How to Build Loyalty
Observers offer a variety of other reasons why Market Basket stands out from the crowd.
“Their buyers are in the stores every single week, talking to customers. If a rep comes in and tells them, ‘Your shoppers really want this,’ the buyers already know whether they do or not. They often arrive at their offices and stay late, but they’re efficient and they always get thej ob done.” —Vendor.
“This is a very special culture, with determined people. With new management heading toward being acquired by a European conglomerate, the people said to themselves, ‘We’re dead ducks. We may as well walk out now as later, when we don’t have jobs. So they jumped, with no net below them. It was both self-interest, and wanting to keep the culture alive… And Arthur T. has such loyal people. He doesn’t think he’s better than anyone else, and respects store baggers right up to the financial and real estate people.” —Christopher Mackin, Ownership Associates, Cambridge, Mass.
“They’re old-fashioned retailers — no loyalty cards, no double coupons, limited co-marketing opportunities. It’s basic blocking and tackling. If you have instant-redeem coupons or coupon pads at the shelf, they love it.” —Broker.
“They’re not afraid to build a store with a Walmart or a BJ’s club store across the road. They go for the fast nickel rather than the slow dime. They know it is a marathon, not a sprint.” —Vendor.
“The groundswell of support Arthur T. received in 2014 speaks to that loyalty among shoppers and employees. They do a lot of things independently — buying in bulk and not using a lot of outside distributors. There’s no loyalty card, which could raise prices. And there are no self-scanning checkouts. Arthur says he wants human beings waiting on human beings.” — Alex Levine, business analyst, and Don Stuart, managing partner at Cadent Consulting, Wilton, Conn.
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