Family-Owned Grocery Retailer Nugget Markets' Store Operations and Work Culture

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : OPER071 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 +Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Store operations, Family-owned business, Work Culture

Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 2005-2008
Organization : Nugget Markets, Inc.
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note : Not Available
Countries : USA
Industry : Retail


This case describes the store operations and work culture at Nugget Markets, Inc. (Nugget), a US-based family-owned grocery retail chain. It also focuses on the employee empowerment initiatives and human resource management practices of the company.

Since its inception in 1926, Nugget had created a niche for itself with its focus on providing high quality and specialty products in stores that were famous for their ambience and interiors. Nugget thrived for generations and attracted a loyal customer following, which enabled it to maintain a niche for itself in a market crowded with aggressive competitors.

Operations Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

Over the years, the company also focused on creating an employee-friendly work culture. After taking over as the president and CEO of the company in 1996, Eric Stille (Eric) built on the strengths of the company and brought about further changes in the operations. Many of these changes attracted the attention of the industry observers. The company gained recognition for its retail operations and also featured for three consecutive years (2006-2008) on the Fortune Magazine's '100 Best Companies to Work for' in the USA.

The case examines the elements of Nugget's store operations and work culture and how these have contributed to its business success and toward making it a great place to work. The case concludes with the future prospects of Nugget and the issues and challenges faced by Eric as he planned to grow further by expanding across new locations.


Study the key aspects of the retail operations of Nugget Markets and analyze the reasons for the company's success.

Analyze the factors that contributed to a strong work culture at Nugget.

Understand issues related to work organization such as employee empowerment, team-working, flexible working, control versus commitment, etc., and how these contribute to the success of a firm.

Examine the steps taken by Nugget to ensure employee satisfaction.

Understand the issues and challenges involved in running a family-owned business.


  Page No.
Best Company to Work For 1
Background Note 2
Upscale Stores and High Quality Products 4
Associates - More Than Employees 6
Work Culture at Nugget 7
Employment Policies and Perks 9
...Which Include Fun and Partying 10
Criticism 11
Looking Forward 11
Exhibits 13


operations, team, Work culture, Organizational culture, Nugget Market, Grocery retailer, Retail Industry, Price Challenge Scoreboard, 100 Best Companies to Work For, 'Fresh to Market', Food 4Less

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