I’m not sure who is in charge of coining phrases in the supermarket industry, but “sustainability” is one of the most interesting, providing a wicked double entendre. The term implies, of course, that retailers operate with eco-friendliness, thus sustaining the environment for the long haul. Given the performance of some supermarket retailers, it would appear they should be focused on sustaining their sales and marketshare before they embark on saving the world.
But to be “sustainable” you must stand for something and bring something to the customer that no other competitor can . Developing a sustainable market position is not easy. It takes investment, discipline and vision. Good companies have long since established their “sustainable” position in the marketplace. If you are a retailer and you cannot quickly articulate what your company’s “ownable” and sustainable position in the consumer’s consideration set of food retailers…….you likely don’t have one.