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Everybody's Market has officially teamed with the Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA), a move that owners believe will allow them to offer customers more value while continuing to uphold a community grocer feel.
Sam Morris, son of owner Irving Morris, who has taken on a more prominent role within the company over the last several years, stated that the move was made a few months ago, but the sign indicating that Everybody's Market is now a part of IGA only went up a few weeks ago. The move was made, Morris indicated, to allow Everybody's to “grow as a store” but remain committed to its “roots” as a community grocer.
“We needed to grow with someone and IGA fit the mold perfectly,” said Morris. “If you look at IGA and another major chain, they are both large operations, but one is based on independent stores.”
That commitment by IGA to allow local, one-store operations to retain their uniqueness is what drew Morris to the company in the first place.
Founded in 1926, IGA has grown to become one of the largest international companies in the world, and boasts on its website that its goal remains “bringing together independent grocers across the United States to ensure that the trusted, family-owned local grocery store remained strong in the face of growing chain competition.”
While some of the stores that partner with IGA are smaller chains that operate a limited number of sites, a majority are one-store operations, Morris said, meaning that the local establishments are not required to relinquish the qualities that have allowed it to thrive within a community.
As far as what the move will mean for the customer and the community, Morris stated that shoppers will find “value in every corner of the store” now that Everybody's will be able to offer the IGA brand label on many products. Many times, the in-house label is significantly cheaper than other brands on the market, meaning customers will have more options.
“Stop & Shop has its own milk label. We didn't have the ability to offer anything like that. Now, we'll have the IGA milk label,” explained Morris, as an example of the types of benefits the move will provide.
Teaming with IGA will also allow Everybody's to become more involved within the community. Morris acknowledged that the store has always wanted to be active within Cheshire but, because of a limited staff, finding the time to coordinate activities was difficult. With IGA now on board, Everybody's will be able to take advantage of their marketing and public relations department to organize events.
“It's something we have always wanted to do more, and now we can,” he stated.
Everybody's Market was first founded in the mid-1920s by Bill Shore and was taken over by Irving Morris in 1945. At that time, Everybody's became a local chain, topping out at 12 different stores in the area. However, as time went by, the business consolidated until the lone Everybody's resided in Cheshire.
Morris indicated that, as he has become more involved in the business, he realized he was “learning everything on my own” and approached his father with the idea of joining with IGA late last year.
“We're in the business to grow, and this allows us to grown within the community,” said Morris.
Everybody's store General Manager Chris Zygmunt stated that the layout of the store will not change because of the partnership and the only difference people will see when they enter the store will be the wider selection of products now offered.
He also indicated that Everybody's will be able to tap into numerous services made available through IGA, such as different sweepstakes and product information.
“This is all being done to try and bring more to the community,” said Zygmunt.
And as for the atmosphere of community that Morris says the store has tried to cultivate for decades, that will remain the same.
“The customer knows that, here, whether it's good or bad, their voice will always be heard,” he said.