2008 FMI Show Session Handouts

by Deepak Sharma on Sunday, May 18, 2008

fmi_show_logo Multiple Food retail and wholesale operators gathered at the recently conducted The FMI Show plus MARKETECHNICS and got to see the latest consumer product trends and explore strategies for satisfying customers and generating growth. For all of us who could not make it to the Show, FMI has released the presentation decks that were used. There are lot of good presentation on Retail Technology, few good presentations on how to reduce shrinkage, Data Security, Category Management among others. Something that will keep you occupied for few days atleast.


    Ice-Cream Social, Courtesy Wal-Mart

    by Deepak Sharma


    Wal-Mart is promising low prices on ice cream and sundae toppings during the summer.

    To celebrate these savings and kick off the American Summer, Wal-Mart will host what may be the world's largest ice cream social event on Sunday, May 18, complete with complimentary ice cream sundaes in more than 2,500 Wal-Mart Supercenters across the country. Wal-Mart will have on hand more than 5,000 ice cream scoopers to build an estimated 1 million free ice cream sundaes, complete with whipped cream and other toppings, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., while supplies last.

    Now, 1 Million Free ice-cream sundaes is a lot of money (My guess would be USD 1 Million), but the amount of traffic the event will bring to it's 2500 supercenters will certainly result in much more dollars for the Retailer.

    More here:


    Research: How Consumers Actually Shop For Retail Products Across Channels

    by Deepak Sharma on Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    forrlogo From Forrester Research, How Consumers Actually Shop For Retail Products Across Channels.

    While cross-channel shopping is expected to top $1 trillion by 2012, less is known about specific consumer behavior that drives customers across channels. In a recent Forrester consumer survey, we found that for considered purchases where shoppers research products first, more than half of consumers begin their research process online. Those consumers who begin their research process online are also more likely to ultimately purchase products through the online channel. Although consumers are actively cross-channel shopping for their considered purchases, retailers fail to create a seamless multichannel shopping experience. To meet the multichannel imperative, retailers should conduct frequent cross-channel reviews and competitive site assessments, educate customers with comprehensive product detail pages, and ensure that product promotions are consistent across channels.

    Good Read.

    Wal-Mart Launches Online Resource Guide to Save More

    by Deepak Sharma on Friday, May 09, 2008

    image Wal-Mart has launched an Online Resource Guide, "Save More".

    Wal-Mart launches today a new on-line platform for customers hungry for ideas to stretch their dollars during tough times. The site, located at http://www.walmart.com/savemore, will feature tips and advice from Ellie Kay -- America's Family Financial Expert® and best-selling author of 11 books including her most recent release, A Tip A Day With Ellie Kay.

    With 20 years of financial experience, Ellie has appeared on numerous television and radio talk shows speaking about practical ways in which women, families and children can better understand how to save and spend their money. Her advice will serve as a resource for budget-conscious shoppers looking for tips and tools as they face a summer of rising costs for gas, food and other necessities.

    In addition, Wal-Mart merchants and everyday shoppers will have the ability to contribute content to the site by offering their own ideas on how to spend wisely and save more money. Over the last six months, nearly half of Americans say they have tried to become more practical in their purchases and more budget conscious.

    Tough times calls for Innovative ideas. The site allows for users to share their tips also, although I am unable to see user shared tips so far. All in all a good way to engage consumers. Making sure that they know, Wal-Mart cares for them in these tough times. No wonder Same-store sales are up.

    Understanding the Indian Retail Customer—in Bits and Bytes!

    by Deepak Sharma on Tuesday, May 06, 2008

    The India Practice of Diamond Management & Technology consultants has come up with an insightful research article titled, "Understanding the Indian Retail Customer—in Bits and Bytes!". Summary in their own words:

    Organized retail in India is expected to grow at an astronomical pace over the next four years, making it critical for companies to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive environment. Retailers can use a datadriven approach to create a competitive advantage by better understanding customers and their needs. Retailers should overhaul/build their data analytics capabilities now if they hope to remain ahead of the curve.

    Good Read.

    Retail Technology Review

    by Deepak Sharma

    Just came across a brand new website dedicated to Retail Technology, Retail Technology Review. The site has content focusing on RFID, Mobile Computing, Digital Signage, PoS systems, Internet Retailing, Supply chain and more. All in all a very good looking website with good content.

    Grocery Game - Retail Insights and you have a winner

    by Deepak Sharma on Monday, May 05, 2008

    By reading this TMCnet article, "The Grocery Game helps food shoppers save money", I got introduced to The Grocery Game, a website that claims to save you hundreds of dollars on grocery bill each month. Idea is simple, if you're ready to do a little stockpiling at home, just paying attention to the discount cycles at the major chain supermarkets, can allow you to buy nearly all your food and other household necessities at near-wholesale prices. Match that with manufacturers' coupons and weekly specials, you can save even more than bulk discounters like Sam's club or Costco.

