GOODING'S CHANGES VENDORS, IS EXPANDING NONFOOD MIX

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. -- Gooding's Supermarkets here has changed nonfood suppliers and is expanding its nonfood mix.Over the summer, the 17-store chain began receiving its health and beauty care merchandise from Gulf Distribution, Miami, and its general merchandise from the Miami division of Fleming Cos.Gooding's nonfood lines had been supplied by the Supervalu division in Quincy, Fla.Sources at

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. -- Gooding's Supermarkets here has changed nonfood suppliers and is expanding its nonfood mix.

Over the summer, the 17-store chain began receiving its health and beauty care merchandise from Gulf Distribution, Miami, and its general merchandise from the Miami division of Fleming Cos.

Gooding's nonfood lines had been supplied by the Supervalu division in Quincy, Fla.

Sources at Gooding's, Fleming, Gulf and Supervalu would not comment on the supplier changes.

One local observer, who wished to remain anonymous, said, "Gooding's is going for more one-stop shopping and they want to be able to offer their customers a wider variety. Gooding's wants to make a statement they're in the nonfood business. They're dedicating more space in the stores. Shoppers will have more variety and selection and better services."

All areas of GM and HBC will be affected by the changes, the source said, adding that "this is a store-by-store process."

To accommodate the increased nonfood selection, Gooding's "cut back from grocery items," he explained.

"To really make an impact on consumers [in supermarket nonfood] you have to have the variety," the source said. "And with these changes, Gooding's will have that."

The source was not more specific about how Gooding's supplier changes will affect product mix and placement at the store level.

But he did say the chain switched to Fleming for general merchandise because it was "going for more selection and more variety in general merchandise. And their space dedication has increased [in that area], depending on the store location. It's a huge increase over what they had before."

As part of the changes, Gooding's created general merchandise aisles, something the source said the chain had not done before.

He also noted "[Fleming] is trying to really open up Florida. They picked up some smaller independent accounts but Gooding's is by far the largest."