By Bob Johns
September 2013 Integrated Solutions For Retailers
Rouses is leveraging price optimization software chain-wide to increase sales and margins simultaneously.
From the time Rouses Supermarkets opened in Louisiana in 1960 through mid-2007, it grew from a single location to 15 stores. However, in October 2007 the company took a giant leap forward and more than doubled its footprint by purchasing 17 A&P stores in the South. An aggressive move like this positioned the company as one of the largest independent grocers in the South, but it also came with some growing pains.
Although the company had grown through acquisition before, it was normally a few stores at a time. “There was little time for sleep for anyone in our family,” says managing member Allison Rouse. “We were converting the A&P stores two at a time, four per week, changing signage, installing systems, changing registers, and meeting with employees.” At the same time, Rouses found that its home-grown price management solution was not going to work in a world where they are now competing directly with the large regional and national chains. “We have competed with everyone at one point or another, but this was on a whole new scale for us,” Rouse says.
Rouse began the search for a new solution, realizing that spreadsheets were no longer the answer and they could not create a solution on their own. Several family members from upper-level management and the pricing manager joined in the search for a solution, using trade publications and online trade articles. With a limited IT department, the team found that a cloud-based solution would suit the company best, not requiring a large up-front investment in infrastructure.