Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - 33

Johanneson's Inc.
To create that mindset, Johanneson's Inc. hired a veteran
of Trader Joe's to manage KJ's. Further, all employees are
cross-trained across different departments so that they can
develop a fuller understanding of all the products and fill
in at whatever area needs help. A person who begins the
day stocking shelves might move over to cashier during a
busy period.

Difference Makers
Training employees to educate consumers has been the
biggest hurdle to introducing hot and organic foods to its
supermarkets. "Part of the learning curve is to provide the
right food products to your audience and provide it in such
a way that it's the right quality," Johanneson says. The company has not yet figured out how to offer hot evening meals,
but does have a deli department with exclusive cheeses, salad and soup bars, prepared salads and catering. Some stores
have on-site seating areas for customers who want to enjoy
their meals right away while others are purely grab-and-go.
Many of those grab-and-go sandwiches, snack containers and bakery items come from Johanneson's Inc.'s central
commissary out of KJ's Fresh Market and are transported
to the other stores via refrigerated trucks. The commissary

opened two years ago and serves as another example of the
company's focus on high-quality, perishable foods. Those
fresh items help Johanneson's Inc. set itself apart from bigbox stores such as Walmart and smaller retailers with grocery sections such as Dollar Tree.
The other big differentiator is Johanneson's Inc.'s employees. The company looks for people who can educate its
customers, a process that has required some adjustments to
adapt to the next generation of workers. "Hiring millennials
is a challenge for us because their expectations versus what
we've used in the past is different," Johanneson says.
Millennials value gratification in their work and want to
work for superiors who value Dean Foods
their contributions. "You learn Two Midwest icons, Johanneson's and Dean
Foods, are trusted and preferred by shopto listen and you pers for their high quality standards and
allow them some commitment to healthful nourishment. Our
input into the customer-focused employees are proud to
enterprise so they deliver fresh, nutritious, wholesome quality
can have owner- products to our retail partners. We celebrate
Johanneson's on its 75th anniversary and
ship," Johanneson look forward to the next milestone.
explains. O

May/June 2017

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - Intro
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - Cover1
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - Cover2
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - 1
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - 3
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - 4
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - 5
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Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - MCover1
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