• Where Is Market Research Taking Us?
    Are millennials really the force of the future? PLMA’s newsdesk looks at what market research is telling us and why it is misleading retailers and manufacturers.

    News Desk
    Where Is Market Research Taking Us?
    October 2017
    Market researchers want to be able to predict the future. That is what clients pay for.  But it has become increasingly difficult understanding Millennials, Generation X and now Generation Z. In the meantime, Baby Boomers don’t seem to want to leave the stage and a new cohort has emerged: consumers between 70 and 95.  What is market research supposed to tell us about all of these consumers?
    One group that is caught in the middle are the retailers. How to stock the stores? Who to target for advertising? How much technology to weave into operations? On which generation to build your company image?  Yes, what are retailers to do? Perhaps one way to solve the problem is to get a better understanding of the generations. There are a lot of myths circulating about who holds power in the marketplace and, as the song goes: it ain’t necessarily so.
  • The Big Gamble
    Sears and Kohl’s have struck exclusive agreements with Amazon that creates new ways to reach consumers. Roy White bets that the deals also carry substantial risks.

    Roy White
    The Big Gamble
    November 2017
    Kohl’s and Sears have forged partnerships with Amazon that has been characterized, on one hand, as leveraging your advantages, or on the other, put bluntly, as shooting yourself in the foot.
    No matter how you look at it, working with Amazon is a gamble fraught with risk to gain what are admittedly potentially sizeable benefits.
    Kohl’s and Amazon, for example, have at this point a couple of layers of relationship. For starters, Kohl’s has agreed to open Amazon’s smart home experience shops in 10 of its stores in the Los Angeles and Chicago markets. These units are 1,000 square feet of physical space selling product. They are described as providing a hands-on, interactive and engaging array of products including Echo, Echo Dot, Fire TV and Fire Tablets, many powered by Alexa. There will be Amazon sales associates on hand to work with shoppers and arrange in-home installations.
    Layer two, again in Los Angeles and Chicago, is the plan to accept Amazon returns at 82 units with pack-and-ship services for the items.
  • Pop Up Power
    Jaded bricks-and-mortar shoppers find limited-time pop-up stores bring new excitement during an important selling season. Bob Vosburgh pops in on the pop up trend.

    Bob Vosburgh
    Pop Up Power
    November 2017
    ‘Tis the season for shopping, and this year the mood of retailers is bright. The economy is improving, consumer confidence is high and the industry is feeling optimistic. The National Retail Federation predicts tens of thousands of seasonal hires. That’s because holiday retail sales in November and December are expected to increase up to 4-percent for a total of roughly 680-Billion dollars, up 4-percent from 2016.
    One way retailers are capitalizing on all this good will is by bringing select items from their physical stores to customers in unexpected places. So-called pop-up stores are temporary retail outlets established in all sorts of unique venues – inside hotel lobbies, old garages… even buses. According to Storefront, a firm that rents short-term retail space, pop-ups can bring in 4 times the sales per square foot versus traditional store environments.
    Flash retail sites are perfect way to stage holiday promotions.
  • Vegans on the Rise
    More Europeans are pursuing plant-based lifestyles, and it’s catching on with American consumers, too. Judith Kolenburg gives the industry something to chew on.

    Judith Kolenburg
    Vegans on the Rise
    November 2017
    Veganism apparently is growing rapidly here in Europe. The enthusiasm for plant-based eating is supported by an increasing group of consumers that eat vegan once or twice a week, so-called “Flexitarians”. 
    The response from manufacturers and retailers to the increasing demand goes from specific merchandising techniques to innovative culinary product launches, and more. 
    In Denmark, Coop’s Irma supermarkets banner have opened dedicated departments with 150 products for vegans and vegetarians called “The green meal” after a study found that 43% of Danes say that they want to eat less meat than they do today.
    Other retailers use mixed displays. Axfood in Sweden Sweden just opened an Hemköp City store piloting its new Vego concept for vegetarian food. To inspire consumers to try alternatives to meat or dairy, they co-merchandise the two within each category.
PLMALive! Archives:
the Best of the Year Past
Where Is Market Research Taking Us?

Are millennials really the force of the future? PLMA’s newsdesk looks at what market research is telling us and why it is misleading retailers and manufacturers.

Who’s Cooking?

Retailers can thank Millennials for the popularity of prepared meals and kits. Brad Edmondson explains why young people aren’t home cooking.

Shopping Lidl

Private label dominates the shelves inside the new U.S. stores operated by Lidl. Christopher Durham visits two stores and takes us on a tour of the aisles.

Fresh Face at Fresh Market

Larry Appel is named CEO at The Fresh Market as the chain realigns stores and expands private label to capture mainstream shoppers. David Merrefield reports.

Antibiotic Resistance

Some antimicrobial chemicals in cleaning products are now banned by the FDA. Dr. Kantha Shelke discusses ways manufacturers are searching for alternatives.

More New Products

Steve Kintz, former Publix Business Development Director, believes retailers need to become more aggressive with new product development.

A Lidl Help for Save-A-Lot

Two former Lidl executives now head up discounter Save-A-Lot, as the chain looks to its future in the U.S. David Merrefield explains.

Helping Disabled Shoppers

Some 56 million Americans are disabled, but they still have to shop. How are retailers accommodating their needs? Brad Edmondson profiles some solutions.

Deflation’s Impact

The past 18 months have been tough on all retailers due to deflation, which lowered prices and depressed margins. Is the end in sight? Roy White analyzes the situation.

IKEA’s Food Sales

Home goods chain IKEA might be famous for its furniture, but it sells more than 150 private-label food products. Christopher Durham has the details.

Big Changes Ahead

Bahige El-Rayes of A.T. Kearney foresees significant shifts in the way retailers and manufacturers work together. Store brands will play an important role as retailers look to differentiate themselves.

Inside the Amazon Merger

Is Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods a game changer or more of the same? PLMA Live goes inside the takeover and analyzes its real impact on national and regional chains and direct-to-consumer services. What are the numbers? Will private label get a huge push forward? Is this the wave of the future? Join news anchor Jodi Daley and PLMA president Brian Sharoff as they dissect the deal of the year.