Ernest Barbella on the New Micro-Marketing Initiative at A&P

Beginning in 2010, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P) began remodeling its stores with a renewed commitment to better serving the local communities in which it operates. After hiring a new Chief Executive Officer, Sam Martin, A&P began an initiative that called for the renovation of its stores to better reflect its customer base. By first conducting research into the demographics and buying habits of the local community, A&P is able to stock any given store with items that local customers are more likely to buy, from deli items to health and beauty care products.

Furthermore, in each store, A&P employees reflect the community, in that they speak the language that a majority of their customers do. In predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods, employees are often bilingual speakers of English and Spanish. Through this model, A&P is revamping its stores to become more customer-oriented, a unique strategy from which other regional retailers can learn.

About Ernest Barbella:

A food retail executive with more than 30 years of experience, Ernest Barbella became A&P’s Vice President and General Manager of the New York region in the 1970s. Ultimately, Mr. Barbella owned and operated several of his own companies, the most recent of which was a pasta packaging company.

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