Taskforce Will Promote the Benefits of the Center Store and Its Growth Opportunities

ARLINGTON, VA — September 30, 2010 — Leading manufacturers have joined with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), its members and other industry suppliers to launch the Grocery Center Store Initiative, a collaborative effort to demonstrate the importance of the center store to total store performance.   

“Our goal is to address the important role of the center store in today’s and tomorrow’s supermarket. Our belief is that a sustainable, more vibrant center store is a key ingredient to achieving the promise of future sales and profit growth as part of the total store solution,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, president and chief executive officer at FMI. “Creating a new center store, one that responds to the needs of shoppers, anchored by key categories, and one that embraces technology, will benefit the entire supermarket industry and offer each retailer the opportunity to create a unique shopper experience within the store.”

National suppliers such as Nestle Purina PetCare Company, Kimberly-Clark, Anheuser-Busch, Campbell Soup Company and The Kellogg Company developed an action plan to demonstrate the significance of the center store to the total store performance. The Nielsen Company, Willard Bishop and Accenture, as well as Grocery Headquarters Magazine, are also partners involved in the project.

The taskforce will demonstrate to retailers and wholesalers how the sales and profit contribution of the center store can increase trips to the grocery store and will help identify the perimeter departments and the center store categories that drive up the number of shopping trips. The group also plans to identify center store attributes that are seen as differentiating and equity building for retailers. The taskforce will study shopper attitudes toward the role of the center store and test new merchandising treatments, layouts and approaches.

For more information about the Grocery Center Store Initiative, contact Pat Walsh, FMI Senior Vice President, Industry Relations, Education and Research at 202-220-0703.