At 4

At 4:30 p.m. on December 6, 2010, Meredith Collins, VP of Marketing for Reed Supermarkets,
walked down the sidewalk of the 10-store strip mall that housed Reed’s Westgate Plaza branch in
Columbus, Ohio. Collins didn’t shop; instead she took mental notes about store traffic, first at the
Reed store and then at an indirect but increasingly worrisome kind of competitor—a dollar store.
The Reed was predictably well lit and inviting, and Collins could see three registers open and two or
three customers in line at each

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HBS Professor John A. Quelch and writer Carole Carlson prepared this case solely as a basis for class discussion and not as an endorsement, a
source of primary data, or an illustration of effective or ineffective management. This case, though based on real events, is fictionalized, and any
resemblance to actual persons or entities is coincidental. There are occasional references to actual companies in the narration.
Copyright © 2011 President and Fellows of Harvard College. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, call 1-800-545-7685,
write Harvard Business Publishing, Boston, MA 02163, or go to http://www.hbsp.harvard.edu. This publication may not be digitized,
photocopied, or otherwise reproduced, posted, or transmitted, without the permission of Harvard Business School.
JOHN A. QUELCH
CAROLE CARLSON
Reed Supermarkets:
A New Wave of Competitors
At 4:30 p.m. on December 6, 2010, Meredith Collins, VP of Marketing for Reed Supermarkets,
walked down the sidewalk of the 10-store strip mall that housed Reed’s Westgate Plaza branch in
Columbus, Ohio. Collins didn’t shop; instead she took mental notes about store traffic, first at the
Reed store and then at an indirect but increasingly worrisome kind of competitor—a dollar store.
The Reed was predictably well lit and inviting, and Collins could see three registers open and two or
three customers in line at each. “Not too bad” she thought, “but not what I would hope for at this
time of day, this close to the holidays.” She’d felt the same way at two other Reeds she’d visited that
day.

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