Stunning Changes Ahead for Supermarkets

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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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Helping New Products Beat the Odds

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According to the SymphonyIRI Group 2011 New Product Pacesetters report, new products are the lifeblood of the CPG industry, with 22 percent of consumers looking for new products to try. The Pacesetters report is an industry-recognized benchmark analysis of exceptional first-year CPG sales success for newly launched products. The report finds that successful launches and true innovation, regardless of the size of the manufacturer, are rooted in the ability to listen and respond to the consumer and gain an intimate knowledge of their needs and wants.

At-retail merchandising and marketing industry professionals know the kind of odds that new products are up against. They have been helping CPG manufacturers and retailers cut-in new products at the retail shelf for decades now. As the report points out, current economic conditions have made the environment even more difficult and complex.

Among sectors that had high levels of successful launches for 2011 was candy and gum. Successful launches in this sector accounted for 19 percent of food New Product Pacesetters dollars. For non-foods, innovative beauty and personal care products, green friendly household products, and enhanced pet-care products also made a dent.

Successful new product launches aim to bring innovative products to consumers and thereby increase brand loyalty and market share. Huge amounts of development dollars are spent to bring these products to market. Ironically, it is the last few feet to the shelf that often times contribute to the success or failure of a new product. For a fraction of the cost of the product development, assurances can be put into place to remove this variable.

The members of NARMS can help trading partners stack the deck and beat the odds by cutting-in new product on the shelf and making sure any supporting POP or end-cap displays are built within the time frame of a well coordinated launch. Professionally executed sampling and demos of new products have proven to be an effective tool in raising awareness for a new product. These services assure consistent roll-out across multiple geographies and multiple channels, bringing the sales lift and return-on-investment sooner.

Click here to download your copy of the SymphonyIRI Group 2011 New Product Pacesetters report.

Connection Session Brings it all Home

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The Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) concluded earlier this week with a Manufacturer/Retailer Connection Session that managed to bring all the over-arching themes and key learnings of the four-day conference into remarkable clarity. The forum used a panel format and was moderated by Art Turock. Turock also served as a keynote speaker on day three of the event.

The five member panel consisted of two retailers and three manufacturers and presented a variety of product, channel and market share viewpoints. Among the panel was Aaron Sims, Director of Sales for Ghirardelli Chocolate Company; Erin Meagher, Founder of Kelapo Coconut; Joe Brumfield, Planning and Merchandising Specialist for AMPM; Chris Herb, Director of National Merchandising for LEGO Systems, Inc. and Ed Sanchez, Sr. Director, In-Store Environment – Merchandising for The Home Depot.

Turock built off his keynote address and started a lively discussion of what represented competent service versus what stands out as truly elite performance. Many of the panel answers revolved around the issues of training, high standards, professionalism and quality. The tone seemed to highlight a need for accreditation and the conference-wide emphasis on the value of NARMScertifyU. Engaged field reps, member companies and their customers can benefit from augmented field training and adoption of industry wide standards through the use of the official on-line training center of the Association.

Prior to conference, a call was made for members to actively engage, be challenged, and sit face to face with peers as we build and re-organize NARMS. The Connection Session served as a launching point for this renewal as audience members actively participated in a lively discussion and panel members graciously sought their input. Keynote addresses by Daniel Shapiro on building effective teams and the art of negotiation, and Vince Lombardi, Jr. on motivation, toughness and commitment provided an essential element and the basis for the discussion.

Members departed the conference by bringing home a valuable four-day experience that provided unique thought leadership and ideas for their individual organizations and a renewed sense of purpose and value for the trade association. The 2013 Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference presented by NARMS will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona next April. More details will become available in the weeks and months ahead. #RMMC533 #RMMC560 #RMMC559 #RMMC533

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On the Road to RMMC

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This column finds many of you about to embark on your trip to Tampa for The Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) starting this weekend at Saddlebrook Resort. By now you have seen the agenda, know about the keynote speakers and the sessions you want to attend. As an additional incentive to attend, Capital Partners is offering a chance to win a four day cruise to anywhere in the world for our members. There will be more information on how you can participate in the raffle at the registration desk. At the risk of being repetitive, here are a few things we would like to ask attendees of RMMC and all NARMS members to consider.

