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Your Association on the Trade Show Trail

January 15, 2013 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2013, Top Shelf

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In addition to all the excitement building over The Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC), NARMS announced last week that it will exhibit at three prominent industry trade shows in 2013. As a service to the members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry, the Association is offering members an exclusive opportunity to join us and kick the tires of these big retail events without a huge risk or financial commitment.

Marketing your company at a trade show always comes with the uncertainty that you will get return on your investment. NARMS will have a booth at each of the following events and we encourage you to use it as a home base for your business meetings and to promote your affiliation with our Association. Participation will allow you to determine for yourself if you want to market your company at these events in 2014.

Here is some information on the shows:

NGA (National Grocer’s Association): February 10th – 13th at The Mirage in Las Vegas, NV. The NGA Show offers something for everyone. Trading partners from retailers, manufacturers and suppliers will all find a wealth of good ideas and new information in the educational workshops and the NGA EXPO floor. The EXPO Floor is completely sold out, the earliest date in the history of the Show.

Expo West : March 8th – 10th at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA. The Natural Products marketplace is growing. As a result, Natural Products Expo West is growing as well. More retail buyers are walking the show floor at Expo West than ever before, looking for the newest quality products to bring back to their stores. Over 60,000 industry members attended Expo West this past March.

GlobalShop : April 16th – 18th at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL. GlobalShop is the largest annual event for retail design and shopper marketing. It is the only show in the world where you can find the largest, most comprehensive array of store fixture companies and more in-store solutions than any live event in the nation.

Click here to download an informational flyer and learn more about these special opportunities. These are high traffic events so you will want to act quickly as these shows do sell out. We hope you will join us as together we display that NARMS members provide valuable, innovative and necessary services to the retail industry.

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NARMS Health Exchange Enables Learn, Change, Grow

January 8, 2013 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2013, Top Shelf

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The New Year is a time to make resolutions. NARMS and the members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing industry are resolved to live by the theme Learn, Change, Grow in 2013 and beyond. These three words are also the theme of The Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) set for Scottsdale on April 27-30. Addressing the Affordable Health Care Act and its business tax provisions starting in 2014 is an opportunity to start fulfilling those resolutions now.

Rob Dooley with the NARMS Health Exchange, along with Bob Plante, will be expanding on the issue as they present a breakout session on the Affordable Care Act at RMMC. The duo will also be available at the conference in the exhibit area to meet and consult on how you can create a Safe Harbor Plan for you and your employees. If you recall, Dooley hosted an installment of the NARMS Webinar Series on this important topic back in October. For those members who were unable to attend the webinar, an audio playback and the companion slideshow are available by visiting the Members Area on www.narms.com

Dooley has set up the NARMS Health Exchange as part of the solution and an outstanding benefit to our members. The Exchange is a value-added service provided at no cost to NARMS members. It can be found online at www.narms-exchange.com.

The NARMS Health Exchange is an information source and a quote engine for health insurance offered through a defined contribution income tax exempt approach. There is a short video on the website under the employer tab that will further clarify the program and how it works. You can save thousands of dollars in taxes with less than 10 minutes a month in administration, help attract and retain good employees and save those employees thousands of dollars in tax and premiums.

The NARMS Health Exchange is another example of how the members of our Association can work together for the mutual benefit of all and is a vivid example of the benefits of membership. Register for RMMC by visiting the official conference website and start down a path of preparation for the Affordable Health Care Act.

Applying Data to Meet Physical Shopper Needs

December 18, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf

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The terms Shopper Marketing and Big Data have been around for a couple of years now and are beginning to find some traction among brand marketers as a daily method for success. In a recent blog on bricks meet clicks, Jan Davis, the former CEO of ShopperTrak, offered some vivid examples of how applying at-retail data to fulfill shopper needs can improve physical store performance.

Davis describes a direct benefit of using the technology of capturing pedestrian counts to re-set the store. In one case, a large store which had four entrances used automated door counters to get a better feel for where most consumers entered their store. They found out rather quickly that most of their shoppers used one of two entrances. The fresh insight allowed them to re-set merchandise and check-outs putting more of their resources in the flow of greater foot traffic.

