Thursday, May 28, 2009

Walgreens Pharmacists to focus on customers

In a new article at the Arizona Daily Star, they share how Walgreens in the state of Arizona are changing their practices at the pharmacy counters. Instead of filling all prescriptions in stores, they're going to be sending some prescriptions to a center in Tempe to allow pharmacists in stores to focus on their customers. In addition to filling prescriptions, the outsourcing center will also take care of data entry of prescriptions and phone calls.

One concern that arises in these situations is the number of employees that will actually be serving customers in stores. There is also concern as to the safety of the patient when pharmacists in-store are not fulfilling the patient. Read the full story here.

What do you think? Could this potentially turn into a way to better suit the in-store shopper?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pricing Strategies: How to Price Smarter in Uncertain Times

In the free whitepaper,How to Price Smarter in Uncertain Times, experts in pricing strategies outline what retailers must do in turbulent economic times to not only compete with other retailers but to win customers and achieve profit. From the report, there are five key solutions that pricing decision makers can apply to keep profits growing during economic downturns. All are applicable to consumer-facing businesses; some have relevance for B2B companies as well.

Download a copy of the whitepaper.

If you are interested in learning more about how effective pricing strategies can help your retail organizations, we invite you to join us this July 14 in Chicago at the Pricing Strategies at Retail Event. This is the only event that confronts today's critical pricing and marketing optimization. Meet with brands, retailers and pricing experts to share strategic solutions help grow market share immediately and realize new loyalty for years to come.

Download the brochure today!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

In-Store Marketing for Orange Juice

Be on the lookout for a very friendly display that sounds like Tom Selleck, urging you to purchase Florida orange juice. The mustached celebrity's voice is slatted to be on in-store displays for Florida Department of Citrus, as the company shifts from heavy television marketing to in-store presence.

The Ledger reports, "a recorded message in the cooler from OJ spokesman Selleck will remind shoppers "Florida orange juice (is) healthy, pure and simple," Leigh Killeen, deputy executive director for marketing, told the commission. Side panels will reinforce that message.
And when shoppers open the clear plastic lid to get the refrigerated OJ product inside, the cooler will spritz an orange fragrance.

The department will roll out the cooler displays as a pilot program in Florida stores later this year, Executive Director Ken Keck said. If that proves successful, the talking, spritzing coolers will be available nationwide."

Selling OJ Focuses on Grocery Stores

Friday, May 22, 2009

Online shoppers going straight for webpages

According to a new study done by Mark Simpson, MD, many online shoppers don't use a search engine when going to make a purchase from their favorite websites.

They also found that:
• 82% of respondents have abandoned their shopping basket in the last year
• 69% of respondents would not go back to a website if the purchasing process had been unsatisfactory
• Marketers and Consumers alike are unable to identify what makes a good website and what makes a bad website
• 63% of respondents now know the web address of their favorite websites, rather than having to use a Search Engine

Read more about the study here.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

West Coast Grocer Set To Drop Prices

Albertsons, the West Coast grocer, is set to drastically drop prices on many items throught their stores. These price drops are in response to their dwindling sales and inability to keep up with with discount markets and superstores. The LATimes reports that the initiative is aimed at regaining budget-minded customers both from its rivals and those lost to discounters such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. The report also notes that, Albertsons' move comes at a time when "everyone is fighting for traffic right now. They are all aware that consumers are under a lot of pressure," said Stella Kapur, the supermarket analyst at Standard & Poor's, the New York corporate credit rating company.

Will we see other regional grocers following Albertson's lead?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tips for Growing Store Brands

Here is Tom Pirovano, Director, Industry Insights, Nielsen tips for helping stores expand their private labels as reported in Brandweek.

• Study the category consumer before going upscale. Consumer understanding is the common thread among top-selling brands. It’s not enough for a retailer to roll out a quality product in premium packaging.

• Disguise your premium store brands. Many consumers still associate private label with cheap knockoffs. There - I said it. But what if they don’t know it’s a store brand? Look to position premium store brands as exclusive products like Choxie at Target and Canopy at Walmart.

• Get your pricing right. The price gap between store brands and national brands varies significantly across categories. The same shopper who chooses private label bottled water for a 3% discount may require at least 20% savings for private label barbecue sauce.

• Offer multiple brands in multiple tiers. Although Costco may be the exception, most retailers are finding growth with multiple store brands. No one brand can stand for value and gourmet and healthy eating.

• Eliminate weak links. One bad product experience can hurt the entire store brand, not to mention the retail banner itself. Product quality needs to be consistent across each store brand. Your brand’s perceived quality is only as good as its weakest SKU.

• Drive trial. If your store brand is really as good as the national brand (or better), let your shoppers try it. Offer a free package with a $50 purchase. Consider a trial size or in-store product demos.

• Promote your store brands. There’s a wide range of feature ad support for private label. Using ECRM’s Marketgate data, we found that private label’s percent of feature ads ranged from 45% at Wegmans to 25% at HEB to only 10% of ads at Publix.

• Don’t be too quick to drive out value brands. Some value brands can drive lower price and higher margins than retailers can achieve through private label. The shampoo category is an excellent example with some well-known brands at very low prices.

• Embrace a cause. Use package labeling to show how your store brand supports local suppliers, promotes health & wellness, saves the environment, or funds local charities. You’ll find that many of these causes attract similar consumers. Regardless of sales performance, taking the high road can help to build a retailer’s image.

• Understand the difference between strong sales vs. strong brand equity. Walmart’s Great Value brand claims to be the #1 food brand across categories, but would shoppers ever choose Great Value over a national brand at the same price point?

What other tips can retailers use to grow their private labels?

