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Dollar stores, discounters, major supermarket chains and e-commerce are battling each other for sales to consumers at the bottom of the economic ladder. The prize is big profits and it is attracting Aldi, Lidl, Walmart and many others. Join news anchor Jodi Daley and PLMA president Brian Sharoff as they analyze the players, the market and the consumers. Click here for video.

  • Albertsons Add Jim Donald to C-Suite
    Jim Donald joins an expanding, increasingly diversified Albertsons, at a time when the retailer faces the integration of recently purchased Rite Aid drug stores and the possibility of an IPO.
    David Merrefield
    May 2018
     

    Albertsons' store portfolio is growing rapidly and becoming increasingly diversified.

    Maybe that’s why Jim Donald was named President and Chief Operating Officer of Albertsons not long ago. His experience seems broad enough to manage a company that operates supermarkets under 20 different banners.

    But more than that, Albertsons plans to acquire about 2,600 Rite Aid drug stores. That will make it the operator of about 4,900 stores in all. It will also seek to become publicly traded. 

    The newly appointed Donald is a well-known executive with varied experience in managing a wide range of food and nonfood enterprises.

    Most recently, Donald was CEO of Extended Stay America, a sizable lodging chain. He left there in 2015 after a three-year stint. Prior to that he was for two years President and CEO of Haggen, a food and pharmacy retailer.

     

     

  • Five Private Label Package Design Trends to Watch
    No longer bland and predictable, store brands packaging has entered a new era of creative, functional and colorful design that improves shelf visibility and sales. Christopher Durham surveys the recent Vertex Awards and the trends he sees driving design today: category specific, simple and beautiful, packaging as art, real stories, and uniquely holiday.
    Christopher Durham
    May 2018
     

    There was a time when private brand design was predictable. How hard could it be to design a generic can of beer? It had a white background and BEER boldly slapped on its side. In the 80s and 90s, retailers rushed to create National Brand Equivalent private labels. Each package was designed to mimic a national brand.

    Today, retailers manage complex portfolios of private brands. Each brand within that portfolio addresses different business needs and speaks to a different customer segment. The corresponding brands are brought to life with unique design strategies.

    Over the last five years, the quality of private brand package design has dramatically improved. Through more than 1,000 entries from 65 retailers located in 37 countries, the Vertex Awards has presented a unique look inside private brand design trends and the retailers shaping them.

    This year five trends emerged.

     

  • Is Online for Real?
    E-commerce only accounts for 9% of grocery sales but everyone seems to agree that it is destined to grow and grow and grow. Brad Edmondson explains the demographics behind this prediction.
    Brad Edmondson
    April 2018
     

    When will online grocery shopping really take off? How will it all unfold? 

    Today, online grocery shopping has come to the edge of the chasm. About 15 percent of millennials say they use an online grocery shopping service at least once a month. 15 percent of people who live in big or small cities buy groceries online once a month also. The national average for the United States is 9 percent and is above average for working-age adults. 

    Big investors are betting that mainstream consumers will increase this percentage soon.  Amazon placed a thirteen-billion-dollar bet on online grocery shopping when it bought Whole Foods last year. Wegmans, Sprouts, and other grocery chains have signed up with Instacart, which applies the Uber model to grocery delivery. Another competitor, Shipt, was recently acquired by Target for 550 million dollars.

     

  • Putting Humpty-Dumpty Together
    The integration of brick-and-mortar stores into the digital world may not be as easy as people think. Recent reports reveal that order-to-shelf system, or OTS, is not getting the job done. At many stores, departments are experiencing serious out-of-stocks – the exact opposite of what order-to-shelf is supposed to do. Roy White analyzes the situation.
    Roy White
    April 2018
     

    The integration of brick-and-mortar stores into the digital world will evidently be no easy task.

    Recent reports reveal that one retailer’s order-to-shelf system, or OTS – a highly publicized program that brings brick-and-mortar a step closer to how online selling functions - is not working at all well. At many stores, departments are experiencing serious out-of-stocks – the exact opposite of what order-to-shelf is supposed to do.

