Monday, September 24, 2007

The Future of Henry's, Part II

I just got off the phone with Randall Oliver, Smart & Final's corporate communications guy. He tells me that the plan is to run the Henry's stores pretty much as they've been run before--same name, same format. He had nothing to say at this point about merchandising strategies or upgrades, but that they are not planning on converting any of the stores to Smart & Finals.

Mostly, he says he's basing this on the fact that the company had previously bought another chain of stores, Cash & Carry, in Portland (since renamed Smart Foodservice Cash & Carry) and Smart & Final hasn't changed those to fit the S&F mold. "I'm sure the story will be very similar with Henry's," he said. "They're profitable, well-run stores. We've always been in various niches in the food category so this will be just another niche."

He also couldn't comment on the Wild Oats products, saying that "a lot of decisions haven't been made as to how things will be structured." But he did note that a lot of the vendors who serviced the Wild Oats brand will probably be interested in continuing to serve Henry's.

So, I suppose all we can do is just wait and see how this all plays out.


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