• Weighing the Impact of Food Waste
    An estimated 160 billion pounds of food goes uneaten in the U.S. every year. Most waste occurs in the home, though all segments of the supply chain share responsibility. Veronica Carvalho explains potential remedies include standardized date labeling and better inventory management.
    Veronica Carvalho
    December 2018
     

    While growing, preparing and eating food is one of the main activities of men and women today, about one-third of the food produced for human consumption is wasted every year globally. This means 1.3 billion tons of food end up in landfills. In the US alone, 40% of the food produced - about 160 billion pounds of food – goes uneaten.

    This has huge impact not only on economy but also in communities and the environment, wasting freshwater and generating greenhouse gas emissions.

    Food waste starts at the farm: In the U.S., about 7% of produce is left unharvested every year. Farmers tend to grow more than needed to deal with weather, disease and fluctuating orders. On top of this, to meet standard aesthetic requirements part of that crop will go to waste. Retailers are starting to work closely with farmers, sharing forecast data to help with their production plans and prevent overplanting. 

    On the manufacturer side, food loss is the smallest in the supply chain - only 2%. Obviously, food processors have a vested interest in minimizing waste. 

  • Beauty Care's New Face
    Private label beauty sales are on the rise as stores add boutique-style merchandising, in-house expertise, and new products like fragrance libraries. Maureen Donoghue details how retailers are freshening up a category already worth $16 billion.
    Maureen Donoghue
    December 2018 

     

    Retailers, for many years, have eyed cosmetics and perfumes as a tantalizing target for their private label programs. Health and beauty store brands are already worth nearly sixteen billion with a respectable eighteen percent market share. With fragrances expected to grow worldwide to forty-six billion, US supermarkets, drug chains and mass merchandisers want to try to take their share of the pie.

     

    Unlike past years, however, when low price was the main attraction, today’s retailers are using sensory experience to lure shoppers in. They are challenging the idea that perfume or makeup has to be a national brand to be just right for you.

     

    CVS has announced a big change in their beauty aisle. It’s a makeover for everyone involved. The stores get a brand new, boutique-style look called “Beauty I R L” while customers will find consultants to help them pick out what works and how to use it.  Stylists will offer walk-in services like blow outs and braids. There will be a “test and play” hygiene bar, inviting the customer to enjoy themselves. And a “wonder wall” of samples and trial sizes. Alongside the brand names CVS can showcase their already popular “Beauty three sixty” products and their “Makeup Academy” line. Their fragrance line “Essence of Beauty” will also be presented alongside the national brands.

  • Retail Apocalypse? Hardly
    The flood of closings long-predicted for the bricks-and-mortar retail landscape may not be as dire as predicted, but certain channels are in deeper water than others. Brad Edmondson offers statistical analysis of who’s falling and rising with the tide.

    Brad Edmondson
    November 2018
     

    Are retail stores in trouble?  It depends on where you’re standing.  Employment in retail trade increased 10 percent between 2010 and 2018, and it also increased slightly between April 2017 and April 2018.  That’s because retailing is a huge, diverse sector.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 16 million Americans work in 59 different kinds of retail stores. 

    Look closer at these numbers and you’ll see a lot of turmoil. Online retailing and other big trends are pushing structural changes through the economy. Some kinds of stores are thriving because of these changes, while for others, the so-called “retail apocalypse” is not hype.   

    The worst performer in all 59 retail categories is book stores and news dealers, which have lost one-third of their jobs since 2010. Close behind them are full-service department stores, where employment has declined by 20 percent and is still heading down.  These categories have been devastated by online shopping.  Electronic and mail order retailers have added 166,000 jobs in this decade. But 300,000 jobs have been lost in department stores alone.

  • Pet Retailers Adopt New CEOs
    Both PetSmart and Petco recently appointed new leaders that come from contrasting C-suite pedigrees. David Merrefield explains the potential strategies behind the hirings that could help differentiate the companies from each other and competitors.
    David Merrefield
    November 2018
     

    Pet Smart and Petco may be the Alpha males of the pet category and indeed, they are surprisingly similar companies. Both sell animal products and related pet services. Both have about 1,500 stores that feature extensive ranges of private brands. Both generate revenue in the billions; Pet Smart is chalking up something approaching $7 billion, Petco more than $4 billion. Both are owned by investment companies, and have substantial debt loads.  

    And, of particular interest, both have newly appointed CEOs. And there’s where the companies diverge. One made an expected appointment, the other didn’t.

    Pet Smart appointed J.K. Symancyk as its CEO. He’s an executive with solid credentials. Most recently, he was president and CEO of Academy Sports + Outdoors. Prior to that he was president of Meijer after holding executive posts at Walmart and Walmart’s Sam’s Club.

    Clearly, he has an impressive and relevant retailing resume, and represents what might be the expected choice for a topside job. He’ll probably do well.

PLMALive! Archives:
the Best of the Year Past
Retail Apocalypse? Hardly

The flood of closings long-predicted for the bricks-and-mortar retail landscape may not be as dire as predicted, but certain channels are in deeper water than others. Brad Edmondson offers statistical analysis of who’s falling and rising with the tide.

Pet Retailers Adopt New CEOs

Both PetSmart and Petco recently appointed new leaders that come from contrasting C-suite pedigrees. David Merrefield explains the potential strategies behind the hirings that could help differentiate the companies from each other ‑ and competitors.

Innovation isn’t Easy

Private label offers many opportunities for manufacturers these days, but it also offers plenty of challenges. PLMA's Tim Simmons speaks with Dean Erstad, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Seneca Foods, who believes innovation is one of them.

2018 Monday AM Briefing

2018 Chicago Trade Show Monday Morning Briefing

2018 Monday PM Briefing

2018 Chicago Trade Show Monday Afternoon Briefing

2018 Tuesday Briefing

2018 Chicago Trade Show Tuesday Briefing

Who Has the Best Store Brands?

Everyone knows the answer: the consumer’s favorite stores. For nearly 20 years, PLMA’s annual Salute to Excellence Awards have filled in the blanks by giving recognition to retailers for innovation and quality. This year’s Awards will be announced at the show in Chicago but you can get a preview of some of the most interesting products that the judges selected. Join news anchor Jodi Daley and PLMA president Brian Sharoff for this month’s edition of PLMA Live and a special report from Bob Vosburgh and Carol Angrisani.

Store-in-Store Boom

Amazon and Aldi inside Kohl’s… Carsaver inside Walmart... Local businesses inside of Whole Foods’ 365 stores. Roy White details how retailers are leasing out parts of their bricks-and-mortar sales floors for non-competing or complimentary operators in a modern twist on traditional concessions.

Gold in Them Thar Hills

So-called ‘micropolitan’ areas have long been passed over by businesses, but population shifts are attracting fresh development. Brad Edmondson identifies 101 regions around the country where growth and healthy communities are opening new markets for retailers of all channels.

Big Changes Ahead in Retailing

A veteran retailing expert believes there's a new world of supermarkets right around the corner. Allan Noddle says stores will look different, offer new ranges of prepared foods, and integrate online and brick and mortar shopping. All these changes spell a big opportunity for store brands.