-To actively engage, be challenged, and sit face to face with your peers as we build and re-organize NARMS.

-To help forge a path to the future.

-To create the kind of dialogue that brings life to an organization.

-Plan together strategies for what NARMS will look like in 3-5yrs.

In short, your association and the RMMC need you. This is a dynamic conference that begs for participation, with substantial opportunity for give and take on subjects that have immediate relevancy to your business. Your voice, ideas, input, point-of-view, experiences and opinions are crucial to the vitality of the conference and the Association. NARMS needs at least one voice in attendance from every member company, no matter the size, if we are to clearly understand your perspective and hear your needs.

We have said it before, but it is worth repeating. If you have registered, come with the notion to engage and interact like never before. If you have not already registered, the only thing missing is you! The agenda and conference registration, as well as sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities for the 2012 RMMC are available now at the Conference Center on www.narms.com. We look forward to seeing you at Saddlebrook! #RMMC560 #RMMC561

Meet Fiona Lipscomb

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Another exciting development occurred this week as anticipation builds for The Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC). NARMS announced that Fiona Lipscomb was named Director of Member Relations and Communications. In this newly created role, Lipscomb will serve as the central liaison between the association and its retail merchandising and marketing industry members; be responsible for membership retention, renewal and recruitment; and assist members to fully realize the value of their affiliation with NARMS through multiple communication channels.

Lipscomb comes to NARMS with a wealth of relevant business experience related to managing relationships with large national and international groups. For the last five years, she served as Regional Director for the American Heart Association. Prior to that, she was the Convention Services Manager for the Beau Rivage, an MGM Mirage hotel and casino property in Biloxi, MS. She began her career at EuroDisney Paris where she served in the Convention Services department, which led to a position as the International Sales and Conventions Manager at Sun City Resort, South Africa.

Lipscomb holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Johannesburg and a Certified Meeting Professional designation through the Convention Industry Council. She currently resides in Biloxi along with her two sons, ages 14 and 11.

You can contact her by calling NARMS at 1-888-52-NARMS or emailing to [email protected] You can also meet her next week at The Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) to be held on April 14 – 17, 2012 at Saddlebrook Resort near Tampa. Lipscomb will be one of leaders of the NARMS Learning Session, “Exploring the Total Value of Tools that Go with Your NARMS Membership.” The session will be held on Monday, April 16th at 1:30. The agenda and conference registration, as well as sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities for the 2012 RMMC are available now at the Conference Center on www.narms.com. #RMMC555

The Shopper Experience Impact on Loyalty

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What if you could say to your manufacturers and retailer clients that your services help to enhance the customer experience? Would that be the ultimate selling point? According to a new report by the Temkin Group, as reported on by Drug Store News, the customer experience is highly connected to loyalty for stores and brands around the globe. Another source for key trading partner viewpoints is the Manufacturer/Retailer Connection Session slated to take place at The Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) that will be held April 14 – 17, 2012 at Saddlebrook Resort near Tampa.

“The ROI of Customer Experience” study covered 18 industries and found that the retail industry stands to gain the most from making improvements to the customer experience. The study showed that even a modest improvement can generate 15 to 30 percent gains over a three year period. These gains are found in the willingness of consumers to buy more products, the reluctance of consumers to try another store or brand and the improved chances of consumers to recommend them to friends and colleagues.

The members of NARMS are all about improving the customer experience. The ability of consumers to find their favorite brands in-stock, with promotional material like permanent or pop-up displays and signage in optimal locations increases the chances that brands will retain and enhance loyalty and market share. Well executed demos and product samplings not only get the consumer to seek trial of a new product, but also deliver a strong brand stamp to the complete shopping experience. Boots on the ground are vital to provide decision makers with shelf-level data, delivered by advanced reporting systems, so they can constantly make quick observations and adjustments at store level.

