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A CASE STUDY ON WEGMANS FOOD MARKETS.

GROUP NO. 14

GROUP MEMBERS:

Amit Anand Brinda Kartik Krishnan Shruti Raghu

Answers:

How do customers judge the quality of a supermarket? The customers judge the quality of a supermarket in a highly subjective manner and in varied ways, depending upon their wants and necessities. In our opinion customers would judge the quality of a supermarket in the following ways: a. Whether they got in the supermarket what they came to buy. It means that the supermarket should keep a wide range of products so that customers can pick and choose from them. b. The quality of the customer service that they receive in the store. The behaviour of the customer care executives and to what extent they were eager to not only satisfy but delight the customers. c. Availability of goods at very competitive prices. d. Quality of the merchandise that is sold in the supermarket. e. Various products and services should be made available to the customers under one roof so that he gets a complete shopping experience in the supermarket. For example, Wegmans has a film processing shop, pharmacy shop, card shop, video rental facilities , a coffee shop and a floral shop in addition to the grocery and food items. f. A customer friendly layout so that customers can easily locate things in the store. g. Location of the store is important from the customer¶s point of view. For example, if it is closer to their home or office they would find it more convenient to shop in that particu lar supermarket than in one which is located far off. h. Timings of the store operations. If it is open till late hours in the night, customers would appreciate it as they can shop comfortably as per their convenience. i. Additional services that the superma rket offers to its customers; like free parking, car wash, dry cleaning department, etc. j. What the supermarket does to reward the customer loyalty towards it. For example, a supermarket can offer its regular customers a privileged member¶s card or gift vouchers and customers would appreciate it highly.

k. The kind of recreation facilities that the supermarket offers. For example, the supermarket can offer baby care facilities to its customers so that they can shop comfortably. l. A customer friendly refund policy will get high appreciation from the customers. What are some of the ways Wegmans uses technology to gain an edge over its competitors? Wegmans has applied technology in several areas of operation to gain an edge over its competitors: a. Technology application in the area of tracking inventory so that it can be immediately known which items are moving fast and orders can be released immediately to replenish those items. b. Managing supply chain through technology application. c. Application of technology in managing the quality of the merchandise. Wegmans uses a centralized meat processing facility and vacuum packaging system which keeps the meat fresh, extends their shelf life and customers get an improved product.

Indicate how and why each of these factors is important to the successful operation of a supermarket: a. Customer Satisfaction: Customer is the king and he should not only be satisfied but delighted by offering the products and services that he desires. Customer loyalty is crucial for the very survival of the supermarket as profitability is a function of customer satisfaction. A single happy and satisfied customer can create a lot of customers for a supermarket by the sheer word of mouth marketing.

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b. Forecasting: - The store should forecast correctly what are going to be the fast moving items for the coming month/ fortnight and shall plan for the merchandise availability accordingly.

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Forecasting helps a supermarket maintain optimum inventory levels. It reduces company¶s inventory holding costs and also saves it from the situation of a stock out, which may annoy the customers. Sales forecast would help a supermarket plan its finances well. Forecast with respect to the festivals, weather conditions and changing taste and preferences of customers would help a supermarket plan its merchandise accordingly and will also provide it with a competitive edge over its competitors.

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c. Location: Accessibility to the customer. Before finalising the location of a supermarket it mus t be seen what the level of competition in the local area is. If already two or three stores are operating in that locality it might not be a wise move to open a store on such locations. A supermarket must analyse how much rent it would require to pay an d whether the business would be generated in the same proportion. Stock can be easily transferred from the warehouse to the store. Cultural and local sentiments of the customers need to be taken note of by the management of a superstore and therefore l ocation of the superstore becomes important.

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d. Inventory management: It makes sure that the store is carrying the optimum level of inventory and so there would be a minimal inventory holding cost. At the same time, there won¶t be issues like a stock out. It enables a supermarket to plan its sales operation well. Al so the supermarket can source the merchandise at the least possible price and at good quality levels.

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e. Layout of the store: Layout should be customer friendly so that they can easily locate different departments/ sections within a supermarket.

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Proper allocation of space can be done to different department/ sections. Proper lighting arrangements can be done in the store. Visual merchandising aspects of the over-all layout of the store must be taken seriously as many customers get attracted by it. Fire exits and emergency exit gates can be earmarked properly.

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f. Scheduling: HR scheduling will be necessary for the store so that it can be made sure that enough customer care staff s are available during the store operations. Employee work scheduling will make sure that during peak hours when there is maximum foot fall in the supermarket, staffs can be made available in adequate numbers. HR scheduling makes sure that employees are not over burdened and their productivity levels can be increased by such measures. Transport scheduling to plan in advance when the trucks are going to come into the superstore and what merchandise they are going to bring in. If there is an item which a store needs urgently, rescheduling of trucks can be done. Inventory scheduling to plan the floor space in advance.

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g. Capacity planning: To know how much stock can be maintained in the supermarket. To plan the floor area allocation to different departments and product categories depending upon the customer¶s demand for different products. To make sure that there exists a comfortable ratio of sales staff per customer in every department. Capacity planning also helps in managing the peak hour rush in the store and parking.

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