People have been selling food and other grocery items to others for hundreds — if not thousands — of years, so what makes things different today?
The Founder of Grocer Exchange, Frank Edward Romero, was raised in a grocery family. The Puerto Rican Cartagena-Arriaga family grew their business from humble beginnings to eventually own 21 bodegas and 13 independent supermarkets over a span of several decades. Not surprisingly, Frank had no interest in the family business, instead, a desire to become a United States Marine and serve during the Vietnam Era. After the loss of his son and eight years of service, Frank honorably said goodbye to The Corps and pursued an exceptional education, completing both his BBA and MBA and learning a great deal about “big business” while working for some of the largest CPG and financial services corporations on Earth, specifically:
- Rums of Puerto Rico
- Miller Beer
- RJ Reynolds
- Eagle Brand Foods
- Standard Brand
- Citicorp Choice Credit Card Division
- Fidelity Investments
All of the above, exclusively at the Director, VP, and SRVP senior marketing management levels.
At each of these organizations, he saw the value of data and information especially if it could be achieved in real time as it was captured from grocery partners as a complete sales performance and external funds collection service for the independent grocer. Further, Frank wanted to support the independent grocers by providing them with advice, guidance and financial services they need along with the ability to compete with and defeat the major grocery chains introducing state-of-the-art technology that no only leveled the playing field but gave them the added advantage of participating in special multicultural marketing programs targeting consumers proximate to their supermarkets.
Frank made it his business to create a suite of enterprise-scale technology and marketing solutions, leveraging best of class grocery industry knowledge while also creating channel ways into fully funded marketing communications and sales promotion programs paid for completely by CPG brands and their parent corporations.
COMPETING WITH NATIONAL CHAINS
While a local grocer or supermarket chain may have anywhere from 2-20 stores, national chains have hundreds or thousands — and can support a massive infrastructure that will support providing data-hungry CPGs with the customer journey information that they crave. These systems are costly both in terms of creation and ongoing administration, making them simply out of reach for a smaller grocery retailer.
DELIVERING NEW REVENUE
Not only are smaller grocers at a disadvantage due to their limited resources, CPGs may overlook them when it comes to divvying up their marketing funds because it’s simply too difficult to reach and influence a covey of smaller stores. CPG manufacturers have massive marketing budgets, and larger retailers are able to tap into this money to support their ongoing operations — especially when times are tight in the economy. The Grocer Exchange was designed as a collective: a way to raise the profile and awareness of CPGs to the value that is delivered by smaller chains and individual grocery retailers.
Frank wanted to introduce grocers to the concepts of delivering revenue and cost savings from unexpected places:
- Sponsored advertising space within the store
- Digital advertising opportunities
- More expansive and inclusive efficient couponing
- On location and in-store CPG promotions
- In-store sampling
- Cost savings from shared energy rates
- Fully-optimized store operations
All of these marketing activities to be funded not by the grocers — but by the virtually-unlimited marketing budgets of the CPGs.
LEVERAGING ADVANCED AI
The heart of The Grocer Exchange are the advanced AI (artificial intelligence) engines which drive optimization of store operations by the Grocer Exchange Retail Technology companies: GEX-Next Orbit and MarketWatch Data. These two exceptional companies can electronically link independent supermarkets with on-going omni channel digital marketing activities aimed at driving more shoppers to your store while also providing you with the data and information necessary to reveal slow movers, lesser demand items and unwanted products dying on your shelves that should be closed out and discontinued.
As a member of The Grocer Exchange, you get immediate access to our GEX-Next Orbit and MarketWatch Data Corporation platforms provide you with immediate and actionable feedback at your fingertips in real-time, when you need it and how you need it. In activating this segment of your Grocer Exchange membership, you can quickly and easily optimize your store and category products mix to be certain you are always buying at the proper levels and you are never out of stock on in-demand items, particularly when they are moving at their fastest.
ENHANCED AND AUTOMATED MARKETING SOLUTIONS
Marketing your store can be extremely difficult and time-intensive, especially creating digital omnichannel communications which are being sent to shoppers in your area on a regular Assuming a top-of-the-line service, you will discover your shoppers will look forward to receiving promotional messages regarding the products they love along with those being offered as a special buy. Further, at the proper level of reach & frequency, your shoppers enjoy timely notices and reminders of the products, values, benefits and advantages to shopping at your store. Activated and engaged frequently and consistently enough, inevitably, they will shop less at your competitor stores. Again, and always, with your The Grocer Exchange membership, you have immediate access to the world class services of our trusted partner: Webociti.
Frank knows that if independent grocers do not meet with the changing times of digital marketing communications, it will not be long before the majority of independents go out of business, especially as the chains are now encroaching into the space once believed insulated and unattackable before the digital age. It is for this reason, we strongly recommend you take best advantage of your Grocer Exchange membership and contract with Webociti as soon as possible.
To be clear, the purity of The Grocer Exchange began with the vision of supporting independent grocers as they serve their communities, improve their shoppers’ experiences with the products they want, the services they need along with actually offering healthier meal choices as well. Today, in association with Marketing Solutions, Frank’s founding company way back in January of 1988, Frank has expanded Marketing Solutions and Grocer Exchange operations dramatically and ubiquitously to provide retailers with the advanced tools, technology, knowledge, marketing expertise and executive management skills they compete against big box chains throughout the country along with CPG program funding and access to capital markets for large CAPEX requirements from top banks and our own investment banking operations.