Grocery & Food Retail Consulting


Over the last ten years, industry consolidation, new natural/organic concepts and paradigm-shifting consumer trends (e.g., local, health & wellness) have created a truly dynamic competitive environment in grocery and food retail. To help our clients win in this new world, L.E.K. designs and activates strategic programs to drive meaningful and profitable sales growth and define the right store portfolio. Our core strength in mining shopper insights frames both substantial and pragmatic growth strategies. Our retail expertise helps grocery and convenience stores evolve their store portfolios, critically analyze their branded and private label assortments, and define the right omni-channel strategies.  

Client Issues

We have a deep understanding of the key grocery and other food retail challenges in today’s marketplace and encourage our clients to consider these key questions:

  • Do you truly have an accurate view of the different consumer groups within the addressable market, and do you have a winning value proposition to delight customers?
  • How do you position yourself to capitalize on long-term consumption patterns and growing interest in local, health & wellness, and the many other trends shaping consumers’ purchase behavior?
  • How do you better manage your store portfolio to maximize productivity?
  • Is an evolved, or entirely new, store format required to better serve your existing customers, improve current performance or realize new growth opportunities?
  • Is your assortment optimized to drive sales and profitability across branded and private label products?
  • What is your Edge Strategy to effectively monetize and find growth in areas around your core business?
  • Do you have the right organizational talent to manage the successful activation of the strategies needed to drive growth?

Examples of Our Work

  • A regional grocery chain was experiencing comp sales declines amid an increasingly competitive local market. We helped our client define a new natural and organic specialty store concept, critically review and change their assortment to be better aligned with consumer trends, and manage the execution of the strategy across their chain. The new concept dramatically improved customer satisfaction and our execution support positioned the company for a successful turnaround on an expedited timeline. 
  • Although a major convenience and gasoline retailer had a compelling strategic position in its core market with clear brand recognition and market share leadership in fuel sales, it had not materially invested in its stores in more than a decade and was substantially over-reliant on in-store sales of tobacco and packaged beverages. This client worked with us to develop a new store concept and food strategy that drove a 50% increase in-store transactions, with gross margins that were 100-200 basis points higher than legacy stores.
  • A large national grocery chain was experiencing slow sales growth and uncertainty about which factors were causing underperformance. We performed a category diagnostic analysis and developed a detailed category management plan, which led to an immediate comp store increase and momentum in key categories that had stalled.

View additional case examples

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