My sister is rich enough to shop where she wants and to buy what she wants in the way of food. I guess most of us are that rich but most of us won’t shop and buy what we want. She does. I’ve seen her cook a $10 steak for her little boy’s bedtime munchies. She says vegetables straight from the garden are best but she thinks Harris Teeter is almost as good. I really wouldn’t know since I don’t shop there, but their use of the term “farmers market” does bother me most every time I hear it. In my mind a real farmers market has to have farmers.
If one of the other chains would like to compete with Harris Teeter, here is an idea.
Let a local farmer set up in the parking lot of each store. Then advertise that you have real farmers. The customers would come to buy something in season then wander in the store to get what they can’t get from the farmer. The customer traffic would pick up enough to pay for the advertisement plus give you an increase in sales. The farmer can’t be there all the time, but the customers will still come. (Such is the nature of variable rewards). Limit what the farmers sell to what they can grow themselves. This will keep the volume low enough so there isn’t a chance they will hurt your inside business. Just the increase in customer traffic will make this strategy worthwhile, but go ahead and charge the farmer about 10% on his total sales. If you have no stocking cost, no product loses and no overhead cost, you can almost make money on 10%. Like I said, it doesn't really matter since you have improved your bottom line already. The final point is that with the number of farmers in our area, the first chain store in will be the only chain store in. There are not enough farmers to go around.