    OTS uses automated technology and analytical data for the store to order for replenishment by item rather than by case, and the number of items ordered is the precise amount required to refill the shelf – no backup stock. In addition, resupply has to be re-engineered to handle higher frequency and be item-based rather than case-based... and then to deliver the order to the store arranged in such a way as to mirror the store’s layout to facilitate unloading and stocking.

    Re-engineering is required at the distribution center since OTS upends the model based on shipping case-based pallets to the stores.

 Category Profile: Food-on-the-Go Impacting Supermarkets

While the image of mom preparing meals in the kitchen may still warm hearts and minds, more and more young men and women are turning to food-on-the-go and meal kits to satisfy their eating habits. The trend has impacted center store and is opening new avenues for retailers and their store brands. This month’s category profile looks at the products and the potential.

Trader Joe’s Recipe for Innovation

"Innovation is at the heart of our business," says Lori Latta, vice president of innovation for Trader Joe's and one of the new inductees in the Private Label Hall of Fame. Tim Simmons interviews her about the process of creating new products and relationships with suppliers.

Albertsons Adds Jim Donald to C-Suite

Jim Donald joins an expanding, increasingly diversified Albertsons, at a time when the retailer faces the integration of recently purchased Rite Aid drug stores and the possibility of an IPO. David Merrefield reports.

PLMALive! Archives:
the Best of the Year Past
The New Digital Revolution in Retailing

Michael Jary predicts a new wave of digital technologies will transform the way people use the internet and these technologies will have a big impact on how retailers do business.

Nielsen Sees Big Store Brands Growth

A new report from Nielsen predicts strong store brands growth in the U.S. and around the world. What is behind the boom? Are the changes permanent? Join news anchor Jodi Daley and PLMA president Brian Sharoff as they analyze what Nielsen is saying and why.

Putting Humpty-Dumpty Together

The integration of brick-and-mortar stores into the digital world may not be as easy as people think. Recent reports reveal that order-to-shelf system, or OTS, is not getting the job done. At many stores, departments are experiencing serious out-of-stocks – the exact opposite of what order-to-shelf is supposed to do. Roy White analyzes the situation. Click here for video.

Is Online for Real?

E-commerce only accounts for 9% of grocery sales but everyone seems to agree that it is destined to grow and grow and grow. Brad Edmondson explains the demographics behind this prediction.

The Danger of “Clean Labels”

Kieran Forsey believes that while there's a groundswell of consumer demand to remove harmful ingredients, there is a danger in focusing too heavily on the negative attributes of products.

Restocking Kroger

Kroger’s new initiatives seek to utilize the giant retailer’s extensive database to increase sales. David Merrefield profiles the executives heading up the effort.

Taste Test

In this era of label transparency, forward-thinking manufacturers are changing ingredients for their processed foods. Dr. Kantha Shelke discusses recipe options.

Private Label Stars

Omnichannel marketing has hit a threshold, and several companies are leading the way ‑ like Walmart’s Jet.com. Christopher Durham explains how store brands play a key role.

A Year Later

Ahold and Delhaize merged just over a year ago. The changes are more obvious in Europe, though Roy White notes there are significant shifts stateside as well.

CVS Merger Could Mean Changes for Everyone

CVS’s purchase of Aetna could have profound effects on supermarkets as well as drug chains and mass merchandisers as everyone plays catch-up for in-store health services. Join news anchor Jodi Daley and PLMA president Brian Sharoff as they look at how today’s marketplace may change and the merger’s domino effect.

How To Beat Goliath

Judith Spires, CEO of Kings and Balducci’s, says fresh foods help small retailers win against giant competitors.

What Does Costco Know?

Warehouse clubs are key players in the retail marketplace. How are they dealing with Amazon and the growth of e-commerce? Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s are pursuing different strategies. Join news anchor Jodi Daley and PLMA president Brian Sharoff as they turn the spotlight on the warehouse clubs and the changing retail marketplace.