Competition |


To whom it may Selection Committee,
We are the current AOTs at the Modesto Grocery Outlet, store number 22 where we have
been training under Roger and Heidi Custer for the past few months. We have had the honor to
learn the Grocery Outlet Way from the Custer’s who have had remarkable success running their
store. As a result, we believe that we will be able to replicate that in our store.
We wanted to share with you our interest in the Orangevale Grocery Outlet. We have
lived in Sacramento, CA for the better part of our lives. Throughout our careers, we have worked
in the surrounding areas of Orangevale, CA. The area is known for its small suburban feel
without the high cost of living. Currently, we live in Galt, CA. Many people might view it
negatively that we do not have many family members out in that area, but in our cases, that is not
an issue. This is because we have had great success in building a successful professional network
within that community that is just like a family. Moreover, we have had the opportunity to serve
this diverse community throughout our retail careers successfully.
With that said we believe that we would be very successful in this location. Even though
Orangevale has many grocery stores, it has a high demand for a family-operated grocery store.
After touring the area, its surroundings which comprise neighborhoods, non-competitor
businesses, and the many other grocery stores in the area, we believe that with both the
knowledge we have learned from Grocery outlet and past experiences, we will be capable of
transforming this location into a destination shop for the community.
Specifically, throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to support in running
stores in both Folsom and Citrus Heights. I believe that my success in these locations was due to
my understanding of the community precisely the people that make up that community. At the
Michael’s while running the Folsom store, I discovered after a while that there was a need for a
local community hub where customers could host small get together and kids activities. Whether
it was a women’s night or book club, we witnessed an increase in our sales since we got people
into our store that otherwise would not regularly visit. I know that I can translate this knowledge
into fruitfully running the Grocery Outlet in Orangevale.
My wife Mie has a proven track record of hiring and retaining talented individuals for
this market and will be able to support our store staffing needs. She has a vast professional
network of cashiers to seasoned managers that would love the opportunity to come work for an
owner/operator business.
To conclude our letter, we feel that we are best suited for this location because of our past
involvement in this community, our understanding of the demographics, and our previous ability
to run positive comp numbers without any excuse attitude.
Thank you for your consideration.
Sean Wellons
Mie Yang
Grocery Outlet is in the Cable Park Shopping Center between a newly opened Goodwill
and a Ross store coming soon. It also has a CVS just a couple of stores down the way. The most
influential competitors for the location are Walmart, WinCo, Safeway and Raleys.
Wal-mart is located between Greenback Lane and Hazel Ave directly across the street from our
location. This location is different from most Walmart that it does not have a second entrance. It
is in a single store center with very little parking. The Walmart sign on the building is blocked by
trees and other buildings so people cannot see it from the street. Moreover, it does not have the
traditional outdoor lawn and garden area. The entrance leads you straight to the Health and
beauty department on your right and seasonal aisles on your left.
WinCo is located less than a mile from the Grocery Outlet with regular WinCo operating
hours of 24/7. This WinCo is also found in a single store center with excellent parking and
visibility from the street. The entrance leads you to their power wall with two spot boxes.
Safeway and Raley’s are located at the Madison Ave and Hazel Ave crossing. Raley’s have a
joint center with Dollar Tree and other small retailers and restaurants. Safeway also shares the
center with other small retailers and restaurants. Raley’s and Safeway have their typical
entrances with one leading to the Bakery department and the other to the Produce.
Competition Action: We will always have to compete with our local grocery stores for
the community support but out of the 4 named above, the strongest competitors are Walmart and
WinCo. Their strengths are that they are much bigger and offer the variety and assortment for the
customers at affordable prices. However, they are weak when it comes to team engagement and
customer service. When we visited the two stores, we were not greeted at all by any employee.
