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Stunning Changes Ahead for Supermarkets

May 3, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  

winndixie

It is not a newsflash that the 2012 FMI Conference is going on this week in Dallas. The trade press is covering it like a blanket with Supermarket News doing a particularly thorough job reporting on the event. Today, we will focus in on comments made by Leslie G. Sarasin, the president and chief executive officer of FMI.

If we read and listen closely, there is a call to be part of what Sarasin describes as stunning changes ahead for the industry. She says that retailers must adapt to changes in consumer attitudes and technology to survive and thrive. That sounds like good advice for the members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry as well.

Among some of her remarks to a general session at the event: Conventional supermarkets are the choice of 64 percent of shoppers, which is the lowest level in years. The number of shoppers who look for discounts has risen from 60 to 80 percent, an increase of 19 million people. Fifty-five percent of shoppers are learning to live with less, a jump from 42 percent, or 15 million people. Shoppers who buy private label products rose to 78 percent from 64 percent, an increase of 16 million people.

Sarasin added that better than half of shoppers go online prior to one in four shopping trips or use mobile technologies in the store. Online purchases totaled $12 billion in 2010 and will reach $25 billion by 2014. Two percent of those purchases involved CPG products. Supercenters, dollar stores, convenience stores and clubs have added 150 million square feet since 2005, while traditional grocery stores have not increased square footage.

Regarding these game changing events, she says sometimes the limits in our own experiences prevent us from grasping the importance of what is happening right before our eyes. As service providers to retailers and to manufacturers, we must keep pace with the observations and resulting actions of our customers. It is then that the members of NARMS become agents of change.

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