There is a fair number of things to think about before opening a Salvage grocery store including equipment needed to make your job a lot easier. Obviously, you will need a store front and plenty of merchandising fixtures like slat wall, gondolas and shopping carts, but what about processing equipment? What about equipment to make your job easier when processing loads of inventory that will be coming in on a weekly basis?
Salvage food is packed into actual banana boxes and then stacked onto pallets. The pallets are then loaded into a trailer and brought to your location by a freight company. Banana boxed pallets of salvage food are heavy as they can contain a variety of grocery items including juices, dry goods and canned food. It is not uncommon to have pallets weighing over one thousand pounds each!
From unloading to merchandising you can find yourself facing exhaustive work and you must have the proper tools:
Forklift – If your store is not equipped with an unloading dock you will need a forklift to unload each truck that is delivered to your location. It is possible to request lift gate trailers upon delivery, but this adds cost to your bottom line. A lift gate trailer can add $75 – $100 to your freight costs and if you are buying 2-3 loads per week this can amount to roughly $1000-1200 in added freight cost.
I recommend a propane forklift as any used electric (battery powered) forklift is a gamble as to how much life is left on the batteries. Replacing a battery can literally cost thousands of dollars. Propane forklifts are much more reliable and easier to have serviced if needed.
Pallet Jack – This tool will truly become your friend as moving pallets around without one is impossible. I recommend buying a new pallet jack and you can find them online or at a neighborhood Harbor Freight store. If you watch the sales, you can purchase one between $200-$300 at most. Make sure you keep up on your pallet jack maintenance and this tool will last years. You can use your pallet jack to move pallets of banana box groceries around in your store room and out to your sales floor if needed.