Welcome to the 2nd Annual Report special issue of Retail Leader.
Our goal, as always, is to provide context, strategy and analysis beyond the headlines that appear in your inbox every morning. In this issue we offer a look back at the events of the recent past in the hope it will prompt productive discussions about lessons learned and strategies for the future.
As we looked back on the prior year, key trends and common issues and challenges emerged clearly. We've presented and offered analysis of the key developments in food retail, with subjects ranging from capital management to consumer insights to technology.
But what I hope readers gain from this special issue each year is a sense of the critical role that grocers and other food retailers play in the social fabric of our society. It can sometimes be difficult to see the forest for the trees when you're embedded in an industry so deeply.
Our mission is to bring you those broad strokes, with issues, opportunities and challenges clearly delineated and put into perspective.
I recently had the opportunity to hear Hank Meijer, co-chairman and CEO of family-owned Meijer Stores, speak as part of the Milwaukee Business Journal's Power Breakfast Series. He reminded the audience of the chains humble beginnings and shared a familiar story about the American dream, one we don't hear as much these days it seems.
"When my grandfather and father embarked on their journey together 80 years ago, they did more than just open their first store," Meijer recounted. "Their customers were their neighbors and their friends. They understood that they could not thrive without their community thriving."
This outlook has served Meijer well, as it has done for many other food retailers in our industry. It's a big part of what makes me proud to look back on the year that's passed and ahead to the future.