Another example revolves around the concept of Power Hours. The same store used the foot traffic data to identify what days and what time the largest percentage of prospects visited their store. The information allowed the store to staff accordingly and also told them exactly when it was the right time to stock and re-stock shelves. Not surprisingly, these changes drove gains in shopper conversion rate and increased sales.

As more and more merchants use the power of Big Data and Shopper Marketing insights to better understand and meet the needs of consumers, more and more changes are going to be required to the physical space to meet the demand. The members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing community are uniquely positioned to execute those changes with years of experience, expertise, know-how, systems and technology.

It all speaks to the evolution of the industry and the ability of trading partners to Learn, Change and Grow. That is the theme of The 2013 Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC), presented by NARMS. The event will be held on April 27-30, 2013 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort. Take advantage of the early registration fee which is available until December 31st 2012. There is also a group conference rate for those companies who wish to bring more than one person to the event. Register now to take advantage of the lower fee!

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Retail Space Study Finds Shrinking Hardlines

December 11, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf

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On a day when the NARMS Webinar Series will discuss the value of industry research to NARMS members, we take a look in this column at a study by Kantar Retail and Crossmark entitled - Know Your Space 2012. The webinar will start at 1:00 PM CST today. You can register by visiting the members area on www.narms.com.

A summary of this study appeared in the pages of Progressive Grocer last week and provides key trends and insights across major channels and retailers. The findings are significant for all stake holders within the merchandising, category management and shopper marketing disciplines. The study examines retail allocations and merchandising emphasis by department in more than 700 stores, including Walmart, Target, Costco, Kroger, Safeway and Supervalu.

Among the major finds is that there is a steady growth in retail space dedicated to consumables. But that growth comes at a price. In this case, it is hardlines that have given the most ground. Here are some other top line points:

- Retailers are meeting shopper needs with their entire portfolio of stores rather than trying to do it in a single standard format.

- The categories that saw gains in allocated space in 2011 as compared with 2009 include dry grocery, alcohol, frozen, dairy, meat/seafood, service deli, produce and HBC. That space came from nonfoods, bakery, hardlines, softlines, cosmetics and pharmacy.

- Supermarkets have allocated their dry grocery and hardline space over to produce, dairy and frozen.

These trends are the kind of meaningful insight that will also be shared at The 2013 Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC), presented by NARMS. The event will be held on April 27-30, 2013 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort. Take advantage of the early registration fee which is available until December 31st 2012. There is also a group conference rate for those companies who wish to bring more than one person to the event.

Visit the official RMMC website to register today and find out how you can Learn, Change and Grow!

Lev-Glick to Address RMMC

December 4, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2012, Top Shelf

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The planning of the 2013 Retail Marketing and Merchandising Conference (RMMC) is in full swing. We have secured the venue, the beautiful Scottsdale Plaza Resort, we have launched the website and now we are busy securing talented industry leaders and speakers who will present a wide array of educational and informative topics during the course of the event. The planning team is delighted to introduce our first key-note speaker, Lily Lev-Glick, with Shopper Sense.

For more than two decades, Lev-Glick has researched, explored and analyzed shopper behavior, purchase motivations, and how retail environments impact decision-making. This experience has led her to be recognized as one of the most respected and effective strategists in the field of Shopper Insights. As principal of Shopper Sense she works with retail merchandising agencies, brands and retailers to create solutions to the challenges of a rapidly changing shopper and retail marketplace. In 2012, POPAI called on Lev-Glick to oversee the execution of the Shopper Engagement Study, the largest in-store audit in history and the first study of its kind to combine shopper interviews, eye-tracking, and EEG technology to understand shopper behavior.

Lev-Glick holds an MBA in Marketing from Adelphi University, has served as distinguished faculty for the Path-to-Purchase Institute, and has presented at many industry events including the Shopper Insights Conference, The In-Store Marketing Summit, Shopper Marketing Expo, Category Management Conference, POPAI Masters Program and Global Shop. She is a featured author in the soon to be released book, The Power of Point-Of-Purchase Advertising: Marketing at Retail and has served as an industry expert for a variety of trade and business media.

Lev-Glick will lead the General Session topic on Monday April 29th entitled Busting the Barriers - Understanding Today’s Shoppers for Success with Tomorrow’s Retail Marketing and Merchandising Programs. With the convergence of social media, economic uncertainty and a growing generation of shoppers empowered by mobile devices, shoppers are changing at breakneck speed and retail marketers cannot always keep up. Through case studies, extensive research, and real-world examples, attendees at this session will gain insight into the complex shopper of today. Attendees will walk away with an understanding of the shopper decision-making process and how to optimize the store with these trends in mind.

