The recent economic hardship had impact on many economic activities that led to freezing of credit markets, economic benchmarks plummet, imploding of financial institutions, closure of business entities and consumer spending plunges. Closure of organizations and business entities led to increased levels of unemployment since many employees lost their jobs (Stefanou Spiro, 1993). Consumer spending habits changed due to changes in earning ratio and operating on tight budgets. Small businesses such as independent grocery are affected by challenging economic times.
Prices of commodities skyrocketed and this had an impact in ales volume by independent grocers. Businesses such as independent grocers braced a hard time but the fact that individual are entitled to basic needs such as food was the most fascinating aspect of groceries. Although the purchasing power of customers was low, independent grocers had to use certain business tricks to sustain growth during the period of economic hardship. The strategies developed by independent grocers were of great importance as they managed to sustain high demand of groceries.
The most important concept adopted by independent grocers was to sustain growth during the period of economic challenges. Kraft Canada Inc. one of the major independent grocer in Canada opted to sell certain Canadian grocery assets to another company. In these challenging economic times, an important step measures the sustainability of growth through increased capital. Disposal of assets to other companies is a humble step as it boosts capital to be invested in other economic activities.
Assets that are not in use for along period and remain idle should be disposed off to increase stock and cater for other expenses. As part of sustainable growth plan, independent grocers focus on core global and regional business that makes management of the business to achieve and maintain competitive advantage. The driving force that makes grocers to take such a step is pressure of economic hardships. Investing in portfolio that is strategically aligned with business strategies enables management to focus on time and resources as a way of achieving long-term growth.
Time and resources are of essence in any form of business and they should be managed in a proper manner. Another major strategy developed by independent grocers in these challenging economic times is cutting down costs. This is achieved through reducing the number of employees or transferring some workers from grocery business to other investments. Employees in this kind of business provide services such as distribution, marketing, packaging and supplying of groceries. During the period of economic challenges, independent grocers can consolidate the functions of employees (Robinson Danielle, 2007).
Marketing can be performed by those employees concerned with distribution. This means that employees will be in a position to carry various functions thus minimizing costs. Transferring employees to other investments or companies operated on independent portfolio grocers helps to increase production of goods and services. This alternative makes independent grocers continue to sustain growth during a time of economic hardships. Major areas of concern during transition period include provision of information technology, procurement, production and other support services.
At the time of economic hardship, independent grocers are subjected to intense competition that results to poor performance of business. Economic hardship incorporated with competition makes independent grocers to face a lot of challenges. However, there are certain strategies developed by the grocers making them to continue sustaining growth. Customers are very important elements in this form of business. It is thus important to change their preferences in order to maintain demand for introduced products. This includes changing prices of raw materials and diet trends to favor market conditions and local economic.
The capacity to change consumer preferences depends entirely upon continued promotion ability of a new brand. It also depends on respond to new consumer trends, competing with new substitute products in the market, and development of new products and markets. Dealing with consumer preferences by independent grocers entails monitoring products liked by customers. During the period of economic hardships, marketers in grocery business should learn how to introduce close substitutes of consumer preferences without affecting their demand (White David, 2000).
At the time of economic hardship, certain products liked by customers may be scarce or sold at high price. Independent grocers can sustain growth through introduction of commodities that are similar in quality and value to commodities which are scarce and are highly preferred by customers. Sustaining growth by independent grocers during the period of economic challenges is a tough situation that requires making of concrete decisions and implementation. Changing tactics of operations should be done in a proper manner to avoid loosing customers as they play an important role in continuous growth of business.
Lowering prices of raw materials has an impact in the price of final commodity as it reaches the consumer. Reduced prices of commodities attracts more customers and hence sales volume increases leading to expansion of business (Marber Peter, 1998). With the help of research, information and advice from business expert’s independent grocers can overcome challenges posed at the time of economic challenges. At these times of economic challenges, independent grocers should adopt the above strategies to sustain growth.