We also asked for help with finding specific items and both employees from WinCo and
Walmart simply pointed to the aisle. The employee at WinCo was at least warm and friendly
while the other one at Wal-Mart did not at least even smile. The biggest opportunity from this
Walmart is that their shelves are always empty particularly in the produce, meat, and deli
Another opportunity from this Wal-Mart is that their entrance does not lead into the
produce and consumable aisles. Instead the Produce and Meat department is on the other side of
the store and one would have to walk past the registers to get to the freshness. WinCo on the
other hand does have an entrance that leads one to the fresh produce but an opportunity for them
is freshness and presentation in the produce department. This location does not do a good job
culling the department and while shopping there, we were turned off by the rotten fruits and
veggies. Another opportunity with this WinCo is that 80% of the product assortment for the
power wall is priced below $1.99. Their power wall lacked a cart building assortment of product.
They will always be a threat to us because we cannot control the fact that WinCo and Walmart
offer the essentials with low prices along with the real estate to hold all that merchandise.
Action Plan
To support our growth against WinCo and Walmart Strengths we will need to be strategic
with our ordering to ensure a healthy and assorted count with a big focus on the NOSH items. As
both WinCo and Walmart have not made this an actionable in their stores' focus, we can
capitalize on this and offer our customers a wide variety of affordable natural, organic, and
healthy foods. We will take advantage of the weak customer service from these two stores by
implementing our “GO WOW!” service program. We will lead by example and provide our
customers family-friendly shopping experience.
Learning from both stores opportunities, we will make it a priority that our entrance is
always well stocked and well merchandised with fresh produce. Moreover, when the season
allows we will dedicate our creep to the best and brightest produce with different colors to get
our customer’s attention and best prices to give them the WOW experience including a farmer’s
market style parking lot presentation in spring. We will maintain the freshness of the produce
department by keeping an adequately trained produce lead/clerk on the clock during all peak
hours and ensuring that all associates are cross prepared and able to fill out as needed.
Because of Grocery Outlet’s opportunistic buying, we may not always have everyday essentials,
but by ensuring that our team members are knowledgeable about the product we have at hand,
they will be able to show alternate options and suggestively sell the product that we do have in
We will utilize the marketing means that Grocery Outlet provides to all owner/operators
such as the print ads, radio, and online ads but we will separate ourselves from the crowd by
doing a few more things.
Store marketing will start with Win-What-You-Save but will be elevated by getting the
customers involved in choosing the winner and building more excitement when the customer
comes back to get the prize. When a winner comes in to get their prize, there will be a standard
procedure for recording the winning along with lots of confetti, announcing the win over the PA
and overall store involvement and excitement. We want to build a following from our organic
growth and the customers’ involvement. People are more likely to watch a video and share it
when it is someone they know. The idea behind this process is to get the customer who pulled
the name and the winner to share with their friends and family. It might be a slow process to
start, but with repetition and consistency, we believe that we can build a stronger following to
support the store’s growth. Moreover, we will promote our print ad calling out WOW items in-
store promotions and store events.
Furthermore, social media is a great marketing platform that we will use not only to
promote items but to gain the customer’s trust. We want to be the community’s grocery of choice
by marketing to them through education (content/socialize marketing). When you educate your
customers, you are giving them value and things they need to better their lives. Customers are
more likely to follow and share your posts if you provide them with content that will help them
to be better. For example, instead of a simple video about our banana prices, maybe we do a
video about how to choose the best color for what you need to use the ok to produce banana
color guide. Another way to market using social media is utilizing Sacramento area’s abundant
lifestyle and foodie bloggers who already have a strong connection/following with the
community. We will invite them to our store so that they can share with their followers not only
our incredible prices but the quality of goods that they can get when they visit our location.
Of all the marketing plans that we have, the most important and impactful one for the
success of this location is the plan to focus on the community. When we say community, we are
referring to our customers and our partnering Grocery Outlet Stores: Citrus Heights and Folsom.
