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Just Launch, post: 128724 wrote:
Hi Fruit n Veg Jr,

I have a little experience in the area. During my uni days I moonlighted as a Fruit and Veg manager for a local supermarket, and then about10 years later became a management accountant for an organisation that managed supermarkets.

From experience the F&V game is flat out hard. You need a point of differential whether it be quality, presentation, price or range. Having all the above wont work so its important to focus on one. The big boys are really aggressive on getting as much of the fresh essentials market as they can and this could be a reason for selling along with the long hours. Unfortunately its one of those operations whereby the more hours the store owner works, the less they have to pay in wages.

If you running the business then get ready for early starts and trips to the growers markets as relationships with growers and price negotiating is a core component of running a F&V store. It helps also have to have a very knowledge of size and quality of produce. If you don’t have this knowledge its possible to use the services of a ‘Buyer’ to assist. Sometimes you can get a few stores that band together and share the costs for the ‘Buyer’.

Mark ups of fruit and veg can range from 25%-40% depending on what your focus is. The better the produce the less price sensitive customers are (although this can also be influenced by the demographic of the location) When pricing you have to factor in overheads, wages, wastage and wrapping and packaging. Wages can run anywhere between 7%-15% of sales depending on your operations size and the labour intensiveness of the presentation component.

It can be done and it can also be profitable, but you must run a tight ship as any leakage in wage or wastage can kill profit. You can also look at offering impulse buy and gourmet offerings to help keep a healthy gross profit %.

I hope the above is of some assistance.

John Whale CA

Hi Fruit & Veg Jr,

I am in the Fruit & Vegetable Business on the Gold Coast & have been for the last 10 years.

John has said it all and what he is telling you is right. Honestly, If I were you, I would start off with something a bit smaller scale or find work in a Fruit Shop before you buy your own Fruit & Veg Business.