargain Market customers. Our wines are such a bargain, and our selection is so unique, that some customers go so far as to blog about them.
In Grocery Outlet Bargain Markets, unlike at a conventional store, our merchandise changes from week to week. We are constantly re-arranging our shelves so that similar merchandise gets displayed together.
Then there are the post-seasonal products we allocate from our distribution centers. It may be February, and these items have pictures of Santa Claus on the package. Santa is still awesome in February, though, and so are the prices on these items.
Finding sweet deals
Customers never know what they’ll find at a Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, and that’s why many of them come in often to see what we have on sale that day. They may find an organic product with a much lower price than it has at a specialty grocery store. Or they may find something unusual, like chocolate wine. And it’s marked down drastically because it may not have sold in the traditional retail channels.
In our refrigerated and frozen foods sections, there may be some steals on yogurt because it is close to the sell-by date. As products get closer to the sell-by date – they’ll be made available at steeper discounts to ensure inventory sell-through.
Canned goods may have labels placed over the originals — because the originals were printed in Vietnamese. We create new labels in English.
In addition to all the bargains we have in the stores, customers will find core market items consistently on our shelves. These are the items we may not have acquired at a bargain price from suppliers, but they keep our shoppers from having to make a separate trip to a conventional grocery store.