Unified Grocers, the retailer-owned cooperative that supplies some 2,800 independently-owned grocery stores in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii, has been approved for membership in the IGA Alliance. IGA is the world's largest voluntary supermarket network with aggregate worldwide retail sales of more than $21 billion per year.
- KC's View:
It has been a big year for Unified, having previously acquired Seattle-based Associated Grocers for $38.5 million. Clearly a company making some interesting moves…
What also will be intriguing to watch will be how organizations like IGA respond to innovations like Tesco’s Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets, which are opening in Unified’s backyard. Tesco’s new US stores in many ways seem diametrically opposite the IGA ”hometown proud” model, and yet they have to be seen as yet more competition for independent retailers trying to survive – even thrive – in an environment that does not always treasure the qualities that make them unique and distinct.