“Steve and his team constantly strive to perform at the highest level by driving quality and value to their customers,” he says. “This commitment to quality and value proposition resonates throughout the entire produce department.”
Wright says his key to building effective programs centers more on increasing sales than anything else.
“In vendor relationships, you should take the price equation out of it,” he says. “You’re really deciding how you can make a pie bigger, rather than dividing up a pie even more, which is the negotiations and contracts. I’d rather us use the creative energy our companies have about doing things together.”
The results of Wright’s hard work are evident, says Donna Burns, owner of Buffalo-based Chesapeake North Group LLC.
“His ‘nose to the grindstone’ approach has only increased sales and profit margins consistently every year since his hiring three years ago,” she says.
Look for more innovation and a fresher image from Tops as the company works its way through the chain, upgrading and modernizing. The Grand Island store is one of about 30 of the retailer’s locations to have been revamped with premium flooring, dark wood cases and enhanced lighting.
“This is another case where we’re emphasizing ‘Fresh Starts Here,’” Wright says. “You see the freshness, with bulk vegetables first, bulk fruit facing forward, with bags in the back.”
“I think produce is sexy, it’s beautiful, it’s good for you, and it’s a great story that needs to be told.”