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Southwest Retail Innovator And Executive Of The Year: United Family & Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor
Robert Taylor

Taylor Made for Leadership

Robert Taylor says he looks forward to getting up every morning. He never dreamed he would be in the position he is today, president of The United Family. But it seems he was destined for the role.

Taylor had been associated with United Supermarkets for a long time before he became part of it. He was at the helm of R.C. Taylor Distributing, formerly R.C. Taylor Wholesale, his father’s business, and United Supermarkets was its biggest account. In 2007, Taylor sold the business to United Supermarkets and became a part of the company’s leadership team as VP of logistics. In 2010, he was named president.

The people who work with him are incredibly modest when speaking about themselves, but effusive in their admiration for him. In their words, he is a visionary, genuine, energetic, a bulldog, a relationship builder, respected—and pixie dust.

The Shelby Report of the Southwest is honored to recognize Robert Taylor as our Executive of the Year.

See the full section honoring Taylor and The United Family here:

Five banners, five distinct experiences

If there is one thing that really sets The United Family apart, it is the company’s innovation in branding. The United Family operates five retail banners: United Supermarkets, Amigos, Albertsons Market, Market Street and United Express. Each has its own look and personality.

There are grocery companies operating today under one banner or maybe two that are similar, but five distinct banners? That gets tricky, said Mary Myers, United’s senior communications and community relations manager.

“We’ve invested a lot of time, money, research and attention in developing diversified brands, from the typical brand piece, like colors and fonts and the logo, but also all the way down into how does it feel when a guest is in that store,” she said. “What do we want them to say about us when they leave? We’ve got value codes, we’ve got a brand persona, we’ve got all these pieces that as a marketing person I geek out over. I love branding when it’s done well.”

Myers pointed out that the one entity that gets less branding than all of the other companies that make up organization—there are eight in total, including the five retail banners—is the parent, The United Family. It is focused on the least because what matters most is getting the experience each banner offers right.

“The United Family is our company name, and we were family-owned for a long time, but what it really means now is this family of brands that is entirely diversified and different,” Myers said. “There are different versions of the weekly ad depending on which banners are in which area. We send a lot of weekly emails. There is a lot of niche content that is being developed to be delivered to guests who want some or all of the different opportunities that are available in these different brands—all of it with great service, all of it at a fair price and all of it on trend so every one of them has got an eye on what’s next but none of them are the same.”

United Supermarkets and Albertsons Market stores are more traditional grocery stores. But a rural United Supermarkets store still will have a vastly different feel than an Albuquerque Albertsons Market.

“Traditional grocery is alive and well, so we have to be able to serve that guest,” Myers said. “There still is a big niche for traditional grocery for someone on a tight budget who isn’t buying from the floral department or who will stop in the bakery for a special treat.”

The distinction really begins when a shopper walks into a Market Street, Amigos or United Express.

Keep reading:

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