PROCUREMENT & MERCHANDISING
Associated Grocers, Inc. purchases more than 22,000 items in Grocery, Meat, Produce, Bakery/Deli, HBC & GM. We carry a full line of bakery items, ranging from scratch bakery ingredients to an extensive thaw and sell program. We are the largest wholesale IBP beef account in the Southeast region. All items are procured locally through our corporate headquarters. We offer an extensive variety of regional products, while Shurfine has been our primary private label line with more than 1,400 items available for nearly 30 years. To round out the product mix, we also offer numerous price-impact items, including a complete dollar program consisting of over 800 products covering GM, HBC, Grocery Food and Non-Food.
We have a professional staff of Category Management and Procurement Teams utilizing the latest technology advances offering our Retailers the greatest opportunity to remain competitive while offering the correct item assortment promoted at the right time, while providing superior in stock service levels. Several programs are offered to assist Retailers including our Monthly Merchandising Booklet offering everyday items, pallets and off shelf displays which offer the best price while increasing visibility and incremental sales, Monthly Pallet Program, Pay On Performance (P.O.P.) Scan Based Program, Price Buster TPR (temporary price reduction) program, our New Item Express speed-to-shelf effort, our HBC Hot 100 pricing program, as well as shelf sign programs for private label and advertising.
Bakery / Deli
The Bakery/Deli department offers the largest assortment of products in the Southeast. This, combined with Associated Grocers’ substantial buying power, allows your store to compete in variety and price not only with the chain stores, but with the retail bakeries and delis as well. Our product is procured from many of the top producers in the country, as well as many local manufacturers.
Some of those manufacturers include:
Bakery: Rich Products; Dawn Foods; Coffee Baking; Lofthouse/C2B Bakers; Flowers Bakery; Specialty Bakers; Western Bagels; Pillsbury; Cloverleaf Snacks
Deli: Manda Fine Meats; Sara Lee; Tyson; Smithfield; Resers Fine Foods; The Turkey Store (Jennie-O); John Morrell (Kretchmar); Swiss American; Hormel
Our program offers: Weekly buying guides containing information on current market; Market conditions; Special purchasing surveys; New item notification; Rotisserie Program; Fresh Food Program; Complete Thaw-N-Sell (Bakery without the oven program); Grab-N-Go; Specialty & Imported Cheeses from around the world; Training and educational seminars – in-store plus group training; Signature Cake Program
Our four Bakery/Deli field merchandisers offer over fifty years of combined experience in supermarket bakery/deli, restaurant, and retail bakery. With their extensive experience they can assist with a start-up plan or analyze your current operation as a means of enhancing your department profitability.
We have a full service Dairy department that takes great strides to ensure the best possible code dates, quality, selection and cost. This section of your store should not be overlooked as it has enormous growth potential.
The Frozen Food department strives to offer the best possible variety of items to accommodate the continued growth and expansion of this category in most stores. We work diligently with the manufacturer community to create competitive promotional events throughout the year to increase consumer traffic on the frozen food aisle and throughout the entire store.
General Merchandise / Health & Beauty Care
The Associated Grocers, Inc.General Merchandise / Health &Beauty CareDepartment is responsible for the procurement of over 5,500 items, ranging from cotton balls to footballs, and from kitchen supplies to pet supplies. The department utilizes 45,000 square feet of space with a two-level, gravity flow picking area and a conveyor system that merges totes and cases of merchandise from the tobacco, candy, and HBC/GM sections to a staging area where pallets are integrated with dry products and then shipped to your store.
Health and Beauty Care acquires many of the newest products for you, including those that attain over-the-counter status as soon as they become commercially available. Major HBC categories include oral care, eye and ear care, first aid, gastrointestinal aids, analgesics, cough and cold medicines, vitamins, personal deodorants and hair care.
General Merchandise is constantly furnishing our retail stores with an assorted array of items for every season of the year, including decorations and tableware from both import and domestic suppliers.
This includes a complete Cough/Cold/Flu program in which both branded and Topcare items are sold in a package deal.
Our partnership with the broker and manufacturer community provides us with the very latest market information, the best deals, and the best promotions to serve you competitively in the marketplace.
Because of limited warehouse space, slow moving items are regularly discontinued to make room for exciting new items. This helps increase inventory turns both in your store and at the Distribution Center.
The Hot 100 program is designed to give AG retailers a good price image relative to competitors in their area. Signs dot the shelves in every major category and let the consumer know that the prices are “hot.”
Promotions: We offer several promotions a year in General Merchandise, including Back to School, Valentines, Easter, Halloween, & Christmas – as well as many different In & Out opportunities including Plastics & BBQ Grills.
The Grocery Department offers over 12,000 products consisting of branded, control label and private label items. In addition to these, specially requested items may be ordered to meet your needs. Specialty items can also be purchased at competitive costs through a variety of retailer-friendly programs and certain Associated Grocers events.
To complement the large variety of products and programs available, the Grocery department is staffed with a versatile and experienced group of individuals. Altogether, this group has over 120 years of experience in the grocery industry with resumes that encompass numerous positions, including stocker, store manager, chain store buyer, category manager and many more. Such diverse experience enables the Grocery department to make the best decisions possible in order to provide you with the lowest prices available and effective category management.
Meat / Poultry
The Associated Grocers, Inc. Meat Department offers the widest assortment of quality meat and seafood in the South. Product procurement is from the top producers in the country. Names such as Tyson Fresh Meats, Swift, Sanderson Farms, John Morrell, Smithfield, Maverick Ranch Natural Meats and Sara Lee Meats signify quality and consumer acceptance. The Meat Department buying staff has extensive retail and wholesale experience to provide assistance in all aspects of the meat and seafood arenas.
Our program offers:
Weekly Buyers Guide containing information on current market trends and conditions, including:
- Special purchase surveys
- New Item Notification
- Notification of legislative changes
- Retail Price Surveys
- Temporary Price Reduction
- Cutting test and Yield files
A field staff of 5 trained meat professionals available for assistance with management and merchandising at retail.
Periodic seminars to educate and prepare member personnel about new items and products as well as knowledge to combat ever-threatening competition.
Special event meat sales, which have proven successful in driving volume and dollar profit into the meat department. These events can generate as much as $40,000 in incremental meat sales.
Weekly Ad Planners
Available types of sales:
- One Day Sales (Limited availability; requires eight week notice)
- Dollar Day Sales
- Anniversary Sales
- 10 Pound Meat Sales (Require less advertising & labor dollars; Counselors support for planning, setting up & assisting with the event.)
Our highly trained field merchandisers have a wealth of retail experience. The Meat Department field staff can ably assist you in any of the following areas:
- Meat Management Seminars
- On-site Training
- Cutting Tests
- One-Day Meat Sales
- Plant Tours (when available)
- Meat Department Evaluations
- Inventory Training
- Marketing Trends
- Merchandising Trends
Produce / Floral
The Associated Grocers, Inc. Produce/Floral department is a full line wholesaler committed to servicing you with the finest produce at competitive prices. We partner with some of the best growers and shippers in the industry. Labels such as Chiquita, Fresh Express, Green Giant, Welch’s, and Tropicana are just a few of the quality items we offer.
We have a professional buying and field merchandising staff, with over 95 years of combined produce/floral experience. The merchandising team is available to assist member stores with a wide range of member services, from seasonal rack changes to upcoming promotional opportunities. We also have both an inbound and outbound warehouse quality assurance team that guarantees you get the best product available.
We offer over 300 in-stock warehouse produce items, and have the ability to procure any unique product needs you may have. Our cross-dock specialty program allows you to offer your customers even the most hard to find specialty items.