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Research Clearinghouse Part of New Web

May 7, 2013 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2013, Top Shelf


The past few blogs in the Top Shelf and What’s in-Store series have featured previews of coming attractions for the new World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards website which will premier soon. This information was released to the members at The Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) just a week ago. Today we are going to look at another exciting feature, The Research Clearinghouse.

Your trade association has always taken the lead on providing the best available information to help you better understand the ever-changing retail marketplace. Our new website will take that commitment to a new level by proving a library that is continuously updated with relevant research, white papers and thought leadership discussion pertaining to retail. The materials will be supplied by research institutes, companies, agencies, colleges and universities, media sources and think tank groups.

Much of this research will be provided at no additional charge to members as a value added feature of your membership. There will also be some available for purchase. This resource will also be available to members who would like to share their own research or white papers on at-retail merchandising and marketing services. Since this is an industry and association wide tool, these member-submitted works must be completely non-promotional or they will not be accepted.

The research will be neatly organized into user-friendly folders. These folders will be arranged by channel and subdivided by the type of research such as benchmark studies, best practices, surveys, trending analysis, whitepapers, etc. Works older than 12 months will be archived so they are always available to you.

The new website will be all about raising the bar and giving you a higher level of service and value for your membership. The Research Clearing House library will provide you with a one-stop resource for your business plans, go-to-market strategies, future service strategies and background information for submitting RFPs. Stay tuned for even more exciting announcements and developments on the changing face of your Association.

Gold Standard Certification Coming Soon

April 30, 2013 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2013, Top Shelf


The Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC), happening right now at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort, has been a springboard for the Association and new World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards brand. Conference attendees have experienced thought leading speakers, breakout sessions and networking events that will help them find out what retail and manufacturer clients are looking for and how to use their specialized skill sets to not only succeed, but to stand out in an ever-changing marketplace.

One of the new programs being launched emphasizes a key component of the Association name change. Trading partner customers have been telling us for awhile that they are looking for a set of higher standards when it comes to at-retail merchandising services. The Retail Service Gold Standard Certification program will allow our members to make the industry more professional, ethical and effective. It provides evidence to retailer and manufacturers that third-party retail service providers have met high industry standards.

The program was developed to provide companies with a set of consensus-based industry standards indicative of high quality practices in the delivery of service. The Certification Criteria was drafted by a national outside organization specializing in planning, development and implementation of certification programs and approved by our own Certification Advisory Committee and our membership.

The World Alliance Gold Standard Certification program is voluntary at this time and involves an application process that will validate for compliance in the areas of financial management, compliance with the law, insurance coverage, workforce management, client contact, delivery of service and ethics. This information is evaluated by a third-party, non-profit agency.

The application process does take some time, so those members interested in getting started should contact the World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards office soon for more information. The bottom line is that being Gold Standard Certified will help you get more business while we raise the profile of the entire industry.

IRi Issues New Product Pacesetters Report

April 23, 2013 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2013, Top Shelf


It has been said that new products are the lifeblood of the CPG industry. Recent information from IRi backs up that claim. According to the recently released IRi 2012 New Product Pacesetters Report, 20 percent of consumers are always looking for new products to try. In 2011-2012, nearly 1,900 new CPG brands hit retail shelves across U.S. multi-outlets. IRi New Product Pacesetters averaged $39.5 million in annualized sales. That is a combined $7.9 billion in year-one total sales.

Some other key highlights of the report:

-Forty new brands captured more than $50 million in sales during their first year.

-Eleven brands reached $100 million.

-Fifteen new pet care banners achieved IRi New Product Pacesetter status in 2012.

-Anti-aging remains a big focus in personal care.

- The most successful healthcare launches promote proactive health care, nature and new technologies.

New products face an uphill climb to market, and the odds for success are not in their favor. The members of World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards provide at-retail merchandising and marketing service support to ensure new products reach the shelf and receive the store compliance that they deserve and that consumers expect. Our members give new products the best possible chance to succeed.

You can click here to download your copy of IRi 2012 New Product Pacesetters. For more leading thoughts on bringing CPG products to market, visit the official Retail Merchandising & Marketing Conference (RMMC) website, register and attend. The event starts this weekend at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort and we look forward to seeing you in the Valley of the Sun.

Supermarket Model Depends on Meeting Customer Needs

April 16, 2013 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf


In a rapidly changing world, we sometimes lose touch with some basics that will always ring true. In his recent VIEWPOINTS blog on Supermarket News, Editor-in-Chief David Orgel speculates on the health of the traditional grocery model and looks at it from a different point of view. He reports on recent statements by a Kroger executive that calls the grocery industry in the U.S. very healthy. His point is that taking care of the customer and giving the consumer what they want is the oldest rule in the book, and the key to success.

Orgel cites Michael Schlotman, Kroger Chief Financial Officer, as blaming the misconception of a failing grocery industry on how investors operate. They only tend to follow public companies when those are not always the best in class. Not looking at companies such as Publix, Hy-Vee and Wegmans skews the perception of the industry as a whole.

