Marketers usually ask if there’s a hole in the market. The real question is often whether there’s a market in the hole.
When you pay $10 million for a famous hole-in-the-wall, you’re betting there’s a market in the hole. That’s what the new owners of Schwartz’s, the Montreal landmark deli, are hoping for by introducing its smoked meat through Sobey’s IGA stores in Québec - with plans to expand distribution.
The Globe and Mail reports that the purists are upset. “I’m against it. It’s becoming commercial” says a customer. When was Schwartz’s not about commerce? I’ve once bought kilos of its famous spices simply by asking the staff to fill an empty foodservice size container of yellow mustard. They were more than happy to sell their magic ingredient.
If the supermarket version is as good as the hole-in-the-wall version (or its take-out version next door), there will be a market in the hole.