In the afternoon, Lev-Glick will present a breakout session in the Changing World track. The session - Creating Solutions to the Challenges of Today’s Complex Retail Landscape - will brainstorm and formulate concrete solutions to common problems at retail by using information and insights gained during the general session. Through vigorous involvement and a dynamic exchange of ideas, participants will drill down into various priority issues.

We encourage you to take advantage of the early registration fee which is available until December 31st, 2012. In addition, we have also launched a Group conference rate for those companies who wish to bring more than one person to the event. Visit the official RMMC website for more information and to register today!

Member Publishes Holiday Consumer Buying Intentions Study

November 27, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf

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An ongoing feature of this column has been to find and present important marketplace information for the members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing industry. Today, we will preview a just released study by one of our members. 2012 Consumer Buying Intentions - Gifts, presented by MSO member TrendSource, takes a look at data compiled through surveying 3,620 field agents between October 29 and November 9 of 2012. You can download you copy of the summary by visiting the InfoShare section of the Members Area on www.narms.com.

The TrendSource study takes a look at the process consumers go through while planning their Holiday gift shopping. This process defines the retailers they plan to visit, the budgets they plan to work within and the products they plan to purchase. Here are some of the key findings:

-Spending budgets for gifts are down or remain the same as last year for 85 percent of consumers.

- Gift budgets are down from 2011 for households with income less than $75,000.

- There is still time to earn consumer holiday gift sales. Over 50 percent do their holiday gift buying between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

- Over 50 percent of consumers are hesitant to purchase without a discount.

- More than half of consumers learn about the products they plan to give through word of mouth.

- Over one-third of consumers plan to shop online.

- Top gift categories and products are electronics, fashion/apparel and toys.

We thank TrendSource for providing this information to the members of NARMS. This preview only scratches the surface of the findings. TrendSource provides much more detail and analytic graphics in the easy to read report. This piece of market research, and others like it, can help us prepare for the service challenges ahead, and help us to sharpen our service offerings to the marketplace. Download and read your copy today.

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No Twinkies, Ding Dongs or Ho Hos for You

November 20, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf

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OK, it is a pretty good bet that we have not seen the end of the iconic brands produced by Hostess, even though the baker is closing its doors and liquidating its assets. Food companies are bound to aggressively bid to bring Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Wonder Bread and Ho Hos back to store shelves soon. It is a cautionary tale that no CPG brand is completely insulated from outside economic forces and inside management decisions. For the members of NARMS, helping your customers to enhance sales and grow market share, even incrementally, can make the difference between success and failure.

Hostess is placing most of the blame on a nationwide strike by its largest labor union. Labor cost has been an ongoing battle. The company filed for bankruptcy last January and had already gone through reorganization driven by bankruptcy proceedings in 2004.

Although national bakeries like Hostess usually rely on a direct store delivery model for their sales and merchandising services, the example is still relevant. All manufacturers and their retail partners are being pinched by thin margins, high material costs and difficulty managing production costs.

As members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing service community, it is up to us to demonstrate to our trading partner customers that flawless, seamless execution of store and shelf level sales, marketing and distribution initiatives can be just the means to find the margin in sales and market share. Many manufacturers and retailers have found that partnering with a member of NARMS has helped them to enhance the efficiency of their go-to-market system and protect the marketing and product development investment, while still seeing a nice return.

These and many more retail issues and industry trends will be discussed at The Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) presented by NARMS. The event is scheduled for April 27-30 at the Scottsdale Plaza resort. Visit the conference website for more information and to register. And who knows, maybe we can even figure out a way to save Twinkie the Kid.

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SymphonyIRI: National Brands Strike Back

November 13, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2013, Top Shelf

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We all know that the recession and a slow economic recovery have given rise to a strengthened effort on the part of private label merchandise and store brands. In the November issue of Times & Trends, SymphonyIRI revisits how the private label explosion is playing out, and how national brands are digging in and protecting their turf. There are strong at-retail merchandising and marketing implications on both sides of this battle for market share.

