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TheStreet Open House

The Fresh Market CEO At Goldman Sachs 2012 Global Retailing Conference (Transcript)

Top lining the food is service and for us the service involves an engaging store experience. We've got dark tile floors, soft lightening, we play classical music, we sample coffee, we carry groceries to customers' cars. Quite honestly, we don't think you can find this food shopping experience anywhere else.

If you look at this diagram, you can see the categories where we compete. If you look at the perimeter, you see the perishable categories, that's where the produce, the meat, the sea food, daily, bakery are, prepared foods. We round out the customer shopping experience in the interior of the store with dry packaged grocery items, book, coffee, candy, beer and wine.

Finally and this is very important. We point out what you don't see. You don't see aisle after aisle of low margin commodity staple items. We make our biggest statements in the perishable categories, that's where we compete. That's where the higher margins are, is in the perishable categories.

We're often asked about how we set our prices, so let`s talk a little bit about pricing. We are committed to providing fair and reasonable prices. I think that's what you hear a lot of people say but I may not want to say our prices are structured to build trust. We're trying to build a coast to coast retailer and we're going to have prices that in general trust between us and our customers. When a customer comes into the store, quite honestly, we're looking for relationship not a transaction. That's how we train our managers. That's how we train our (inaudible), how we talk to ourselves, is we're trying to build a relationship and that's how we set our prices. So let`s talk about a little bit.

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