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The Evolving Store

January 26, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, What's in store


Today we turn our focus to new survey from Deloitte as reported on by DSN Retailing Today. The survey and the subsequent report listens to what retail executives expect to happen in the next five years both in their physical stores and on-line. As members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing industry, it is imperative that we are in-touch with these views because they represent huge opportunities to be of service to our manufacturer and retailer customers.

These executives say that e-commerce will increase three-fold over the next few years, but most still believe the store will remain the primary point-of-purchase. The increase in on-line sales will change the way retailers use their talent, physical space and store operations to keep pace with increasingly personal customer demands. The study surveyed 39 retail executives in September 2011.

As a result of the study findings, Deloitte offers four recommendations to retailers. The first is to refresh strategy to enable operating models to respond quickly to marketplace changes. The next is to realize that there in nothing more important than the in-store experience. The third is to revisit talent management to allow store associates to deliver the more tailored experience. The fourth is to connect and integrate customers from the store to a multi-channel experience.

All four of these recommendations advocate loudly for the use of the at-retail merchandising and marketing service companies of NARMS. These merchandisers, professional installers, event marketers, national and independent brokers are all about mobilizing quickly and tailoring the customer experience to changes in the marketplace and resulting strategic shifts. Outsourcing key shelf level initiatives can maximize store assets and allow sales associates to focus on their core competency, taking care of the customer.

As the report suggests, the physical store will still be at the epicenter of this multi-channel world. You can download your copy of the Deloitte report by clicking here.

Jan 20, 2012 IRI/Morning NewsBeat

January 23, 2012 by WorldAlliance Editor  
Filed under IRI/

Below is the list of articles you will find for the week ending 1/20/12 edition of Retail Industry News.

- NRF Forecasts Retail Industry Sales Growth of 3.4 Percent in 2012
- Lynch Stepping Down As Winn-Dixie CEO
- Target To Focus On Competing With Online Retailers In 2012
- Marketing To A Food Stamp Environment
- Sansolo Speaks: Who You Calling Old?
- Starbucks Pre-Paid Card Generating More Than A Quarter Of Its U.S. Revenue
- Walgreen’s In-Store Health Clinics To Allow People To Make Appointments
- Dollar Stores Keep Growing, But Prices May Not Be Main Driver
- Wegmans, Whole Foods, Publix Make Annual List Of Best Workplaces
- FastNewsBeat
- The MNB Wal-Mart Watch
- Executive Suite

Click here to read Retail Industry News

Survey Seeks to Sharpen Services

January 19, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, What's in store


One of the big takeaways from the 2011 NARMS Spring Conference was how much our manufacturer and retail customers value field representative background screening and certification. They want to know that the people who are going into the store environment to provide at-retail merchandising and marketing services are good ambassadors of their brands. The leadership at NARMS is looking for your participation in a very brief on-line survey designed to help us get a clear picture of member needs in our Background Check and NARMScertifyU program. Click on the link here to participate in the survey. Only one person per company is asked to reply.

In 2005, NARMS teamed with USIS to provide affordable pre-employment screening services. For $8.00 per screening, the USIS/NARMS package included: A criminal records search via the USIS Widescreen National Criminal records database including sex offender data as provided by the various state sex offender files, social security number verification, search of the USMA National Retail Theft Database, wanted persons security screen and a terrorist watch list. USIS is now part of HireRight. USIS will conduct background screening for government accounts and HireRight for commercial accounts including NARMS.

NARMScertifyU is an online learning center offering career-building courses. Developed by industry experts for marketing service representatives, NARMScertifyU provides a valuable learning experience. Online courses can be accessed anywhere and anytime, so the reps can learn at their own pace. It is an opportunity to become an industry expert by earning course certificates. Each certificate earned leads to more exposure and credibility. The increased retail knowledge improves job satisfaction and overall success for all stakeholders.

It is only through your continued involvement as members that we can continuously improve our services, and together, raise the profile and professionalism of what it means to be a member of NARMS. Please take a few minutes of your busy day to take the survey. The data will be used to evaluate and evolve these tools.


Jan 13, 2012 IRI/Morning NewsBeat

January 17, 2012 by WorldAlliance Editor  
Filed under IRI/

Below is the list of articles you will find for the week ending 1/13/12 edition of Retail Industry News.

