Cub Foods is reportedly responding to what could be the biggest challenge to its dominance of the Twin Cities grocery market by cutting its prices.
The Business Journal reported this week on recent comments made by Jim Hornecker, real estate manager at Cub Foods' parent company Supervalu, who said that the chain will not "make it easy" for Hy-Vee as it prepares to open stores in the metro area.
Supervalu has been slashing prices at its 77 metro area Cub Foods stores over the past year, the Business Journal says, and has been able to free up money through the sale of Albertsons and other chains in 2013 that will allow it to invest in further price cuts.
Iowa-based Hy-Vee revealed plans last year to open several new stores in the metro area, identifying locations in New Hope, Oakdale, Lakeville, Maple Grove and possibly Cottage Grove for starters.
The Star Tribune reported that Cub Foods, as the market leader in the city ahead of Wal-Mart and Target, could have the most to lose from Hy-Vee's entry into the Twin Cities, with supermarket consultant David Livingston telling the newspaper "Cub and Rainbow are most susceptible to market share losses."
"Lunds, Byerly’s, Whole Foods or Kowalski’s — it’s a step down from that," he said. "But it’s a step up from Cub and Rainbow."
Officially, Cub has not said how it has or will cut its prices, with a spokesman telling the Business Journal there "is nothing new or different" about its approach "to deliver the best value to our customers" – adding it invested in price cuts in several areas last summer.
Hy-Vee has said on its Facebook page that its first metro area store in New Hope will open in September.
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