To start, we are going to support and emerge ourselves into the Orangevale community by trying
to turn some of Orangevale’s opportunities into our wins. Our customers in Orangevale are
people with a kid or kids as the average family size is 2.63; however, it is the same with WinCo
and Walmart who are only 0.3 and 0.4 miles away respectively. Therefore, we are going to offer
something to the Orangevale community that WinCo does not and will probably not ever
because of growing pains, which are monthly activities for all the children in the community.
Following some research, we figured out that Orangevale offers little to almost no activities for
their children aside from parks and activities outside of Orangevale that will cost parents more
money; money that they would rather spend on groceries. We will keep these consistent on the
weekend of the month to offset the time of the frame when we normally slow down.
Whether this is a craft event or story time we get more customers into our store at a time
when they normally would just wait till the beginning of the month to come back. They might
not fill up a cart, but they will leave with something because why not as they are already there,
and the prices are a bargain. This will be a great community effort between all three Grocery
Outlets (Citrus Heights, Orangevale, and Folsom) should the other operators choose to join in the
fun because essentially, we will share the same customers at times. This will help us build a
bigger Grocery Outlet community rather than 3 small communities that can be broken by the
other bigger retailers. Flyers will be shared with the local schools, Orangevale Community
Center, local businesses, churches and social media.
A great partner to have in the area is the Orangevale Chamber of Commerce as they can
help us merge into the Orangevale community and the local business. Although they have many
events throughout the year and we will do our best to support them, the most exciting one is
Orangevale’s Pow Wow Days that has been a tradition since 1963. We will be a part of this
event through sponsorship and as a local vendor. Continuing with the content marketing that we
spoke about earlier will not be trying to sell our product directly to the community but rather
inform them of who we are and our knowledge of buying and providing fresh and quality foods.
Again, our focus is to be the community’s grocery of choice because they trust us, and they
know we will only offer the best quality, price, and service.
Orangevale’s Chamber of Commerce is also a great marketing tool for us because they
are one of the few Chambers of Commerce that has a smaller count of Board of Directors and
Ambassadors. They currently only have 4 Board of Directors compared to Sacramento's 20,
Citrus Height's 17, and Folsom's 26. Along with the Board of Directors they also struggle with
Ambassadors who are willing to donate their time; therefore they, unfortunately, rotate through
them quickly. There is a lot of room for growth in this chamber which will allow us to be more
impactful should we choose to apply to get on the Board once we become members.
Our primary customers will not be EBT shoppers but somewhat opportunistic and
convenience shoppers. An opportunistic customer will shop around for the best price. They want
to see value in their purchase and if we can offer name brand prices anywhere from 40% to 70%
off to continue to be her first stop before general stores. A convenience customer is someone
who shops with us only when he or she does not want to stand in long lines or walk around for
hours in a superstore. They just need a few things and will shop us first to avoid the conventional
stores at all cost. We also received great information from a front-end supervisor at the WinCo
down the street about the EBT usage. She informed us that their location did not do as much
EBT business compared to the other sites. She was an excellent source as she has worked in 3
different WinCo spots and was able to share some information with us.
Our target customers will be the shoppers who use EBT and the homes with the median
household income of 80,000 plus. Our EBT customers want to fill up their carts; they want to
leave knowing that they got everything they need for the whole month. Our household with a
higher income are shopping at the local Raley’s and Safeway for the fresh produce and meat; we
will need to open with the best produce and meat offerings and maintain it/ For both these
customers we only get one chance to build a long-term relationship. If we do not have a variety
of SKUs for the EBT customer, he or she will not waste any more time to come back and if we
sell rotten produce or lousy meat this customer too will not return.
Customer service is the number one impact on the store's success; therefore we will be
making it our number one priority. We have decided on a service program called "GO WOW!
This program will support us in ensuring that all team members always provide WOW customer
service. GO WOW! Service program will be implemented in our onboarding procedures for all
team members. Associates will be observed and coached daily with recertification every quarter.
G-Greet every customer
O-Offer assistance
W-walk customer to the product
O-Offer your name
W-WOW them with our prices

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