- Wegmans Extends Winter Price Freeze
- Sansolo Speaks: When the World is Watching
- Instore Health Clinics Grew In Number During 2011
- Publix To Open Two Stores In Charlotte, NC Market
- Garden State Tries To Pry FreshDirect Out Of New York
- Kroger Goes Back To School With Robotic Vending Machine
- FastNewsBeat
- The MNB Wal-Mart Watch
- Executive Suite

Click here to read Retail Industry News

New Products Cater to Smart

January 12, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, What's in store


Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY writes that consumers want to feel smart, and that leading CPG manufacturers are picking up that trend for their 2012 new product launches. He points out that new products are the life blood of brands, bringing innovation and refreshing image. Getting those new products cut-in on retail shelves is one of the many valuable services provided by the members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing community.

Getting new products to the shelf more quickly brings the sales lift sooner and begins to justify product development costs. That is the cold, hard financial truth but there are other benefits to the product being on-shelf and in-stock. The influence of social media on new product introductions is hard to ignore. Horovitz cites one study that says the number of people who turned to Facebook, Twitter or YouTube went from 24% in 2010 to 49% in 2011.

The social media factor seems to be driving quality over quantity. Mintel predicts that U.S. product introductions will shrink in 2012. That continues a trend. The firm estimates there were about 37,600 new product launches in 2011 and 41,000 in 2010. With less new products, more is riding on their success.

People who feel smart tell their friends. Those friends go to the store looking for the product and expect to find it. The means to get the message out is simple and less costly, but the margin for error gets thinner. A product that does not work or one that is not on the shelf will drive the brand message quickly the other way. The sword cuts both ways.

This is where we come in. NARMS members can help keep the manufacturers promise of innovation by making sure a new product makes it the last few feet of the journey, to the shelf. Just as the margin for error is thinner for brand marketers, it is no longer good enough to just have people in the stores. These companies will be looking for in-store service that makes them look smart, the same motivation as the consumer. It is only through industry best practices, training, integrity of field force and innovation that we can take our place in this evolving go-to-market system.


Jan 6, 2012 IRI/Morning NewsBeat

January 10, 2012 by WorldAlliance Editor  
Filed under IRI/

Below is the list of articles you will find for the week ending 12/30/11 edition of Retail Industry News.

- Numbers Add Up To More Men Doing Supermarket Shopping
- Bashas Announces Refinancing, Giving It Stability, Security
- Sansolo Speaks: Snapshot Of The Future
- Walmart Acquires Mobile App Development Agency
- Dollar General To Open 625 Stores In 2012
- For Second Time, Publix Gets Out Of Online Shopping Business
- Safeway Sells 16 Genuardi’s Stores To Ahold-Owned Giant
- FastNewsBeat
- Executive Suite

Click here to read Retail Industry News

People Make the Difference

January 5, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, What's in store


A few days ago, Supermarket News Editor-in-Chief David Orgel wrote about what he believes is still the most crucial factor in the success of retail outlets. In-store interactions between customers and associates, he says, is a fundamental that is often overlooked as we seek to improve the customer experience.

Orgel cites an article in the Harvard Business Review that states customer-associate interactions will become even more important for a couple of reasons. With all of the technology and social networking that we now experience in our day to day lives, a trip to the market could be just what that doctor ordered to help fulfill our fundamental need for human interaction. In a sense, everything old is new again with attention to personal service potentially becoming a key driver in retail success.

The key will be to maintain both a high degree of direct customer interaction with the speed, efficiency and convenience brought by in-home shopping. In effect, the need to execute efficiently at-retail becomes even more important. For a case in point, look at how a professionally staffed and run product sample or demo can greatly enhance both the customer experience and the bottom line.

This argument can be taken to another level. The members of NARMS, at-retail merchandising and marketing service specialists, are in the people business. No amount of shopper data can have the desired effect on retail without the human element of getting boots on the ground to implement the resulting in-store initiatives. Most of this work is done during business hours meaning NARMS member associates are trained to interact with customers because they are often identified as store staff.

The bottom line is that it is harder than ever to get customers in the store, so it is more important than ever to make sure their experience makes them want to buy from you and return often. Great looking stores with well-stocked shelves, convenient adjacencies, strategic displays and well run samples are a means to this end. We all need the human touch.


Dec 30, 2011 IRI/Morning NewsBeat

Below is the list of articles you will find for the week ending 12/30/11 edition of Retail Industry News.

