Supervalu Eyes SKU Reduction, Store ‘Simplification’

Supervalu is poring over sales data to streamline its product offerings, the company’s new chief executive officer said at an investor conference here last week.

NEW YORK — Supervalu is poring over sales data to streamline its product offerings, the company’s new chief executive officer said at an investor conference here last week.

“I’ll name a category, cereal, where we’ll carry four sizes of the exact same box of cereal that might be ranked No. 72 in the category,” said Craig Herkert in response to a question about SKU rationalization. “And from one size box to the next, there’s another bowl-and-a-half of cereal in there. I’m not sure our customer’s telling us that’s real variety.”

He made his comments at the Goldman Sachs Retailing Conference.

The effort, he said, is part of an overall effort to simplify the shopping experience for consumers and for store-level workers.

He also said the company was focusing on centralizing its national promotions to get better deals from vendors — Supervalu has been too complex for some suppliers to work with, he said — while leaving decisions about local products and promotions in the hands of individual banners.

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