Heatcraft | The Cold Front | Supermarket Edition | Summer 2012 | Customer Profile: Grocery Outlet Bargain Supply
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At Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, it’s all in the family

Peter Marotta knows a thing or two about providing food for families. After all, he’s been following his father’s footsteps in the grocery business since 1986. Now, as director of store planning and refrigeration, he’s part of the Grocery Outlet chain, a booming, third-generation family business that’s been providing families with incredible food bargains since 1946, when the first store opened in Berkeley, California.

Today, Grocery Outlet is the nation’s largest grocery extreme-value retailer, with more than 150 stores in six western U.S. states. Located in large cities and small communities alike, many of the stores are independently operated by locally based families—typically a husband and wife team.

With a focus on providing customers “a fun place to find bargains on brands they trust,” Grocery Outlet offers prices at 40%-to-60% below traditional retail. Offerings include: groceries, frozen, deli and refrigerated items, produce, fresh, first-quality meats, general merchandise, seasonal products—such as house wares, toys and gifts, health and beauty products and a large inventory of beer and wine.

By shopping throughout the nation and the U.S. for the best brand-named products they can provide for less, Grocery Outlet’s buyers score surplus inventory directly from manufacturers for just pennies on the dollar. Then, they’re able to pass the savings along to consumers at a fraction of the regular cost.

A typical store, according to Marotta, houses about 18,000-20,000 feet of space, including approximately 15,000 feet of retail sales space, with the additional space in the back. The setup includes 23 glass door cases, a 48-foot wide island, 24 feet of fresh produce, 6-8 doors of dairy case, 8-12 feet of fresh meats, and 36 feet of open-air deli cases.

With the integrity of so many perishables at stake, it makes sense for Grocery Outlet to invest in a brand they trust. The Kysor/Warren brand has been a business partner for 12 years.

“We chose Kysor/Warren because they are very forward-thinking, and they’re always willing to work with us to provide a product that fits our needs,” said Marotta. In a recent series of store models, he cites, the Kysor/Warren new line of STRATUS display cases were used. And while the amount of overall refrigeration space in these stores increased, store operators have seen savings of up to $4,000 per month from these efficient door, deli and wide-island cases. The remodels also included Bohn condensers by Heatcraft.

The new products are in line with the company’s top philosophy, which is to help its operators with the bottom line, and to help families in each area the store serves. To that end, Grocery Outlet is a regular contributor to local food banks, and many of the store’s employees volunteer in local Habitat for Humanity projects as well. This July, Grocery Outlet is hosting its second annual Independence from Hunger food drive, a month-long, company-wide food drive to help feed people in local communities facing hunger and food insecurity.

“It’s all about touching lives, and helping families put food on the table. That’s at the heart of everything we do,” said Marotta.

To learn more about Grocery Outlet Bargain Supply, visit http://www.groceryoutlet.com. For product solutions for your company, visit Heatcraftrpd.com.

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