Big Y to invest in store revamps, sustainability
Springfield, Mass. Big Y Foods said Monday it will renovate four supermarkets with a goal of greater efficiency and energy-resource conservation, Progressive Grocer reported.
The company will spend more than $3 million to upgrade the stores.
“As a locally owned and operated company, Big Y continues to aggressively invest in its employees and its facilities in order to better serve the communities in which we operate and to conserve our energy resources into the future,” said Frank J. Horacek, VP — real estate & development, Big Y, according to the report.
Depending on the location, the renovations include the use of energy-efficient appliances, LED lights, and refrigerated cases with high-efficiency fan motors. In some instances, the “waste” heat from the refrigeration units will be captured to supply the store’s hot-water needs.
Big Y operates 57 stores throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts, with over 9,100 employees.
Here’s comes the ham
Turkey reigns supreme at Thanksgiving, but when it comes to Easter the meat du jour is ham. Not surprising then that Target and other retailers got aggressive this week with ham prices in keeping with the well-worn strategy of offering a compelling value on the main course to drive store traffic and sales of related items. Target offered an attractive price of $1.59 a pound on a spiral cut ham, but what made the offer standout from supermarket competitors is the high quality image and large photo, which made the ham look attractive. Target also prints its ads on a better grade of paper than the newsprint commonly use by supermarkets, which doesn’t allow for quality photo reproduction and can detract from the appearance of even the highest quality meats. Conversely, the roast turkey (78 cents a pound) and prime rib ($5.99 a pound) that were also featured in Target’s circular appear very appetizing.
Home heats up
The housing market is still in a funk, but that hasn’t stopped Target’s discount store competitors from elevating their offerings and the level of competition in the home category. Walmart has made tremendous progress with the introduction and relaunch of brands that include Better Homes & Garden, Canopy, Mainstays and the recently introduced Your Zone brand. Meanwhile, just this week Sears Holdings announced a major home initiative with Hearst Magazines to launch a collection of home products under the Country Living brand that will extend to bedding and bath, tabletop, furniture and home decor, will debut this summer in both Kmart and Sears retail stores across the country. The products will be available in more than 1,200 Kmart stores and 500 Sears stores nationwide beginning in August.
The home business has been challenging of late, to say the least, and the resulting weakness has hurt sales and profits at Target. When the housing market improves and demand for home categories rebounds Target will have more competition for sales than it did before the downturn began.