Over the holidays my family visited relatives down in the Bay Area, which has been a tradition for us for many years. I took the opportunity before Christmas to visit a couple of Salvage food grocery stores to check out their operations. I like to assume I am a local customer and try to find out what I like and don’t like about a particular store.

The first store was on a busy street corner and to me looked to be about 2,000 square feet in size. There was plenty of parking when I pulled into the parking lot, so I turned the car off and strolled inside. There were plenty of shoppers filling shopping carts in this store aptly named “Dented Discounts”. While strolling through the store I noticed a diverse selection of dry and canned goods. The pricing was really good, and I could tell this store had a good source of inventory. It is critical to have good salvage grocery suppliers.

This first store I visited was clean and the aisles were well stocked. I was impressed with their operation and could tell the overall business was strong. The second store I visited was a different experience. It was a small cramped store with grocery products that appeared to have spent a great deal of time on the shelves, unsold. The overall store had a bad odor, which immediately gave the impression of spoiled food. The appearance of the store and the overall atmosphere was more than likely the cause of slumping sales. Salvage food already has this connotation of old and expired in many people’s minds and when customers experience a lack of cleanliness, they will avoid shopping all together.

After visiting a couple of stores, I finished off my holiday visit and returned home a few days later. I would encourage you to take some time and visit salvage food stores in your area if you are thinking of opening your own business. There is a lot of information you can learn from your competition.