Story on March 31, 2011 from "The Courier"

In the past week, regular customers of Big Star Marketplace in
Russellville have been forced to go elsewhere for their groceries while
big changes take place both inside and out.
This week the most obvious change was visible when a sign bearing the store's new name — Cash-Saver Cost Plus Food Outlet — was installed, but Friday morning, customers can get their first look at the changes made on the inside.

Steve Goode, co-owner of Big Star Food and Drug, said despite a new look on the inside, the store will still have the same products, the same deli, produce and meat. The major difference, Goode said, will be the prices. The store will sell products at cost and add 10 percent at the register.

"We're advertising savings of up to 40 percent, but Doritos chips, for instance, has an everyday retail price of $3.99," Goode said. "Our cost, what Frito is charging me today, is $2.18. So that's actually what the customer will pay. We're going to charge people what they charge us and add 10 percent at the register. That's a 45 percent savings."

Big Star has been open for about 10 months, and Goode said business was strong but not consistent, which led him to do research.

"We did several demographic surveys to figure out what we needed to do different and better, and it kept coming back to price," Goode said. "In the economy that we're in right now, price is important. Now while we thought we were competitive, if the customer doesn't think so it doesn't matter what you feel like."

Goode started searching for a way to fix it. At a trade show, he came across a store that had changed to the 10 percent concept. He and the other owners started studying the format in October and made the commitment at the first of this year.

Goode said Cash Saver's profit per dollar may be slightly below the national average, but hopes to make up for the difference elsewhere.

"The national average on grocery is 1 percent," Goode said. "You make a penny for every $100 you sell. To be honest, ours is going to be a little less than that. But our volume should be substantially more. ... In this economy, everybody's dollar is tight. Here they'll be able to stretch their dollar."

Instead of a weekly ad, the store will provide a 'hot sheet,' which will include items obtained at especially low prices. 'Hot sheet' items will be available only as long as they last.

"When they're gone, they're gone," Goode said. "There won't be a rain check. I'll pass on as much of a savings to the customer as I can, but if you come in on Wednesday and buy an item, and come back the next Tuesday, with an ad, that price would still be good. But once we're out, we won't be able to honor it, but we're going to buy heavy. We're going to load the wagon."

Story on March 31, 2011 from "The Courier"