A group of retailers from Salt Lake City, Utah-based Associated Food Stores (AFS) recently spent a week in Texas collaborating with executives from the regional retailer Brookshire Brothers to share best practices, challenges and solutions.
Roger White, SVP of sales and category management at AFS, says, “The Brookshire Brothers team provided an in-depth look at the organization. However, the process was much more of a collaboration between our retailers and their team members—everyone sharing ideas, asking questions and providing tips for how to compete in today’s hyper-competitive grocery space.”
The trip was the result of a share group—a collection of AFS member-retailers who meet several times a year to problem solve and share ideas—AFS recently organized. In the initial share group meetings, participants expressed their desire to hold an annual out-of-market trip to learn from retailers in other parts of the country.
AFS retail-member Brandon Peterson from Peterson’s Fresh Market says, “It was a great opportunity to associate with comparable retailers in a similarly competitive environment.”
During their time in Texas, the group toured the corporate offices and local stores, attended a groundbreaking event in College Station for Brookshire Brothers’ newest store that’s a partnership with the Texas A & M University System and had meetings with executive staff members.
Lending support to the experience were Brookshire Brothers’ executive staff members John Alston, president and CEO; Sally Alvis, senior director of marketing and community relations; and Luke Gustafson, VP of retail operations.
David Rice, president of Associated Retail Operations and SVP of Associated Food Stores, says, “We are truly appreciative of Brookshire Brothers hospitality and transparency. We are grateful for John Alston’s continued partnership and we look forward to finding additional ways to collaborate with one another to better the independent cause.”