• Lidl’s U.S. Entry
    What will Lidl stores look like when the retailer makes its U.S. debut in a few months? Len Lewis reports on what the industry – and consumers – can expect.

    Len Lewis
    Lidl’s U.S. Entry
    May 2017
    Now that Lidl is only months away from opening in the U.S., the big question is whether it will clone its no-frills, limited assortment European stores, or offer consumers something completely different.
    Clearly, it’s going to be a bit of both.
    Lidl is not giving up on cut-case, limited assortment strategy—or the focus on private label—that made the chain so successful in other countries.
    But it’s building 30,000-to-36,000 square foot stores with about 21,000 square feet of shopping area.
    They are about half the size of traditional U.S. supermarkets but about 35 percent larger than Lidl’s European stores in order to accommodate a wider array of food and nonfood items that the company feels are necessary to compete in the U.S.
  • Staying Put
    Americans are moving less, but they still love the regional and local foods they grew up with. Brad Edmondson explains how store brands can appeal to homesick consumers.

    Brad Edmondson
    Staying Put
    Americans are settling down.  Only 11.2 percent of the US population changed addresses between 2015 and 2016. That's an all-time low. The moving rate has been declining for decades. Back in 1986, it was more than 20 percent a year. This is a long-term trend and it might not be good news if you're marketing to new homeowners. But if you  take a closer look at movers, you'll see new opportunities for consumer products.
    The main reason Americans are staying put is that so many of us have gotten older. The baby boom generation claims about one-quarter of all Americans. Back in 1987, baby boomers were moving up in their careers and getting married, these are two of the most common reasons why people move. But only about 3 percent of Americans aged 65 and older change addresses each year. And today, most boomers are in their sixties. 
    The millennial generation is about the same size as the baby boom. They are in their 20s and early 30s, squarely in the moving years and they are a counterbalance to the aging trend. This means that the mover rate hasn't declined much in the last few years.
  • What’s 5 Below?
    As a chain of more than 500 stores in the Eastern U.S., 5 Below is a hit with young people for its eclectic, fast-changing selection of goods, most costing under $5. Roy White reports.

    Roy White
    What’s 5 Below?
    May 2017
    Is Five Below a dollar store? Is Five Below a discount store? Is it a party store? A toy store? Well, not really, on all of those counts. The chain gets its name from the vast majority of items it sells for $5 or less. If you have to categorize it, Five Below is a cool store – the coolest ever according to some – wherein lies the key to this format. The inventory and go-to-market theme are in fact different from anything currently operating in mass market retailing today.
    Cool as it may be, Five Below is also one of the fastest growing operations in the market. Emerging 15 years ago as the brainchild of two former discount store and alternate retail merchants, it now has 525 stores in the eastern half of the US, does close to $1 billion in annual sales and opens 70-85 units annually. Sales grew over 20% last year, profits 40%. 
    Stores average 7,500 square feet, and churn out over $2 million annually, and last year comp store sales rose 2.6%.
  • Energenic Enzymes
    Enzymes aren’t sexy, but they’re an integral part of the manufacturing process. From bread to laundry detergent, Dr. Kantha Shelke explains this unsung hero of the industry.

    Dr. Kantha Shelke
    Energenic Enzymes
    May 2017
    We hear the word enzymes all the time but how many of us realize that they are an integral part of food and home/health products. Even private label.
    Enzymes are natural proteins which acts as catalysts that make things happen in our body and in nature. In yeasts and bacteria, they have been used for centuries in the commercial production of bread, beer, wine, cheese, vinegar, sausage, cocoa, and a number of foods that people enjoy.  Enzymes can help tenderize the toughest of meats, dissolve stubborn stains, produce essential vitamins, nutrients, and flavor compounds, and can even cause bacteria to literally explode and die.
    Human ingenuity, by making enzymes more consistent, effective, affordable, and efficient, is replacing harsh chemicals and enhancing the manufacture and quality of a variety of everyday products.
    Enzymes are invaluable as a clean label ingredient replacement for synthetic preservatives and emulsifiers that consumers have trouble pronouncing and usually avoid.
PLMALive! Archives:
the Best of the Year Past
Pets Have Store Brands Feelings, Too

The importance of store brands in the pet care category has never been greater as pet owners look for premium and niche products for their furry friends. 

Tuesday Morning Briefing

Tuesday Afternoon Briefing

Tuesday Morning Briefing
Monday Afternoon Briefing
Tuesday Afternoon Briefing

Monday Afternoon Briefing

Income Inequality Impact

Some markets are booming as consumers enjoy income growth, while others struggle with high rents and related cost-of-living expenses. Brad Edmondson analyzes the trend.

Public Enemy No. 1

Forget trans-fats or salt. Sugar is now Public Enemy No. 1 in the mind of many consumers. Dr. Kantha Shelke reports on the challenges facing packaged goods manufacturers ‑ and potential solutions.

Sit. Stay. Buy.

The country’s leading pet retailers today offer competitive private brands for pet owners. Christopher Durham reports on the latest statistics.

Lidl’s Executive Change

A new CEO at Lidl, just months before the chain’s U.S. debut, has many wondering about the company’s strategy. David Merrefield examines the change.

What’s ‘unstructured’ data?

We’ve all heard about big data, but what about something called ‘unstructured’ data? It’s about what’s happening outside the store. Bill Gillispie of IBM Global Services believes it will bring big changes in retailing.