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UK Retail Market Posts Fastest Growth In August 2016 Quarter

In the UK, the grocery market grew 0.3 percent during the 12-week period ending August 14, 2016, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Data from the market research firm's latest report showed the sunny weather drove sales growth for the frozen confectionery segment, with 23 percent, and chilled drinks, 10 percent. Promotional sales dropped to 37.7 percent of total grocery sales from more than 40 percent recorded in 2015. Aldi saw sales rising by 10.4 percent, with its market share also going up 0.6 percentage points to 6.2 percent. Tesco's sales dropped 0.4 percent, the slowest decline rate for the retailer in six months. Co-op's market share expanded to 6.6 percent, driven by the 2.8 percent increase in sales.

"Grocery market heats up while promotions cool", Kantar Worldpanel, August 22, 2016

Strong Technology And Supply Chain Provide Winning Formula For Target

In the year since Mike McNamara took over the CIO job at Target, he realized that prioritizing the company’s 800 IT projects was Job One. He and his team whittled the “to do” list down to a hundred that represented Target’s top business objectives. These included enhancing the company’s online and in-store shopping experience, supporting small-format stores, modernizing the supply chain, and improving in-stocks. The result, according to McNamara, was “nothing short of sensational,” as the company reduced reliance on third party IT consultants from 70 percent to 30 percent, saving hundreds of millions of dollars. Stability and performance of key retail systems – i.e., cash registers and hand-held devices – have improved. McNamara... More

"Target CIO: Prioritizing Stores, Digital, Supply Chain and Hiring Engineers", News release, Target , August 22, 2016

Walmart’s Stellar Online Sales Quarter Also Saw A Rise In Store Traffic

After several years, and billions of dollars in investment, Walmart is finally reporting an upbeat online sales picture. Second-quarter (ending July 31) online sales leapt 11.8 percent, after nine quarters of sluggishness. The encouraging sales report, observers say, was due to a mix of factors, including the roll-out of its Walmart Pay mobile app, expansion of free grocery pickup for online orders, and the launch of an Amazon Prime-like subscription service. But perhaps most encouraging was the fact that Walmart succeeded in boosting store traffic –  up 1.2 percent – while increasing online buying. The results prove the company’s strategic axiom: digital sales and store sales must be symbiotic.

"Here's How Walmart Is Reigniting Its E-Commerce Growth", Fortune, August 18, 2016

Walmart Reaps Benefits Of Investment In Ecommerce, Store Environment, And Employees

Though some other big retailers – e.g., Target and Macy’s – are slogging their way through a period of sluggish store spending, Walmart is sailing along on prosperous seas. After investing billions of dollars into making its U.S. stores more efficient and pleasant, raising employee wages, and streamlining ecommerce operations, the company reports not only increased online sales but higher store traffic (assisted in part by lower gas prices). Walmart’s online sales rose faster than the previous quarter – the first time this has happened in nine quarters. For the quarter ended July 31, Walmart profits were up 8.6 percent, and revenue crept up by 0.5 percent to $120.85 billion.

"Wal-Mart Store Overhauls Help Boost Sales", The Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2016

Snack Maker Associates Brand With Kindness In New Mobile Marketing Ploy

Kind Snacks is trying a new mobile marketing strategy that links "kindness" with a snack bar reward. The strategy allows Kind to reach more mobile users while putting the brand in a positive light. Consumers show their appreciation for family and friends by sending an ecard via Facebook, Twitter or email. The family member then enters an email address – or Twitter username or Facebook name – to claim a free Kind granola snack bar. Recipients can claim their reward within seconds and then participate themselves in the “pass it on” campaign. The gimmick is just one of a number of ways CPG marketers are boosting mobile engagement while getting the word out on their products.

"Kind Snacks Unpacks Brand Awareness Via Mobile-Driven Product Giveaway", Mobile Marketer, August 15, 2016

Big Food Companies Study The Success Of Food Delivery Start-ups

The success of start-ups in home food kit delivery like Plated and Blue Apron has caught the attention of some big companies that seem a little surprised there is such strong consumer interest in convenience. The big question for ConAgra is not whether to get involved in home delivery of food kits, but how: Partner? Acquire? Analytics chief Bob Nolan says the company needs to “develop a solution for the next ten years” that will be a radical departure from what it’s done for 50 years. Unilever, however, has experience working with partners in ecommerce and is exploring how such deals would work in food delivery. Shopper insights director and busy mother of three Allison Scott admits that “Plated has changed my life.” She is... More

"ConAgra, Unilever Mull Delivering Meals to the Home", CPG Matters, August 15, 2016

New Whole Foods Store Features Advanced Eco-Friendly Refrigeration

A new advanced grocery refrigeration system installed by Whole Foods in California eliminates all direct greenhouse gas emissions. Unveiled in a new store in Santa Clara, the system prevents the release of the 7,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide normally generated by a typical supermarket. The Hydrocarbon/CO2 Cascade System cuts the environmental impact of refrigerants to zero by using propane, a natural refrigerant, to condense carbon dioxide, the eco-friendliest refrigerant available. At the same time, a heat-reclaim technology uses the heat generated by the system to preheat water for the store’s later use.

"Whole Foods Installs Country’s Greenest Refrigeration System", Progressive Grocer, August 08, 2016

Debut Of Cheesecake Snack Bars In Canada Features Cake-Walking Mascots

General Mills introduced Fiber 1 Cheesecake Bars in Canada in July during the country’s National Cheesecake Day with a promotion featuring six mascots dressed as the bars “speed cake-walking” around downtown Toronto distributing free samples. The company said the cake-walk was “a memorable way to connect with” Millennials, its core audience. The 150 calorie snack bars – a “healthier-for-you” alternative to potato chips, etc. – are available in chocolate and key lime flavors. The company’s marketing plan will stick with the athletic theme during the Summer Olympics season, and will be supported by television spots, online video, and the distribution of one million samples.

"General Mills Wants You To Have Your Cake And Eat It, Too", Canadian Grocer, August 07, 2016

 
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