    The Grocery Game takes help of "high-low" pricing strategy followed by most chain supermarkets.

    In those stores, most items are not on sale at any given time, and on average will be more expensive than at stores like WinCo and Wal-Mart that follow the "Every Day Low Prices" approach, which relies less on short-term discounting, three industry consultants said.
    But to lure shoppers into the store, high-low supermarkets always have some items on sale -- and the sale prices generally dip below what's available at the discounters, according to Gault and the industry consultants.


    High-low pricing was pioneered by department stores in the early 20th century and has been standard in the supermarket business since the 1950s. The quarterly cycles have taken root in the business patterns of both retailers and manufacturers, Lilien said, with managers relying on discounts to meet their quarterly sales volume targets.
    Newspaper advertising has been central to the high-low strategy since its inception. While supermarkets now list their discounted items on their Web sites and e-mail coupons to customers, the schedule of the weekly newspaper insert still determines when displays are rearranged and sales begin and end, said Bob Reynolds, a Moraga retail economist and consultant.
    "In the culture of the business, even in this day and age, it is that print ad," he said.

    The Grocery Store has built a nice payment structure around their service,

    For a dollar, first-time members can try Teri's List for four weeks! After that, it's is just $10 every eight weeks for one store. Most areas offer only one store list. But if you happen to be in an area where more than one list is available, for each additional store list you choose, you'll be billed an extra $5 every eight weeks.

    Little bit of Retail Insider knowledge can take you a long way. Stay tuned :)

    Stimulating Retailers or Self, that is the question

    by Deepak Sharma on Sunday, May 04, 2008

    With the first wave of US economy stimulus checks being deposited into bank accounts past week, retailers have started getting aggressive to pick up their shares of the checks. Forbes.com is reporting that, retailers like Sears and Kroger are giving 10% bonus to those who turn their stimulus checks into company gift cards. Another story reports that other retailers like Walmart, Lowe's, CVS etc are offering discounts this weekend. But that may not be sufficient to pull the consumers to stores, recent polls are suggesting that most of the people will convert the checks into cash and pay off debt or add to their savings.

    The checks and payments are part of a $168 billion tax rebate plan passed by Congress to help spur the lagging economy. Under the plan, individuals who have filed their tax returns for the year can receive up to $600 and families can get up to $1,200, plus $300 per child. The rebates are expected to reach 130 million households. The direct deposit payments began on Monday and paper checks go out May 9.

    This quarter results will tell us who which retailer picked up maximum store traffic thus boosting amount of cash on their balance sheets.

    Men ignore price tags as a show of virility

    by Deepak Sharma

    The Times of India has an interesting discussion with Paco Underhill, Retail Anthropologist where he talks about how men and women behave while shopping.

    "For a man, ignoring the price tag is almost a measure of his virility." Or, "When two women shop together, they talk, advise, suggest and consult...hence the long time in the store..." But when she's shopping with a man, "he makes it plain that he's bored and antsy and likely at any moment to go off and sit in the car...or stand outside and watch girls."

    He also talks about Indian Retail Industry.

    The Indian retail market, valued at $300 billion, poses its own unique challenges. Organised retail comprises only 3% of this market. But Paco believes we are more than ready for it, "If you can be the largest manufacturer of steel, buy Jag, put satellites into orbit, you can spruce up distribution networks and lower the cost of getting goods to market..." Indian consumers know they deserve better — a better product at a better price.

    As for the dominance of mom-and-pop (kirana) stores, he believes that "some amount of trauma" as they reinvent themselves, "is natural". "Rebirth is healthy", he says, foreseeing a transformation in less than 5 years. But the country needn't look at Europe and North America as models of a retail boom. India shouldn't borrow, but invent. "Look at emerging markets like Brazil and Dubai for retail ideas".

    FutureBazaar's aggressive Future Plans

    by Deepak Sharma on Thursday, May 01, 2008

    Internet Retailer is reporting that FutureBazaar is re-launching on a new e-commerce platform this summer in a move to attract US, Canada and UK based Indian consumers. FutureBazaar expects that it will be able to get 20% sales from such customers to increase its revenues from present $18 Million to $200 million by 2011.

    For the e-commerce platform, FutureBazaar has chosen ATG Platform.

    It chose to relaunch this year on an e-commerce platform from Art Technology Group Inc., or ATG, because of the flexibility it offers to add capacity and e-commerce features to accommodate growth, Banerjee says. ATG will replace FutureBazaar’s existing SAP e-commerce platform, but will retain SAP technology for back-end operations like fulfillment and warehouse management, he adds.

    FutureBazaar also plans to launch a mobile version of its web site as early as December to support mobile shopping—a service being used by a rapidly growing base of Indian cell phone subscribers, Banerjee says.