Business Genius at work

I’m finding the business strategies of our two local supermarkets confusing.
One of them is a premium type place – rather like Waitrose. The other is more of a convenience store operation.
I’ve mentioned the convenience store before. Its strategy is to have exactly the same opening hours as the premium supermarket, whilst maintaining prices that are 100% higher than its competition. Currently its only saving grace is that it delivers for free. Since it’s usually shut when we need it and twice the price, we stay away.
The premium supermarket’s current strategy seem to be not to have popular items in stock. Organic oatcakes are available in abundance, but more popular items aren’t. I had a fun conversation with the manager about this this morning.
Chris: Is it possible to make requests for certain items to be in stock?
Manager: Yes sir.
C: The Times newspaper always sells out very quickly. Can you order some more?
M: It’s very popular, sir.
C: I know. I expect that’s why it’s always run out. Can you order some more copies?
M: The copies sell very quickly. It’s very popular.
This conversation went on for about 5 minutes, until we reached an agreement – the manager would ask for more stock.
We then moved onto another product.
C: Would it be possible to keep soda water in stock? You haven’t had any for three weeks.
M: It’s very popular, sir.
C: I know. I expect that’s why it’s always run out. Can you order some more stock so that you don’t run out?
M: The soda water sells very quickly. It’s very popular.
This conversation also went on for a while, as did the final topic – diet ginger ale, also a best seller.
I’ve never run a supermarket, or indeed any kind of retail outlet, so I can’t really criticise, but is it not normal to keep popular items in stock so that you can sell lots of them and make lots of money?

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One Response to “Business Genius at work”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    What I find interesting is that if, for example, soda water is not available in one supermarket, then no supermarket has it. I find this with so many of my favourite items, they’re either available everywhere or not available anywhere.

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