The traditional supermarket model is viewed as a middle of the road approach, with either higher end or lower end value formats being the flavor of the day. The reality is that none of these factors guarantee automatic success. It is more a matter of understanding and delivering to customer needs, regardless of format.

As purveyors of at-retail merchandising and marketing services, it is important that we understand how we can help our retail and manufacturer partners take care of their customers. The Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) in Scottsdale is just under two weeks away and is a means to increase our understanding of trading partner needs so they might meet the needs of the end consumer.

RMMC in Your Pocket

April 9, 2013 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2013, Top Shelf


We have all been there. You are at a conference or trade show and are trying to decide which event to attend next to get maximum value and impact out of your investment. Your show program looks like an old phone book by the time you are through scrambling and scribbling notes. That is still an option, but the Retail Merchandising & Marketing Conference (RMMC) presented by World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards on April 27-30 may have a solution that better fits your current lifestyle.

You can have everything you need for RMMC in your pocket and on your smart phone. That is right, RMMC has gone mobile. You can download the mobile app by scanning the QR code included with this column. You can also go to iTunes or Playstore, download the Guidebook App and then search for Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference.

Built for Android, Blackberry and Apple devices, the mobile app gives you all the information you need at your fingertips. From speaker bios, a complete agenda, a listing of all exhibitors and to a full attendee list and to-do list, the Mobile app will bring a new level of experience to RMMC.

And there is another reason to have a QR code scanning app on your phone prior to Conference. In order to bring a little fun back to the trade show floor, and encourage you to visit with the many fine companies who are exhibiting, we are going to have a QR Code Scavenger hunt! You will need to visit all the booths and scan the codes to collect key words that make up the winning phrase. If you get the phrase, you are entered into a drawing to win fabulous prizes including a two-night stay with golf at the Hyatt Hill Country in San Antonio, two-night stay at Scottsdale Plaza Resort, a Nintendo 3DS and more. The drawing takes place on Tuesday April 30th before the closing, and you must be present to win.

Smart phones and mobile technology have indeed changed the world. That is no more evident than in the world of retail and especially for at-retail merchandising and marketing service companies. So perhaps it is appropriate that we are working this technology into the way we deliver and enhance the RMMC experience.

But you have to be there to join in. Visit the official conference site, register, make your travel and hotel plans for Scottsdale and download the app. Everything you need is right there in your pocket and there are only a few weeks to go.

Spring the Time to Wear Your New Colors

April 2, 2013 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2013, Top Shelf


Although rather slow to arrive in certain parts of the country, it is Spring and the colors are starting to emerge. There are also only a few week to go before the Retail Merchandising & Marketing Conference (RMMC) on April 27-30 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Spring is a time when we shed the winter and put on a new colorful set of clothes. A close comparison can be drawn with our recent rebranding from NARMS International to the World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards.

We encourage you to seize this opportunity and embrace your membership as the marketing and business development tool the industry expects; to visit the web site regularly for new business opportunities, new insights and to utilize the many enriched features designed to attract significantly more traffic as we move forward in the ever changing and evolving landscape of retail.

Something you can do to take advantage of this new energy immediately is proudly display your membership on all your marketing and sales communication materials. Click here to download the Association logo and use it in the header and footer of your sales presentations, advertisements, letterhead and business proposals. You can also display your membership by placing the logo on your website and provide a link back to the new Association webpage. If you are going to print HIGH RESOLUTION materials, contact marketing at [email protected] for the appropriate file format.

As pointed out at the time of the rebrand, your Association is a multi-faceted tool to help you gain and build business. We ask you to help us set the bar high by proudly displaying your affiliation as a badge of honor, as together we pronounce what it means to be a member of World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards. It is time to wear the colors!

Long Live Physical Space

March 26, 2013 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2013, Top Shelf


The members of World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards perform merchandising and marketing service activities in stores around the country and the globe. They are an unquestioned stake holder in the future of the physical store. On Tuesday, April 30, Dee Warmath of NPD Group will address attendees of the Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) with Long Live Physical Space: How to ensure survival of retail locations that pay your bills today! The conference will take place April 27-30 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort.

If you listen carelessly to the description of the current retail environment, you are very likely to acquire the impression that physical stores are moving closer to extinction. Given that impression, one might be inclined to invest disproportionately in emerging channels that seem to signal the future. One problem though, the physical retail store is here to stay as the most important source of and influence on sales. However, that does not mean that every physical retail space will be spared. Warmath will provide you with insight into the survival of physical retail presence, provide you with a new perspective on growth opportunities and leave you with clear ideas for action.

Warmath is the Senior Vice President of Global Product Development & Retail Insights for The NPD Group, Inc. She is responsible for the design and delivery of innovative, solution-based applications of NPD information to address client business needs. She has 26 years of research and strategic consulting experience across a range of industries, with 20 of those focused exclusively on the retail industry and 10 in apparel retailing. Warmath is a sociologist by formal training and recently completed her Ph.D. in Consumer Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her training and experiences have produced an integrated approach to research and a unique ability to translate customer research into simple, relevant, actionable insights for her clients She has expertise in qualitative, quantitative, and database methods, as well as statistical analysis and modeling.

