Drake's Distribution Center.
Drakes' state-of-the-art distribution center advances as the retailer expands cross-docking capabilities for its smaller suppliers. CEO Roger Drake speaks to Retail World about challenges in the marketplace, what drives the business and what engages with the customer.
Roger Drake, CEO of Drake's Supermarkets.
The ability to adapt and react quickly to any occasion has given Drake's Supermarkets a real advantage in a competitive marketplace. These factors, along with resilience and the right team, were key to moving the business forward and managing the pandemic – a challenge that would not have been foreseeable just a few years ago.
"Who would have thought we would have rolling locks, all of us wearing face masks and using QR codes to enter the store?" Said Mr Drake.
Drake points to consumer trends and says the focus is on health, vegan, protein-based, and plant-based foods.
He also noticed that people are very short on time, so Drakes & # 39; Kitchen concept The Little Kitchen offers its customers many prepared dishes on the menu.
“All of our new stores will have a kitchen. We hired a full-time cook. We make fresh pasta, fresh gelati, coffee in all the new rollout stores, fresh juice, kombucha and look at all the different ways, ”said Drake.
“Some (concepts) are more work, but the fact is you have to be at the forefront to make sure you are giving the consumer what they need or giving them some options. And there are so many options now. "
The days are a busy time for the kitchens, with items like chicken and salad, fried potatoes, fried vegetables, and carbonara that are particularly popular with customers.
“We also make our own pasta,” he says. "They all won't work sometimes, but you have to have these offers."
Read the full-length exclusive interview in the October issue of Retail World.