The overall finding is that the lines are solidifying. Both sides are finding areas to score some impressive gains, but it is not a winner take all contest. SymphonyIRI says that national brands and private labels must complement each other and put the needs of the consumer first. There is room for both to succeed in-store around the globe. Here are some key findings from Times & Trends:

-Although dollar share continues to grow, private label unit share of CPG products has slipped. Meanwhile, national brands are gaining volume share in 40 of the top 100 CPG categories.

-Consumers are continuing to see value in terms of cost and benefits of store brands. There is growing feeling of acceptance helped by innovation and improved quality.

-Private label continues to score big points in the grocery sector in terms of growing share. However, share has slipped within the important drug and c-store sectors over the last year.

-In spite of the impressive gains, even the most ardent private label buyer only spends one out of every four CPG dollars on store brands.

-Store brands receive below-average levels of merchandising support and there is evidence to suggest that the level of support has been declining during the past several years.

As is the case with every issue of Times & Trends, there is way more valuable information than can be represented in this column and you should visit SymphonyIRI and download your free copy today.

Keeping you up to speed on the trends shaping the retail marketplace is an important function and value of your trade association. That commitment will be on full display at The Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) presented by NARMS. The event is scheduled for April 27-30 at the Scottsdale Plaza resort. Visit the conference website for more information and to register.

Number of Holiday Shopping Days to Test Retailers

November 6, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf

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It is no surprise that Black Friday represents the largest sales and foot traffic day of the holiday season. According to a Chain Store Age story, the number of shopping days between Black Friday and Christmas in 2012 offers the greatest number possible at 32. The story cites a ShopperTrak study which predicts the ten best shopping days and says that retail sales will be up by 3.3 percent and foot traffic will rise by 2.8 percent.

Among the challenges faced by retailers will be that consumers will have more time to shop and time to visit more stores. ShopperTrak says that chains will only be able to capitalize by effectively managing extended store hours and operating costs.

Here is the ShopperTrak top 10 busiest sales days in order: Friday, Nov. 23; Saturday, Dec. 22; Saturday, Dec. 15; Friday, Dec. 21; Sunday, Dec. 2; Saturday, Dec. 8; Wednesday, Dec. 26; Saturday, Nov. 24; Thursday, Dec. 20 and Saturday, Dec. 29.

ShopperTrak goes on to say that the key to turn browsers into buyers will be to optimize staffing, scheduling and marketing with the calendar and local trends.

The members of NARMS will be there to help. Professional at-retail merchandising service companies have the people, expertise, training and systems to execute the many in-store initiatives that will be tested by the increased traffic. These store sets start off with the best intentions but can deteriorate quickly after heavy shopping. Ignoring shelf conditions can lead to out-of-stocks and disarray that can drive shoppers to other outlets and take their shopping list with them.

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Webinar Brings Affordable Care Act to Light

October 30, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf

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The last installment of the NARMS Webinar series brought many fellow Association members together to learn about the Affordable Care Act, who it will affect and how to prepare for it. For those members who were unable to attend the webinar, an audio playback and the companion slideshow are now available by visiting the Members Area on www.narms.com. The webinar was sponsored by Natural Insight and brought to you through the technology of ReadyTalk.

The one-hour session educated attendees on how the Affordable Care Act will affect insurance and also provided a better understanding of the implications on employers and employees. Participants heard expert Rob Dooley explain the advantages of a Defined Contribution Platform and a Private Exchange and how this solution can bring a turn-key solution for employee benefits. You can save thousands of dollars in taxes with less than 10 minutes a month in administration, help attract and retain good employees and save those employees thousands of dollars in tax and premiums. Dooley has set up the NARMS Health Exchange as part of the solution and an outstanding benefit to our members. A lively question and answer session followed the presentation via the ReadyTalk chat tool.

For over twenty-five years, Dooley has stayed on the cutting edge of health insurance trends in the United States. He remains committed to staying ahead of the curve on health reform related issues and being a positive agent of change.

Dooley will cover expanded information on the topic when he leads a session at the 2013 Retail Merchandising & Marketing Conference (RMMC) to be held at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort on April 27-30.

The NARMS Webinar Series also continues to be a great benefit for the members of NARMS. Stay tuned for information on the next installment and make sure you take advantage of the educational opportunity. Click on the links above to catch up on what you might have missed.

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