A copy of the Temkin Group report is available for a fee by clicking here. You can also gain key trading partner insight by attending The Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) and the Manufacturer/Retailer Connection Session. The agenda and conference registration, as well as sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities for the 2012 RMMC are available now at the Conference Center on www.narms.com. #RMMC560

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IFBA Top to Top on Tap for Windy City

March 22, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, What's in store

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The Retail Merchandising & Marketing Conference (RMMC) is not the only NARMS event in the works. The 9th Annual IFBA Top to Top Executive Business Conference is a gathering of leaders among food brokers, manufacturers and suppliers to the food and CPG channels. The event is slated for May 15-17, 2012 at the Renaissance Chicago Hotel. Registration for the event, as well as sponsorship opportunities and meeting room reservations are available on-line now at the Top to Top Conference Center on www.narms.com.

Hosted by the IFBA division of NARMS International, this event provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for self-scheduled B2B meetings between manufacturer/suppliers and broker members of IFBA/NARMS. The IFBA is a global trade association that gathers a broad array of retail service companies with manufacturer/suppliers and retailers.

This conference annually provides networking opportunities as brokers and manufacturers from all across North America fill their schedule with B2B meetings. It is also a chance to rub elbows with other brokers and manufacturers at evening social events and gain valuable market perspectives from industry leaders. The keynote address this year will be delivered by Roger Davidson, Chief Operating Officer, MaGi Foods LLC.

Supplier attendees will not want to miss out on the Manufacturer Share Group Session on Tuesday, May 15 from 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. We encourage that at least one representative from each registered manufacturing company attend this idea/issue-sharing conversation to be led by frequent IFBA/NARMS contributor Harold Lloyd.

The 2012 IFBA Top to Top Conference has three robust days planned. If you have not already registered, the only thing missing is you! Registration, hotel, sponsorship and meeting room information is available by clicking here at the Top to Top Conference Center or by visiting www.narms.com.

Out-of-Stock Battle Rages On

Two recent news items underline the need for exceptional execution at shelf level and the value of at-retail merchandising and marketing service providers who are on the front lines of retail every day. The industry will be getting together in one short month for The Retail Merchandising & Marketing Conference (RMMC). The event will be held on April 14-17, 2012 at Saddlebrook Resort, north of Tampa.

In mid-February, the chief merchandising officer of Wal-Mart told a group of suppliers that the retail giant could boost U.S. sales by $5 billion per year by keeping store shelves fully stocked. The company later said the amount was a rough estimate designed to motivate employees and suppliers, but the point was delivered loud and clear. Wal-Mart does currently work with a NARMS member to walk the aisles and monitor for out-of-stocks.

Another news item reported on an AisleBuyer study that said 75 percent of consumers would switch brands if offered real-time mobile promotions by a competitive product delivered to their smartphones while shopping in a store aisle. The promotion and the medium are more important to smartphone owners than brand loyalty. With these factors making a major difference, it is not hard to imagine what would happen if the consumer encountered an out-of-stock after getting the promotion. A major opportunity missed.

The issue with out-of-stocks is simple: if it is not on the shelf, it is not for sale. Even the largest retailer and the most savvy brand marketer are a prisoner to that simple truth. Luckily, the members of NARMS are experts at providing merchandising services in-store that can greatly reduce out-of-stocks, boost the bottom line and enhance brand loyalty and market share.

