Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Internet Increases Consumers’ Confidence to Part with Cash

According to Webpronews.com, online shoppers are loosening the grips on their wallets, but continuing to be cautious about where and how they spend their cash. To secure their business, online retailers need to persuade consumers that they’re offering the best product at the best price. Written by the staff of Webpronews, they covered the recent surge in online searches for store coupons. The Internet is fast becoming the favored place to search for coupons with a rise of 46% in the number of people who never use newspaper coupons. In addition, Hitwise recently reported a significant rise in the use of search terms relating to money-saving techniques. Read the rest of the article, here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Shopping habits change at the grocery store

In a recent article at MLive, Michael Twitty of Unilever gave us a look at how consumers are changing their shopping habits during this challenging economic period. He stated that the sales of beer and wine have not decreased. This maybe becuase consumers are able to keep some portion of their previous lifestyles the same, and vary from consumer to consumer as the shopping decisions are very personal. For the entire article, read here.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shoppers Trade Down to Private Brands

According to a report covered by CNNMoney.com, shoppers trading down to private brands is among the most prevalent changes in shopping behavior. Specific stores that have seen this change include Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Kohls. Each of these stores have extended their private label offerings to entice shoppers and keep them shopping in the stores. The CNNMoney report also says that retailers also will likely downsize their packaging, store size and even their growth expectations, as part of a long-term trend to emerge from the economic downturn that's changed consumer behavior. The report covered in the CNN article was from a joint report of consulting firms PricewaterhouseCoopers and Retail Forward.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Select2gether allows for social shopping

Killer Startups has featured a new online shopping community that will be sure to draw internet shoppers from everywhere. Social shopping comes to life with Select2gether.com.

The website:
will empower anybody to specify what it is that he or she wants to buy and then receive the advice and insight of fellow site users. When doing so, the shopper can also let other know whether shopping locally or online is the order of the day.

Do you think that this has a future for shoppers? As the next generation grows up, will they be more likely to shop online and use functions like this than the current generation?

Monday, March 23, 2009

U.S. shoppers likely to remain frugal

According to a report released by Reuters, U.S. shoppers likely to remain frugal as the economic crisis wages on. The report says that, this signals continued bad news for retailers, who have been struggling to respond to a dramatic cutback in spending as consumers have opened their wallets only for essential items, while cutting back on extraneous purchases.

For more information on this report, please visit the original article here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

American Malls will Survive

This post on RetailWire discusses how even though many people believe that the American mall is heading nowhere quick, chances are that they will survive, as the strong "get stronger."

David Simon, the chairman and chief executive of Simon Property Group, believes that malls will change in order to cope with the times. People are stepping into less and less stores inside malls now, and because of this malls will have to change their communication to customers to lure them into more stores. Simon also leaves with this notion, "seven of the top 10 tenants we had when we went public are no longer in business today, and yet we've been able to continue to grow our business because it's the real estate that retains the value over the long term." Interesting thoughts...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

2009 will bring in new interests in food preperation

In a new article at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, they report that shopping habits to cook and prepare food will be taking a tip back in time to pressure cookers, slow cookers, and canning jars as well as growing their own food. A few of their main points:

> Vegetable seed sales are skyrocketing, as people plan gardens to help cut food costs.

> And perhaps most surprising, purchases of pressure cookers, slow cookers and canning supplies are way up.

Read the article here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Teen Niche Concepts are Failing

Many retailers are struggling with the teen niche concept during the past couple of months. This post on RetaiWire discusses how companies like Pacific Sunwear, American Eagle, The Finish Line, and Abercrombie & Fitch have all closed different concepts that were targeted at slightly different customers than their flagship chain.

Special niches like skate/surf crowd, club kids or slightly older customers have pushed retailers in the past to create special concepts, but the Journal mentions that many of these niches are overestimated. Creating special niches have at times led stores to take their eyes off their main core business.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Costco Heads Down Under

Costco, the American retailer that rivals Sam's Club with wholesale prices available to the general public with membership with soon be heading to Australia. According to The Australian, Costco Australia managing director Patrick Noone said the store in Melbourne's inner-city Docklands precinct would open five months ahead of its original schedule, but the timing was perfect to attract shoppers on tighter household budgets. Will Aussies take a liking to big amounts and low prices? We'd like to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What's coming for shoppers in the future?

