The idea of opening a scratch and dent can store may sound appealing, but you should take the time needed to research your local market as far as competition.

Larger cities boasting a population over 100,000 may be a tough market for your venture into the salvage food business as competition could be a major factor. Obviously, the idea to resell discounted food is unique and you probably have no intent on competing with the large chain grocery stores, but how many other discount food stores are in your city?

Smaller cities and towns allow the small entrepreneur the opportunity to corner the market and enjoy ongoing business providing products, at great pricing, that cannot be found anywhere else.

How to research your local retail food market

Make a list of the grocery stores in your area and then add all the discount food stores within your city. Your direct competition will be those grocery stores that offer discounted or closeout food. Once you have a list together, visit each store a few times at different times of the day to observe the volume of shoppers. Take not of pricing strategies and merchandise ideas employed by these stores. Keep a close eye on parking availability, store navigation and store hours of operation.

Researching competition will give you a clear picture as to whether you can offer better pricing, service, facilities (including parking, store navigation) and convenience. A store can offer lower pricing than others, but if people cannot easily access a location…. business will suffer. Customers want the entire experience – good deals, clean atmosphere and shopping convenience.

With the proper research ask yourself a few questions:

  • Can I secure a location that is easily accessible and not hidden on some backstreet?
  • Can I offer better service than current stores within a specified radius of my city?
  • How can my store stand out from the others?
  • Based upon competition, can I offer lower pricing?
  • What can I do or offer that will make people want to shop at my store?

Proper planning and organizing prior to starting a business will ensure long lasting success. Today, more than ever you must offer more than lower pricing when you are facing market competition. If you create the whole experience for your customers, you will enjoy repeat business whether you are retailing salvage food or any other product.