Not many 80-year-olds celebrate their 8th decade by being more active than usual. Raley’s, however, made the year one of its busiest with changes in ownership, opening and closing of stores, the launch of a new format, and testing new programs.
“We’re well-positioned for the future,” Michael Teel, President and CEO of the retail chain, told the Sacramento Bee. Teel was one of the big markers of change in the company, having been transferred majority ownership by parents, Jim and Joyce Raley Teel, in May of 2015. “We look forward to it. This is our home.”
A major part of that positioning has been moves in real estate, including the chain’s first announcement of a new store in six years that would add a new format in line with the less-is-more trend currently rippling through retail.
“The future is going to bring smaller stores,” Teel told the Sac Bee. This first new design is breaking ground this year and slated to open during the second quarter of 2017 at a dainty 36,000-square-feet.
Two more stores were announced shortly thereafter, along with a difficult determination of four closures. “These were difficult decisions,” Teel said, adding that each move the company made, either for closing or opening, was after a long, hard look.
The President and CEO noted that many pieces fell into place when planning real estate moves, with new stores being designed with the needs of customers at the forefront.
While he hinted at even more stores possibly in the works, Teel emphasized that this year’s revamp has been focused on the consumer. This includes new programs and inventory decisions that push a healthier lifestyle, such as the launch of the new Hello Savings initiative, which features multiple ways to save a range of product from milk, to meats and fresh produce.
“I want to continue that legacy of giving, providing more-healthy foods to the community, sustainability, supporting the arts… I feel really good about the future and growth, and this community,” Teel said.
The company continues to seek a stronger foothold in the ever-more fragmented Northern California/Nevada marketplace, but Teel reported to the Sac Bee that his confidence is bolstered by what the company has learned about its shoppers since the launch of its consumer rewards and loyalty program, Something Extra, in 2012.
“We now know our customers better than ever,” he stated in the report, saying it has provided data that confirms a consumer demand for healthy snacks and what they want at the checkout aisle, and has responded in kind with things like produce at checkout and expanded organic offerings.
With what promises to be more changed in store for 2016, keep checking in with DeliMarket News to see how this and other retail chains in the market continue to evolve and expand.