Skip to comments.Supermarket Inc: Inside a $500 Billion Money Machine (TV special)
Posted on 01/30/2011 2:56:06 AM PST by Daisyjane69
The typical modern American supermarket stocks 48,000 items, each battling for precious shelf space. How do they get there? Why are they arranged the way they are? Did you know that some stores use heat maps to track which aisles you walk down and which ones you don't? Or that they put the milk at the end of the aisle so you're forced to pass a hundred other items on your way to get it? It's all done to gain an edge in a cutthroat business built on razor-thin margins.
CNBCs Tyler Mathisen goes behind the scenes for a fascinating look at todays supermarket industry. It is the story of a crowded and brutal business generating half a trillion dollars in annual sales. Established brands like Safeway, Giant Eagle and Kroger are cultural icons as familiar as our own street names, but they are under constant attack from brilliant upstarts like Whole Foods, big box retailers like Wal-Mart and Costco, and from ever-changing public tastes. Go behind the familiar facade of your neighborhood market to see how it really works.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnbc.com ...
Devoid of politics completely. Wish it had been an hour longer because I can think of some areas I wish had been covered.
(you know it's good when my sweetie in Chicago was involved in a vitally important project -- ranking his fantasy league baseball players -- and decided to put it on while waiting for the Bulls game to begin. Just to humor me and kill time, no doubt. He called me back 20 minutes into the show and said "Honey, this is the best show I've seen in at least a week!")
I will have to search and see if I have CNBC on my satellite line up. Kidding. It’s there somewhere.
Having worked for 15 years in the industry (in management/IT) I would like to catch that documentary.
Whoops...I meant to ping you to this for not only our preparedness list but to your amazingly wonderful blog (http://thesurvivalmom.com/). Scary business when they tell you the razor-thin time line for groceries, no? meh
One more thing, did you see this?
Looks like Kroger’s has an emergency team, trying to anticipate disaster/weather needs. I didn’t know this!
Check your local listings for CNBC, this is supposed to be RE-broadcast this evening.
You are right, that’s why I figured I’d post it...so we all had time to get ourselves together in time. There are also a few other times, plus times for our FReepers who are overseas, I noticed.
Actually, I wouldn’t have had the link handy except that my sweetie wanted to prevail on his sister (who has technical stuff) to record this for their parents to watch. They are seniors & don’t have cable tv.
Walmart has been doing this for years. We had an ice storm two years ago. Sam’s had extra generators in the store two days before it hit. I went down there after the storm hit and they were selling those generators about one every 30 minutes. They never ran out. These were $900 generators.
About 18 hours of food on the shelves of modern grocery stores in the bar code computer era. Americas just one 70’s like nationwide truckers strike from trouble IMO .
Will look for this show....sounds like your “razor thin” timeline confirms such .....:o)
Thanks for the heads up. Sounds interesting. I just set our DVR.
Indeed. And it’s scary.
BTW, too much efficiency means fewer donations to food banks.
Holler back after the show airs.
Maybe I have a future career as a TV show reviewer.....
or maybe not. LOL ;)
This is the way Wal-Mart sells for less. They take the rebates and marketing funds and front load them into the shelf price.
"Razor thin"? Really? There are supermarkets all over the place here. In twenty minutes I can get to at least seven - four different companies.
I like Big Y the best. They have Buy One - Get Two Free deals all the time. And, not just junk good stuff.
They’ve been having those type shows on fairly often. Saw one on Target, wal-Mart, and Ford. Very well done.
Wal Mart pays suppliers in 180 days.
Sunday, January 30th 10p ET
Monday, January 31st 8p ET
Thursday, February 10th 8p ET
Monday, February 21st 8a | 7p ET
Supermarket shelf space is the most expensive land in the world. Every inch is paid for...
Logistics (and I don’t mean shipping a parcel via UPS).
Supermarket, Inc youtube clip -8 minutes
Giant Eagle Market District: CNBC “Supermarkets Inc.” feature
Uploaded to YouTube by Giant Eagle.
Wow, did not know that. That is a loooooong time.
With certain exceptions. For example, a state law in Missouri mandates suppliers of agricultural commodities must be paid in 30 days.
A 6 month interest free loan.It’s good to be King.
“About 18 hours of food on the shelves of modern grocery stores in the bar code computer era. Americas just one 70s like nationwide truckers strike from trouble IMO .”
TOTALLY, and they can keep it. I’m at roughly 6 months of food and 4 years of every other non-perishable I can think of (other than gasoline, as that’s not practical to store - but I do have some and as long I don’t drive I have plenty for cooking and hot water).
Others, I suspect, look at the always-stocked shelves at their supermarkets and the huge quantities at Sam’s Club and figure they can stop by, once things go south. They will have to learn things the hard way, I guess.
Another way to look at it...there is roughly one Sam’s Club for every 100,000 members in the United States. At any given moment in time, there may be about 100,000 rolls of toilet paper in a store. Well, that’s one roll per member. It will not take all that many members to snap up that toilet paper once things go south.
It is also on CNBC World.
Agree...same here. Year plus food supply on hand. Hunt fish an garden an 150 gal bed tanks on trucks. SHTF sn have to stay home we’re good for at least first 3 fire fights.
Stay Safe an Sage....
Really. Kroger, for fiscal years 2008, 2009, 2010 combined had revenue of about $223 billion. Net income was $2.5 billion.
It makes the case that the customer wins when companies compete.
Doesn't explain all the grocery stores going up. You would think they would be consolidating to increase profits.
I buy by my shopping list and clipped coupons. Unless they have something I have a coupon for and I can save more by buying it on my shopping day, it gets passed by. I shop by need, not what catches my eye.
I'm only showing the thin margins.
They don’t make their money on food.
They make their money on sundries. And on Valentines candy. And on impulse buying for stuff like batteries.
That kind of thing.
We found the 5 days a week statistic hard to believe - that's how many times they said the typical grocery store shopper goes in to a grocery store.
FYI, I recently found an excellent series of books to help guide Americans through the minefield of food and “food-like substances” in the supermarket and other places.
They are available at most bookstores, and are cheaper at Amazon.com where they are about 12 bucks a piece, if you buy 25 bucks worth the shipping is free.
The series is “Eat This Not That”.
I recommend “Supermarket Survival Guide, Eat This Not That” for tucking in your purse (ladies) while shopping. This book tells what is full of bad additives, and what can be purchased instead.
“Restaurant Guide,Eat This Not That” is an eye opener as to what crap is in food at chain restaurants. The book warns of the worst and tells the best of what is offered at restaurants, so we can make informed choices and avoid gross fat laden, sodium laden concoctions.
For entertainment, I also bought “Best and Worst Foods” edition. It reads like a horror show. Fascinating what garbage some food retailers will offer to the public. Again, on one page is the worst, opposite page is a much better alternative.
The first book I got is general info covering some of the supermarket, some restaurant and other topics, it is “Eat This Not That, The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution”. It is a nice introduction to the series, but if I could do it again, I’d probably skip this one since the info is in the other 3 books I now have.
Just search Amazon for “Eat This Not That” and all the offerings will appear. They are all an easy and interesting read.
I live in Corpus Christi, Texas where the growing conditions fruits and vegetable are not the best, but I have relatives in East, central Texas where they grow the most delicious peaches, plums, watermelons and tomatoes you can imagine.
These you get in the supermarkets taste like cardboard.
Why can’t the supermarkets use the farmers here and get this delicious produce to the supermarkets while it still has some taste?