The Warmath address is just one more reason to attend RMMC. You can click here to access the official conference website for more information and to register. One important reminder: Time is running out to take advantage of the substantially reduced room rate of $ 150/ night at the beautiful Scottsdale Plaza Resort! Reserve your room before April 4th to obtain the group rate! Call the hotel at 800-832-2025 or visit the link on the conference website.

Cleveland Research to Look at Pet Channel

March 19, 2013 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2013, Top Shelf


As a reminder, World Alliance of Retail Excellence & Standards is working with Cleveland Research Company to bring relevant retail industry information to the Association. The firm is hosting a series of market research conference calls across key retail channels and these calls are open to our membership. In some instances there is a charge for the call which is payable upon registration. The next call is tomorrow, Wednesday, March 20 at 2:00 PM EST and features a look at the Pet Channel. You can register by checking your email inbox for an invitation.

Join your fellow Association members who have been taking advantage of this tremendous opportunity to gain key insights. The call will last approximately one hour and includes a Q&A session and real time chat capabilities. Following the call, participants will receive the full slide presentation and aggregated polling results. Key topics discussed on the call will be:

-Overall Pet Industry sales and growth trends.

-Trends and outlook by key retailers.

-Trends and outlook by category.

-Cost trends and outlook.

The Cleveland Research calls have proven to be very popular with the members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry. Here is an upcoming schedule so you can join in:

-International Sourcing Call - April 10

-Department Store Call - April 17

-Dollar Store Call - April 24

-Drug Store Call - May 1

-Amazon/eCommerce - May 8

The topic of industry research is important to the Association and our members. It is sure to be an over-arching topic of discussion at the 2013 Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) to be held on April 27-30 in Scottsdale, Arizona. You can click here to access the official conference website for more information and to register.

HR Track at RMMC Tackles Big Issues

March 12, 2013 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2013, Top Shelf


Last week we took a closer look at the Changing World Track being offered at The Retail Merchandising & Marketing Conference (RMMC), presented by World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards. Today we will focus in on the Human Resources Track. It is one of four tracks offered in a value-packed agenda that also features Sales & Marketing and Performance as track options. RMMC offers group rates so you can bring your human resources team to the event to take in these exciting breakouts.

The Human Resource Track sessions will take place on Monday, April 29 and Tuesday, April 30. Each attendee may select one breakout at 11:30 AM and another later in the afternoon.

The Monday 11:30 AM session of the HR Track will examine something of great interest to all at-retail merchandising and marketing service companies who provide people to perform in-store initiatives on behalf of retail and manufacturer clients. Will Lucero and Jennifer Betts, with ProActive Human Resources Services, will take a look at The Changing Demographic of our Labor Force.

A little later, at 3:30 PM, Rob Dooley with World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards Health Exchange will present the importance of Creating a Safe Harbor Plan for you and your employees, and provides ways in which your business can minimize taxes with the Affordable Care Act. There is no hotter topic in HR today than health care reform and the Affordable Care Act.

The HR Track concludes on Tuesday at 9:45 AM with The Foundation of a Fully Engaged Workforce. Eric Bourget, president and founder of Half Serious, will walk you through their approach to design for engagement. Using tools such as persuasive design, game mechanics and behavioral psychology, Half Serious helps organizations achieve better business results by optimizing workforce engagement.

All of this information, and more, is available on the official RMMC website including registration and a new mobile app. Visit today, register and take your place among your industry peers as together we Learn, Change, Grow.

Competitive Edge Examines Grocery e-Retailing

March 5, 2013 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2013, Top Shelf


Whether you consider e-retailing an opportunity or a threat to your at-retail merchandising and marketing service business, it goes without saying that you should pay attention to how it is impacting the CPG industry and how products are brought to market. Food and grocery offerings have been a minimal part of e-retailing to date. In the latest edition of Competitive Edge, Willard Bishop Consulting takes a look at how the firm sees e-retailing evolving and the effects it will have on food retailers and manufacturers.

Competitive Edge tells us that leading players in the industry are making great efforts to make e-retailing work in the food retailing environment. This is probably due to the expectation that the practice will double over the next five years on a global basis.

So where does that leave our Association members, who specialize in performing sales building at-retail merchandising and marketing activities in stores? Competitive Edge lays out the current models for distributing products and a couple of opportunities jump out. The easiest and quickest model is store pick-up of on-line orders. Most retailers who employ this tactic need to fill orders by having associates pick from regular aisles or remodel their stores to include a pick-up area.

Another interesting aspect of this report is the impact that out-of-stocks play in the fulfilling of on-line orders. Dealing with out-of-stocks is costly on several different layers of e-retailing and cost of order fulfillment and delivery is a big hurdle to jump for retailers. They can pass the cost to the consumer, but too much will drive customers away. More and more tech savvy consumers expect delivery costs to be included and are considered table stakes for brand marketers.

Keeping pace with the future of retail is important for all of us. That is why World Association for Retail Excellence & Standards (formerly NARMS) has included the Changing World Track at the 2013 Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC). This track features several speakers and workshops designed to help you navigate the evolution of the retail industry. RMMC will be held on April 27-30 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Check out the Changing World Track and register by clicking here.


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