Ingles offers its own private label, Laura Lynn, along with nationally advertised brands at competitive prices for customer convenience. Store offerings include home meal replacement products, floral departments and bakeries.
1. Unique Selling Point
Your unique selling point (USP) should clearly differentiate your business from competitors. A USP should not just be an empty slogan; rather, it should permeate every aspect of your operations from customer service and product design through to customer retention. A strong USP can help secure deals and expand market share.
When developing your unique selling point, ensure it resonates with your target customers and can be validated. Finding an unexploited niche in the market will enable you to gain traction quicker; alternatively you could consider offering features not seen elsewhere such as high levels of cleanability or new manufacturing processes that help differentiate products in their entirety.
Muse’s unique selling proposition (USP) is its consumer tool to monitor brain activity during meditation – this alone serves as its USP; but uniqueness alone does not ensure strong differentiation from its competition; only products that deliver benefits relevant to target audiences will truly stand out in a competitive marketplace.
An all too common misstep is basing your unique selling point (USP) on an easily replicable feature of your product; for instance, boasting that it cleans particularly well is something any detergent manufacturer could claim about their product. Your USP should stand for something you believe in, which is why many businesses create brand promises based on core values.
Ingles supermarkets provide one-stop convenience to their customers with in-store bakeries and delicatessens, produce departments, deli sections, gourmet coffee service, book stores and floral shops – not to mention an extensive selection of national brands as well as its own Laura Lynn private label brand.
The Company recognizes the need to offer consumers access to quality food at convenient times and services, so its merchandising strategy places great importance on freshness, including by featuring an abundance of produce with more locally-grown items than competitors.
2. Dedicated Suppliers
Ingles Markets, Incorporated prides itself on having an efficient supply chain which enables it to control costs effectively. They employ third party manufacturers solely producing items for them which reduces bargaining power with other buyers and allows Ingles to buy from these firms at reduced rates. They also carry their own private label products such as Laura Lynn line named after founder Robert Ingle’s daughter Laura Lynn which offer savings compared with national brand products and are promoted throughout stores and on television commercials.
Ingles Markets, Incorporated offers an impressive selection of domestic and imported wines, microbrewery beers and premium spirits, bakery, delicatessen prepared food items, gourmet coffee service and floral departments within each store. Ingles Markets also provides customer services including sit-down cafes, check cashing, faxing machines and UPS shipping assistance services for its customers.
The Company’s management believes that supermarkets providing a broad selection of food and time saving services are seen by customers as solutions to their hectic lifestyles, so its prototype stores aim to offer one-stop shopping experiences. Ingles Markets, Incorporated stores feature a “power aisle”, featuring specialty departments like bakeries and delicatessens offering fresh pizza and rotisserie chicken along with fresh squeezed juices and assorted fruit slices; their fruit bars also add to this convenience factor. Ingles Markets Incorporated stores feature in-store pharmacies and book stores for added convenience when visiting Ingles Markets Incorporated stores!
Ingles Markets, Incorporated owns and operates a fluid dairy processing operation called Milkco, Inc. This subsidiary manufactures and sells fresh local milk, frozen dairy and beverage products directly to Ingles Markets as well as retailers, wholesalers and food service distributors. Furthermore, the Company owns and operates its real estate division which owns and leases out 74 shopping centers; of which 58 include an Ingles supermarket while leasing the remaining properties to tenants such as Ingles.
3. Large Customer Base
Ingles recognizes that supermarket customers today seek a wide range of products and time-saving services offered at supermarkets to fulfill a range of lifestyle demands. Therefore, Ingles designs its stores as one-stop shops featuring bakeries and delicatessen sections, home meal replacement items, gourmet coffee service and an expansive selection of health and beauty care products. Many locations also feature book sections with reading areas as well as pharmacies and floral departments; additionally the company provides domestic, premium micro brewery beers imported as well as domestic beers plus wine and spirit offerings from Ingles stores.
The Company prides itself on customer satisfaction and holds itself to high standards of friendly service, quality merchandise and community involvement. Their dedication to quality can be seen through their fresh food options and variety and taste of products they carry; further backed up by their modern warehouse and distribution center near Asheville in North Carolina which helps the Company self-distribute most of their stores’ inventory from this facility.
One of Ingles’ main draws to doing business is its ability to offer a comprehensive selection of products at prices comparable to or less than its competitors’ offerings. It offers two private label lines named Laura Lynn after founder’s daughter and Ingles Best which it advertises through television and print ads promoting them alongside national brands on shelf tags while simultaneously reflecting savings at cash register receipts.
The Company strives to enhance store operations and services through an ongoing evaluation and testing process. For example, in 1992 Jim Owens, vice president of bakery-deli operations, implemented special cake promotions featuring discounted pricing during October in order to boost sales and profitability. Ingles also enhanced store layouts in an effort to optimize space utilization while simultaneously promoting Laura Lynn products.
Ingles expanded its retail offerings by offering gas sales in certain of its stores, capitalizing on existing real estate assets to reduce costs associated with leasing land for an individual gas station and creating one from scratch.
4. Rapid Innovation
As one of the premier Grocery Stores companies, Ingles Markets, Incorporated must constantly innovate to attract new customers while satisfying its current ones. New products help it create economies of scale and reduce fixed costs per unit to maintain margins while discouraging new entrants into its industry. Furthermore, its efficient supply chain helps lower raw material costs.
The Company operates retail grocery stores, fluid dairy processing and real estate ownership (including shopping center rentals). Their supermarket chain Ingles boasts an expansive selection of high-quality perishables from national brands as well as its own Laura Lynn private label products, along with time-saving services such as in-store bakeries and delicatessens, ready-to-eat meals and salad bars, gourmet coffee service and fresh squeezed juice. Some stores even feature pharmacies and book stores with reading areas!
Management believes that customers expect supermarkets offering an expansive selection of products and time-saving services as part of the solution to their lifestyle demands. Therefore, Ingles designs its prototype stores to provide customers with an enjoyable shopping experience – in addition to traditional grocery departments there may also be specialty sections such as bakery, deli, produce department and gourmet coffee service – where customers may order and pay for food at counters located near seating areas. Furthermore, Ingles also provides check cashing services, photo services and video rental.
Grocer has also introduced its own proprietary line of frozen foods to compete with national brands and support its core business. Ice cream manufactured at their own fluid dairy processing division has received excellent consumer reviews.
As the COVID-19 pandemic progressed, Ingles faced similar challenges as other retailers: making sure its network could support contactless ordering and curbside pickup services for customers looking for alternatives to in-store purchases. To meet this demand, Ingles upgraded from Cisco infrastructure to Aruba Wi-Fi 5/6 access points as well as Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager to increase performance and coverage; with this upgrade Ingles could keep its inventory systems online; provide quick price updates for meat scales; as well as allow customers to order using handheld devices like Zebra scanners – ultimately keeping inventory systems online while meeting customer demands for convenient ordering fulfillment services – helping keep inventory systems online enabling it allowing quick price updates while fulfilling orders from its meat scales; while customers used handheld devices such as Zebra scanners for ordering fulfillment.
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