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I’ve been watching with great interest over the past year, “The Grocery store wars in our Raleigh neighborhood.” Doing some basic comparisons of funeral homes with other businesses I’m finding more similarities than differences.

The Publix store had been the only game in town up until August 1st of this year. The rumor that a full-service (wine & beer section, an on-site bakery, and a restaurant) store called Wegman’s (from the east coast) had started construction of a new building just 5 miles away from Publix.

Well, it wasn’t a rumor, and the Wegman store has completed a first-class building and is selling circles around the Publix store. The capitalist game of competition, saw the Publix store responded by providing Bag Boys to take you and your grocery purchases to your car – with a strict policy of no tipping!
They also now have a senior manager posted at the door saying to each customer “Thank you for coming and shopping at our store.” The power of those words makes a favorable impression on the customer. People like to be thanked. For an in-depth look at how that phrase impacts a consumer, you should read the book titled The Thank You Economy – by author Gary Vaynerchuk.

The mom-and-pop grocery stores of the 60’s, and the majority of funeral homes were neighborhood-specific, with the owner knowing most of the customers by name. He knew what the customer wanted and provided it for them on a regular basis.

So what is an existing grocery business or a funeral home to do when confronted with a New Competitor, with a New building and New ideas for service?

This is imperative if you don’t want to lose your business.

I don’t know exactly where the grocery business war is headed but I do know that any reluctance to try new things will only add to the problem of revenue loss, be it for a grocery store or a funeral home.

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