Check out his article for a bonus tip!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Walmart's Brand Showcases increase user time on website

In a recent article at RetailWire, they look at Walmart has added content and banners to the website to increase brand exposure. This initiative has increased the time spent on the Walmart webpage 68%. Interactive tools such as Kellogg's breakfast calculator and Zyrtec's pollen calculator have proven to be tools that work in these instances. Another part of the Walmart website that has proven to be especially successful is the sampling campaigns. Read the full story on what WalMart is doing here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

US supermarkets successfully changing product mix and enhancing loyalty

Australian Food News reports,

“The industry showed its resilience in the most challenging economy in modern history,” FMI President and CEO, Leslie Sarasin, said. “Retailers aggressively discounted products and increased their lines of private brands to help American families lower their grocery bills. At the same time, they continued to control costs by improving efficiency and productivity, a hallmark of this industry.”

What else is the American grocery store doing to enhance the customer experience whilst gaining a profit in these tough economic times. With the increase in private labels, we may see more customer loyalty to specific retailers as customers learn to like specific private labels.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Target Mirrors Wal-Mart, Recession Relief in the Grocery Aisle

According to the Wall Street Journal, Target is set to add more mini-groceries to its stores in an effort to compete with Wal-Mart during the economic downturn. Known for skewing up market, the Minneapolis based retailer now needs to compete with many upwardly mobile shoppers who find themselves heading to Wal-Mart to save money.

According to the article, Target has tried to emphasize food previously. In 1995, it opened the first of 245 SuperTargets, which include a full array of groceries. But it has been reluctant to rapidly add to those 175,000-square-foot stores, unable to find enough profitable locations. Its sales last year of groceries, including pharmacy and beauty products, accounted for 37% of revenue compared with 59% of Wal-Mart's U.S. department-store sales.

The new minigroceries inside existing discount department stores have increased food sales 50% at test stores, and lifted sales of other items as well, Mr. Steinhafel said during a tour of a Target store in Sun Prairie, Wis., late last month. The grocery section there sported signs proclaiming, "Eat Well. Pay Less." in a nod to its "Expect More. Pay Less." marketing slogan.

Will there be an upswing in profits as Target expands their grocery offerings? We'd like to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Campbell Soup Company Extends V8 Fusion Line

According to this article in TradingMarkets, Cambell Soup Company’s introduction of two new flavors for their V8 Fusion line will help bridge the “vegetable gap”, which is the difference between what consumers should eat and what they actually do eat. Most Americans do not get their recommended intake of daily vegetables, but with the addition of the two new flavors (Goji Raspberry and Passionfruit Tangerine) which taste like fruit, well it might help moms in getting their kids to eat their veggies!

Phil McGee, director of Insights & Category Management at Campbell Soup Company will be speaking at our upcoming Shopper Insights in Action 2009 conference this July in Chicago. For more information about the conference and about Phil, please visit our Shopper Insights in Action 2009 event page.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Costco, Safeway Ensure Private Labels Won't Fade With Recession

According to, Richard Galanti, Costco’s CFO said that, when the company sees independent brand testing, its Kirkland Signature products consistently are competitive with any label when quality, value and price are weighed. Once, private labels were considered step-down merchandise that didn’t really deserve the term brand, but that has changed. “I don’t want to be so arrogant about it, but the Kirkland Signature has become a brand,” he said.

According to The Nielsen Co. store brand dollar sales at food, drug and mass merchandise stores grew 10.2 percent last year compared to just 2.6 percent for national brands. Worse for national brand manufacturers, private label dollar sales gained 2.6 percent in units as their own unit sales fell by 2.2 percent. Those trends have continued into 2009, Todd Hale, Nielsen senior vice president for Shopper and Consumer Insight, noted. He added that private label versus national brand growth during 2008 was similar in pattern to what was observed during the 2001 recession, but, back then, retailers weren’t making the kind of strides in packaging, quality, on-shelf presence and all-over brand building – a la Wal-Mart and its Great Value label – that we see today.

Retailers are becoming increasingly aggressive in building store brands. Safeway is among those companies that have been expanding private label initiatives to other retailers, but it isn’t alone. For example, Wakefern, the cooperative that supplies ShopRite supermarkets in the New York Metropolitan area, has opened up its wholesaling services to non-competing retailers outside its own system in significant part to drive sales of its private label products.

For the full article, please click here.

What strategies should retailers put in place when selling private labels?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Private label brands helping Safeway

According to BNet, Safeway has received a lift in their revenue from their private label brands. Not only have they sold more in this time of economic turn down, but they also receive a higher margin on their brands as opposed to name brands.

Safeway's CEO Steve Burd stated, "We are outpacing the growth in national brands by 1,000 basis points. And so that says a lot. And I don’t see that dissipating. I don’t expect that number to be much different in quarters two, three and four. And I’m not sure it’s going to be different in 2010."

This isn't the only place its occurring, as companies providing branded products are now facing competition from their customers when their products are on the shelves.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hispanic Shopper Marketing Do's and Don'ts

Brandweek offers great advice on shopper marketing to Hispanic customers. Here's an excerpt form their recent article:

What’s the best way to reach the Hispanic consumer? Consider throwing out that TV budget and focusing on in-store media instead. And don’t go out of your way to make your brand look "Hispanic." Such are the insights of Carlos Boughton, brand director of Tecate and Tecate Light, Heineken USA and Manuel Wernicky, president, chief ideas officer and managing partner at Adrenalina. The two collaborated on a shopping list below for marketers aiming to tap the country’s largest and fastest-growing minority group.

Check out their full list on their article,

Hispanic Shopper Marketing Do's and Don'ts

What are some other "do's and dont's" when it comes to the Hispanic consumer?