With the migratory nature of most of America’s urban
communities is become increasingly important for a
business to be able to mirror the demographics of the
neighborhood. Retailers in most American cities are facing
this need with varying degrees of success. One grocery
store has found a way to retain long-term customers while
attracting new customers through not-so-subtle changes to
the merchandise mix.

The Symptoms
A grocery store has seen their neighborhood move from
predominantly white to a white minority with Latino and
Black majorities.

The Diagnosis
With a three-mile distance between them and the next
closest store it would have been easy to assume the
customers had no other choice for their shopping needs.
That would have been a dangerous gamble. Therefore a
plan was instituted that called for changing the merchandise
mix and marketing to one that was able to make two
cultures comfortable and anxious with regard to shipping

The Prescription
Their advertising has changed over the years to one that
appeals to the distinct tastes of their new Hispanic and
African-American customer base. It is not an easy feat given
taste differences between the two demographics.

The magic behind the store, which is one of the largest
volume grocers in the state, is blending the commonality of
the two demographics with the uniqueness of each.

At the same time the store has taken its interior signage
bilingual. This aligns their external marketing and signage to
the interior signage to create a welcome image throughout
the store.

Future Prognosis
The results of the reinvention has been very good for the
store. Not only have they survived the shift in the
neighborhood demographics of its customer base they have
seen continual sales increases. Despite being an
independent grocer, the store became one of the highest
grossing stores in the city.

Use this case study during workshops, coaching sessions,
self-development, or team meetings about:

Grocer works through change
Attracting the new Latino neighborhood