The members of NARMS are getting together at the RMMC to discuss these and many other important topics. A voice from every member of the association is crucial to the future of the association and the industry. If you have not already registered, the only thing missing is you! The agenda and conference registration, as well as sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities for the 2012 RMMC are available now at the Conference Center on www.narms.com. #RMMC561

YOU Are In-Store

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A member of NARMS recently asked what might be the best question of the year, “Why should I attend The Retail Merchandising & Marketing Conference (RMMC) beyond the items that I see on the Agenda?” The RMMC will be held on April 14-17, 2012 at Saddlebrook Resort, north of Tampa. The answer is surprisingly simple. The reason to attend is YOU. As an owner of NARMS, the association needs you to engage or re-engage and be a part of the future.

It is important to remember that RMMC is a conference and not just a show. The two-way communication is what feeds and brings life to the association. Your voice, ideas, input, point-of-view, experiences and opinions are crucial to the vitality of the conference and the organization. We need at least one voice from each and every member small, medium or large so we clearly hear your needs as you hear from NARMS leadership.

No doubt the agenda is value-packed. We are planning a very robust discussion with a great cross section of panel members across various channels of retail trade. This is your chance to hear their needs and benefit from their experiences and various approaches. But the format only truly becomes powerful when the members of NARMS are in attendance and engaged in the conversation.

We have written a lot about the program and agenda for RMMC. If you have not already registered, the only thing missing is you! The agenda and conference registration, as well as sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities for the 2012 RMMC are available now at the Conference Center on www.narms.com. #RMMC530

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Saddlebrook Awaits Industry Leaders for RMMC

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In the last few columns we have been writing about the value-packed content on tap for The Retail Merchandising & Marketing Conference (RMMC) to be held on April 14-17, 2012. This learning, motivation and networking will be enhanced by the stunning atmosphere of Saddlebrook Resort, north of Tampa. The resort accommodations will allow you to relax, recharge and plan ahead on how to integrate the conference programming toward your company business goals.

Saddlebrook Resort, nestled in 480 acres of lush Florida countryside just 30 miles north of Tampa International Airport, offers a secluded retreat from the hectic pace of everyday life. The half-million gallon Superpool is the very heart of the resort with all facilities and amenities surrounding this beautiful centerpiece. The conference center, restaurants, golf and tennis shops, Spa and all guest accommodations border the Superpool making everything convenient and easily accessible. High-speed wireless internet capabilities are available in all guest accommodations as well as throughout the lounging areas around the Superpool.

Two 18-hole Arnold Palmer signature golf courses challenge golfers of all skill levels. The tennis complex features 45 courts and night play on the five lighted courts. The Spa at Saddlebrook offers a variety of body treatments facials and salon services. Saddlebrook Resorts Sports Village provides a wide variety of activities and fitness options for both individual guests and groups.

You will not want to miss four days in this beautiful setting. Click here to make your hotel reservations today. For questions regarding room or reservations call 813.907.4401 or 800.729.8383 ext. 4401. Shuttle service to and from Tampa International Airport is available with 24-hour advance reservation notice by calling 813-907-4455. Reservations are required for the service that operates from 6 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily.

The agenda and conference registration, as well as sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities for the 2012 RMMC are available now at the Conference Center on www.narms.com. #RMMC561

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Events

Calendar items for NARMS:

May 09, 2012 - May 11, 2012
SIAL Canada 2012 The North American Food Marketplace
May 15, 2012 - May 17, 2012
Top to Top Executive Business Conference
Sep 19, 2012 - Sep 22, 2012
Natural Products Expo East 2012
Oct 01, 2012 - Oct 04, 2012
AICC 2012 Annual Meeting
Oct 01, 2012 - Oct 02, 2012
Grocery Innovations Canada 2012
Oct 06, 2012 - Oct 09, 2012
National Frozen & Refrigerated Food Convention
Oct 07, 2012 - Oct 10, 2012
The NACS Show 2012
Oct 13, 2012 - Oct 17, 2012
114th NCPA Annual Convention and Trade Exposition
Oct 14, 2012 - Oct 17, 2012
AFP Annual Conference
Oct 16, 2012 - Oct 18, 2012
Shopper Marketing Expo 2012
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Webinars

NARMS-sponsored Webinars: