Ramey’s Inc.: Supplying Quality Groceries That Won’t Break the Bank

Ramey’s Marketplace (Ramey’s) is a family tradition. It started back in the early 1950s, when Herbert Ramey Sr. saw a need in Wayne County, Miss. He started the first traveling grocery store that would visit the rural communities to provide the residents with fresh meats and produce. As times changed he converted this traveling store to a storefront in Waynesboro, Miss. Today, Herbert Ramey Jr. and his son Brad Ramey own and operate 18 stores in central and south Mississippi and west and southwest Alabama.

Ramey’s, which is integrating a fourth generation, has a workforce of over 700 employees. This has allowed the company to expand its operations and its reputation for consistency for the greater part of a century. Ramey’s partners with local and national vendors who aid Ramey’s in delivering its promise of maintaining the highest level of competitively priced products and customer service. One of these is with a cooperative warehouse supplier, Associated Wholesale Grocers, based in Pearl River, La. The stock management staff negotiates for shelf staples as well as up-and-coming products, assuring Ramey’s can supply quality items at competitive prices.

Quality in the Bag

As Ramey’s states on the front page of its flyers, “You’ve Got Quality in the Bag,” and customers can be assured that they’re purchasing items at a price that competes with those of larger, corporate retailers. An additional promise is that Ramey’s products exceed the freshest standards, especially perishable items in the meat and produce departments.

The company understands that times are tough in this economy and most households need more value for their money. One of the ways Ramey’s has made grocery shopping easier on consumers’ wallets is by implementing Ramey’s Rewards, a loyalty card program. Loyalty Lane is helping Ramey’s to expand this program, which currently allows customers to build points from every purchase that can be redeemed for promotional items; eventually, it will amount to a significant savings and free monthly reward card items useful to any household.

For Ramey’s, the current economic situation has presented some challenges, but its place in the industry helps alleviate some of those obstacles. However, customers are definitely more price-conscious, so the company must react to continue meeting their needs. There’s a lot of competition, especially in the dollar-store sector, so Ramey’s has increased advertising of its competitive prices and merchandise. The company has utilized its flyers to advertise buy-one-get-one-free (BOGO) deals on items including fresh meat, cheese, cereal and variety frozen vegetables; in addition, its “Famous One Day Sales” appeal to any price-conscious consumer, who also respond to the “Pick 5” meat selections, which allows the customer to pick any five meat items for one low price. Not only are they getting a quality product, they are getting more value for their money.

Staying Current

To survive, a retailer must work hard and keep up with the trends. Therefore, Ramey’s is always looking to add new technology that allows the independent, to compete with the larger chains in the region. Ramey’s also stays current by revamping its stores and expanding locations. For example, in November 2012 the company added a new store to the line up in Brandon, Miss., and is currently in the process of opening in Crystal Springs, Miss.

Ramey’s is always looking for expansion opportunities, and even when the chain is not actively looking there’s always someone asking the company to come to a new location. Ramey’s continues on a path of steady sales growth, and the company has a good chance of expanding anywhere throughout the Southeast.

As the independent grocer seeks new opportunities to grow, it never forgets that it is grounded by a family-led, family-minded philosophy. Ramey’s seeks to give families what the Ramey family itself needs and expects: a high-quality product at a reasonable price. Ramey’s Marketplace continues to adapt to a changing economic climate, never forsaking quality for price as it addresses the needs of customers throughout the Southeast.