In a recent article at the Hub, Sonja Mathews, PepsiCo; Mark Scott, Kimberly-Clark; John Glace, Johnson & Johnson; and Jason Sorley, Marketing Drive discuss some of the trends they see coming in shopper marketing and how shoppers are behaving once they enter a store.

When Sonja Matthews was asked about new, exciting in-store innovations, she shared a new concept being used in Spain:

Shoppers can use a handheld device that maps out not only the fastest route to get their shopping done, but also makes suggestions based on their available funds, time, and other areas of interest. It’s like a GPS for shoppers. So, for the shopper who is time starved or who is looking for an adventure, it’s going to give them what they need. I love this technology more than anything else that I have seen because it matches the shopper mission to the right products and store venue.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kroger Sales Jump (Again)

The number one U.S. Supermarket retailer, Kroger has again seen their shares jump amid the volatile recessionary climate sweeping the nation. Today, Reuter's reports that Kroger said net income rose to $349.2 million, or 53 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, from $322.9 million, or 48 cents per share, a year earlier.

For the current year, Kroger expects identical supermarket sales, excluding fuel, to grow 3 percent to 4 percent. On that basis, it had earlier forecast a sales growth of 3 percent to 5 percent.

The company said its forecast reflected an expected 1 percent to 2 percent product cost inflation, compared to its earlier expectation of 2 percent to 3 percent.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Shoppers decisions are being made at home

In an article at AdWeek last week, they look at how consumers are shifting from making their decisions at the store (marketers assumed 70% of decisions were made at the store) to making their purchasing decision at home, which as grown to 76%. These consumers with less cash make lists and stick to them upon arriving at the store. So what are in-store marketers going to do? They could be shifting from instore displays to things that reach the consumers at home, such as coupons and commercials on television. For the complete article, read here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The growing importance of shopper marketing

Earlier this week, we wrote an article about the new Shopper Marketing council formed by the Advertiser Research Foundation. Mike Twitty, the director of shopper marketing at Unilever, sat down with Brand Week and discussed some of the reason she felt the council was a good idea.

Brandweek: Why form the new council?
Mike Twitty: Although there are share groups and even annual conferences on this relatively young subject, practitioners have a need for an impartial, principled voice that makes sense of the facts and lore that swirl within this area. It seems as though this need extends all the way to the most fundamental of issues. For instance, there is not even an accepted definition of what constitutes a shopper, let alone widespread understanding of the practices that are so necessary for success in today's marketing and retail climate.

Read the full article here.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Giant Eagle Offers Dinner and a Movie for Frozen Food Month

This month is the 21st anniversary of Frozen Food Month, celebrated by supermarkets across the United States. According to their press release, The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) has been coordinating the March National Frozen Food Month promotion for 21 years because it’s been proven that promotion in the frozen food department works. And to celebrate this month, Giant Eagle of Pittsburgh is giving away one free Redbox movie rental with purchase of $15 worth of participating frozen food reports Supermarket News. Budget-conscious shoppers will surely welcome a free movie with their rising grocery bill. What other stores are giving promotions for Frozen Food Month?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Green Store Opens up in Manhattan

In a huge nationwide effort to go green the first green store, Green Depot, has officially opened up for business in NY. According to this article on retailwire.com the store will be a one-stop shop for environmentally friendly and sustainable building products, services and solutions.

The live location is aimed at both consumers as well as contractors looking to purchase green products. Green Depot also makes sure that their signage breaks down each item’s eco-impact further educating the consumer. With the new administration investing heavily in green innovation and products, will we see more green stores pop up in the upcoming months?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New Shopper Insights Council at Advertiser Research Foundation

It was recently announced that the Advertiser Research Foundation is launching a Shopper Insights Council. The members of the new group include ad agencies, media companies, and market research firms. Peter Hoyt, executive director of the In-Store Marketing Institute and one of the co-chairs of the group's first meeting made these comments about the first meeting:

"The whole idea of retail and shopper insights is exploding and, while explosive growth is exciting, it also brings with it the very real likelihood of unqualified practitioners and shoddy work appearing on the scene."

Find out more at Brand Week.