Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Central Market -- tough months ahead?

I think we are all praying, or at least thinking some good thoughts, that our favorite grocery store survives the economic downturn. Unofficial reports are that CM is busy, but not "as busy." The Central Market division of the HEB company is barely a blip on their overall sales radar, and since HEB is a privately held company, the accounting numbers are not in the public domain. Hence, your guess is as good as mine as to the profitability and "survivability." We can get a feel for success or lack of success when we visit though.

Stores like Central Market may not be as dependent as other retailers on the Christmas season, but the holidays are a barometer of CM's strength, that is, if shoppers aren't interested in spending a little more money for a little more quality -- and for a better shopping experience -- during the holidays, they never will.

A couple years ago, on the day before Thanksgiving, I had to park on the street west of Central Market -- the parking lot was that full. I do not think this year will be the same. I would be surprised if their year-over-year is not down dramatically.

I hope that I am wrong.

I just noticed their new website which is better and more helpful than the old website:

By the way, the "today's specials" pdf link is worth looking at.

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