The board of directors of Shop-Rite Supermarkets, Edison, N.J., recently held its meeting in the market’s large conference room and retail managers from Bottom Dollar, a part of the Brussels-based Delhaize Group and sister banner to Food Lion LLC, Salisbury, N.C., also recently visited, Wiechec said.
“For the two months we have been here, we have had more visitors and more opportunities with national and international visitors walk through this market than I can remember having in 10 years on the other market,” Wiechec said.
“One of the things I’ve been telling people is that what this place has done for us is that we are able to take the excuses out of the produce business. There are less and less excuses people can use for not buying here, especially since we are more competitive in terms of price.”
All the changes should help attract more business, Vena said.
“We have been preparing for this facility for quite a while,” he said. “We have identified customer segments that we want to spend more time working on.”
Vena said the move has been time-consuming and hasn’t allowed the market the time to invest in creating or identifying new customers. He said the market plans to hire additional staff to seek such opportunities and help increase sales.
Wiechec said the market allows wholesalers to handle and distribute product so much more efficiently.
TM Kovacevich International Inc. has hosted many tours for retail and foodservice buyers.
“We have obtained new customers every single week,” Tom Kovacevich, general manager, said in mid-August. “We added three today. They’re learning about the facility. When they come, they’re so excited. If you’re in the produce business, you have to love this building.”