With 2016 on its end run, Smart & Final has solidified some end of the year strategies. The chain has pinpointed the Southern California market as its new means of accelerated growth, and has opened 12 new stores in San Diego, CA, with plans to continue this current focus.
“When we look at San Diego, while we grew a lot, we still believe there’s neighborhoods we have the opportunity to serve that we’re not today,” stated the Vice President of Smart & Final’s Southern Region, Sean Mahony, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The new stores are looking to increase sales by focusing highly on consumer demand. The stores feature the chain’s Extra! format which carries more product than other stores, including expanded meat and deli departments.
These new additions bring the chain’s reach to 26 stores within San Diego County, establishing it as one of the biggest retail grocery stores within the region. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that this region-specific expansion may already be proving successful for the company as its Q3 sales reported an 11.9% increase compared to last year.
The chain is looking to provide cost effective grocery solutions within flourishing markets, like San Diego, while offering options consumers search for, such as bulk items, organic, and gluten-free. Smart & Final is also able to expand its footprint effectively in high populated areas as it can house its stores in smaller areas than larger retailers.
“I think ultimately what people are after is value for their dollar,” Mahony said. “We get a strong rate of acceptance of people that return. But, just getting them in the door to give it a shake has been our biggest opportunity.”
Smart & Final is looking to increase its total store count by around 10% each year, Mahony outlined, though the chain far surpassed that number in San Diego County. In 2016 alone, the chain raised its reach up 86% within the region.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Smart & Final was able to expand so quickly within the San Diego region as two chains recently went bankrupt in the area. With the exits of Haggen and Fresh & Easy, 2016 was a year of grocery growth in the region.
With buy-side strategies continuing to shift for consumer-focused success, Deli Market News will have all the latest in new methods and enacted plans.