Cardenas aims to become largest Hispanic retailer in U.S.

 According to; by Dan Orlando:   The newly formed Cardenas Markets LLC intends to add between 5-10 stores per year going forward.

It’s strategy that may establish it as the Hispanic market front-runner.

“We’ve grown 50% in just the last six months,” said John Gomez, the company’s CEO. “We’re going to be the largest Hispanic, not just grocery store, but retailer in the country.”

Gomez discussed the strength that comes from marketing to a demographic as “vibrant and growing” as the company’s Hispanic base.

He feels that the important roles played by both food and cooking in the culture have allowed his brick-and-mortar stores to thrive despite the rise of digital shopping.

“So much of our business comes from the perimeter of the store,” Gomez said. He stressed the need for fresh meats, produce and breads in authentic Hispanic cooking.

“Those are things that are very difficult to buy outside of the store.”

Gomez, who most recently served as EVP of marketing and merchandising at Trader Joe’s, concedes that the center store can be an Achilles heel for traditional grocers but Cardenas’ business model allows it to resist digitally induced downturns to packaged goods.

He also admits that it’s an area that could use more attention in the near future.

“The majority of our business comes from our perimeter,” said Gomez, adding that center store products make up “considerably less than half” of what the company brings in.

“I actually think that we can grow it with a better selection. Regardless of what happens outside of our company, we can actually take a step up by managing the grocery category even better.”

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