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Case Study - Hottest Marketing Strategies

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In the highly competitive grocery retailing industry, what's one of the hottest marketing strategies for ensuring success? San Antonio-based H.E.B. grocery retailer has found an answer.

National grocery chains such as Kroger have found the marketplace increasingly competitive. Local and regional grocery store retailers have begun incorporating local lifestyles into their decisions on store locations and in designing the stores themselves. This approach, only taken up recently, differs from the traditional standardized method that the big chains use. This phrase works, thanks for the addition. H.E.B., for example, uses a "different faces for different places"approach in locating and designing its 300-plus stores in Texas and Mexico. Focusing on large market areas such as Houston and San Antonio, H.E.B has become a serious competitor to national chains. The chains have also seen non-traditional grocers such as Wal-Mart and Target invade their competitive space.

The many "faces"of H.E.B. include such store configuration options as a Central Market for gourmet and specialty foods, the traditional food/drug combination, a food/drug approach combined with a Central Market theme, a budget-oriented concept (that is, everyday low pricing) called Pantry, an Hispanic food orientation called Mi Tienda, and a super center.

Lifestyle retailing has been popular in other retail industries, such as fashion and apparel, for some time. However, it is a relatively new concept in the grocery industry. Because most large chains have not used the lifestyle strategy, local and regional grocery groups have been able to gain market share. Consumers of the future may well pick their place to buy food based on whether or not a store matches their lifestyle.
Adapted from"Different Faces For Different Places" by David Kaplan (Houston Chronicle), Houston Chronicle, October 14, 2007, pp. D1 and D2.

Case study developed by Dr. John R. Brooks, Jr., Houston Baptist University. Questions: Response requires 100 words.
1. What is one of the hottest marketing strategies for ensuring success in the highly competitive grocery industry?
2. What does San Antonio-based H.E.B. call its approach to lifestyle marketing in the grocery industry?

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1. One of the hottest marketing strategies for ensuring grocery industry success is lifestyle retailing, which is discussed in this article. Lifestyle retailing is based on the principle that different target markets will have different needs based on characteristics that define their lifestyle. The main characteristics include geographic location, income, and occupation. The ...