- Whole Foods’ Mackey: On Surviving The Recession And Income Inequality
- Costco’s Old And New CEO On The Present And The Future
- Bi-Lo To Acquire Winn-Dixie And Take It Private For $560 Million
- Sansolo Speaks: Back to Basics
- Dollar Stores Said To Be Having A Green Christmas
- FastNewsBeat
- Executive Suite

Click here to read Retail Industry News

A Happy New Year!

December 29, 2011 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, What's in store


This being the last column of the year, let us be the first to wish a great big Happy New Year to the members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing community. The leadership and staff at NARMS International are excited to move the Association along after a year of contemplation and transition. Here are just a few things to look forward to as you begin to plan your 2012.

Tom Caddell brings a lifetime of experience in the industry as the new NARMS Executive Director. Caddell and the staff are looking forward to bringing a new and strategic direction to build and brand the association name of NARMS in new, valuable and ever exciting ways.

The 2012 new membership drive and membership renewal is right around the corner. Do not forget to look for your renewal notice and take action so you do not miss out on any valuable membership services.

The 2012 Spring Conference is coming up and in its 17th year will feature a new name. The Retail Merchandising & Marketing Conference will be held at Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa Florida on April 14-17. Conference Chair Stefan Midford, the NARMS staff and the NARMS Board of Directors are putting together a value- packed agenda for our annual showcase event. Look for exciting agenda, registration and sponsorship announcements coming up shortly at the Conference Center on

NARMScertifyU continues to provide on-line career building courses for at-retail marketing service representatives. NARMScertifyU offers eight courses for $15 each: Mystery Shopping, Retail Visit Excellence, Merchandising Standards, Demonstrations, Event Marketing, Fixture Installation, Train the Trainer and Team Lead Skills. Block pricing is available for member companies to purchase on-line courses for their field reps at a great savings.

NARMS JobBank and the Recruiter database have been experiencing robust levels of activity as at-retail marketing service reps and hiring companies use this original and custom built member resource to bring professional service to their retailer and CPG manufacturer customers.

The New Year brings fresh perspectives and new opportunities. This is particularly true for our Association as several things are converging simultaneously to shape the future of the industry and NARMS. Make a resolution right now to be part of that future.

Reflections on Food 2011

December 22, 2011 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, What's in store


On Tuesday in Top Shelf , we called your attention to a series of review/preview articles being featured on In one quick and easy read, you can get a nice recap on the year that was 2011 and many of the activities that will continue into 2012. All things considered, it was a remarkable year for food retailing with many top players making bold moves to reestablish themselves in a new retailing reality. Today, we will give you a sneak peak at each article and a link for you to read further.

Leading off the series is a look at the return of food inflation and the effects on the marketplace. Author Jon Springer looks at the initial bump provided by price inflation and the resulting anxiety about continuing to pass these costs to the consumer in a time of heavy price promotion.

In his next piece, Springer takes a look at the A&P bankruptcy and the turnaround effort of investor Ron Burkle and his Yucaipa Cos. The plan is to buy A&P out of bankruptcy by this coming February and operate it as a private company.

In the most extensive part of the series, Mark Hamstra reviews merger and acquisition activity for the year. According to The Food Institute, there was a 27% increase in food industry mergers and acquisitions in the first half of 2011 over the same period in 2010.

Elliot Zwiebach chronicles the ongoing efforts at Supervalu in their two-year battle to turn the company around. The company is now confident it has the tools and processes in place to do the job right. The company acknowledges that execution across the board has been holding it back.

Mobile and checkout technology continue to make news on both the part of the retailer and consumer. Author Michael Gerry tracks the ongoing debate over self-checkout and the increased use of smartphone apps being released by retailers.

Hamstra, in his next piece, discusses the focus of many food retailers to fine-tune and refine their positioning in the marketplace. These attempts are resulting in revamps and refreshes to stores around the country.

And finally, Zwiebach looks at the changing face of Wal-Mart as it gets its sales back in a positive direction. The company says that merchandising assortment and presentation resulted in a loss of store traffic.

The common denominator in these stories is change. The good news is that the ever-evolving food retailing marketplace is full of opportunity for members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing service community. In just about every case, at-retail execution is still a daunting challenge for retailers and manufacturers alike.


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