People can live without cheap plastic crap from China, but they still need to eat. This may have been the realization that lead Walmart to create the Super Center, a larger version of the traditional store that sells both cheap plastic crap from China and food. Trying to be all things to all people however, has pitfalls.
Traditional supermarkets such as Kroger and Safeway are schooling mass merchants Wal-Mart and Target in the business of selling fresh food and packaged goods, sending two of the nation's most formidable retailers back to the drawing board to reignite their sales. The winning recipe for grocers Kroger and Safeway, which don't have to be retailers of everything, has been a result of investments in customer service, more competitive prices, and an expansion of health and wellness products. Ohio-based Kroger, which has 2,635 stores in 34 states, has notched an impressive 45 straight quarters of same-store sales increases in spite of the ruthless price competition in weekly circulars and online at Wal-Mart and others.
Kroger, Safeway and most (if not all) grocery chains are unionized. Yet they are crushing Walmart? How could that be? Also today: Wal-Mart to Cut Management Role to Simplify Store Operations. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

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