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SymphonyIRI Report Examines Merchandising Trends

January 22, 2013 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2013, Top Shelf


The consumer definition of value is a moving target. The widespread acceptance of online, mobile and social media marketing has gone a long way to shape the impressions of shoppers before they enter the store. Has this made traditional methods of at-retail merchandising obsolete? The January issue of Times & Trends by SymphonyIRI takes a look at current and emerging trends being embraced by CPG marketers in the ongoing battle to meet consumer needs.

This report defines merchandising activity as those employing feature ads, feature plus display, display only and price only tactics. According to the report, more than one-third of volume is sold with merchandising support across 39 percent of categories. Here are some other key findings:

-The pace of merchandising activity has been mixed during the past year, with 53 percent of categories seeing increased support. Within the drug channel, merchandising activity declined across 60 percent of categories, but support across key health and beauty care categories has risen more quickly versus the grocery channel.

-Growth in display only and price-only tactics has escalated, while combined feature/display activity has slowed.

-Merchandising activity is intensifying across many meal ingredient and meal component categories, particularly in frozen foods and fresh/perishable categories.

-In general, private brands receive less merchandising support versus their name-brand competitors.

-Merchandising programs that begin to impact the shopper in the home are having a powerful impact on sales lift.

-CPG marketers are adopting new strategies aimed at capitalizing on new technologies and building more targeted, impactful relationships with consumers.

Certainly, the merchandising tactics employed by CPG manufacturers and retailers have a direct effect on the members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry who often act as their outsourced execution arm in stores. Times & Trends dives much more deeply into these trends than we can share here, so you should download your copy here.

Staying on top of trends that shape the industry is an important mission of NARMS. This commitment will be on full display at The 2013 Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) to be held on April 27-30 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Visit the official conference website for more information and to register.


No Twinkies, Ding Dongs or Ho Hos for You

November 20, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf


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.


Sponsorship Prospectus Outlines RMMC Promotions

November 15, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, RMMC2012, What's in store


As you can probably tell, momentum is building for the Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) presented by NARMS slated for April 27-30 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. The official conference website is on-line and registration is now open. And by the way, did you know we have group rates and early bird registration deals? The event is a gathering point for current and prospective members of NARMS, retailers, manufacturers and other companies who provide goods and services to the at-retail merchandising industry. This highly engaged group of trading partners presents an exciting opportunity for you to reach out by partaking in the many RMMC sponsorship and promotional programs.

Supporting RMMC promotes brand identity and visibility of your company to more than 300 attendees specific to the retail services industry. Whatever your objectives are, or your budget, the NARMS International team can develop creative opportunities for you to reach your target audience. Here is your chance to connect with new businesses, increase brand and product exposure, enhance relationships with your customers, elevate your company profile within the industry and cultivate relationships through networking.

Click here see the RMMC Sponsorship and Promotional Prospectus or visit the official website. There is something for everyone including sponsorships of networking lunches, receptions and dinners. Support of programming is also available through General Session, Seminar and Breakout opportunities. And do not forget about the chance to display in the exhibit hall or sponsor the NARMS Annual Golf Tournament with proceeds benefiting Enactus. You are going to want to act early as several sponsorships, including the RMMC Mobile App, are already spoken for.

Your support of sponsorships and promotions make the RMMC possible. Visit the site, download the prospectus and contact the NARMS International team to find out how you can take a leadership position and enable the theme of Learn, Change, Grow.


RMMC Website and Registration Now Available


Learn, Change, Grow. Those are three powerful words and they accurately describe what awaits the attendees of the 2013 Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC). The annual NARMS event is slated for April 27-30 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. A big and exciting milestone took place yesterday as registration went live on the official RMMC website. The 2013 RMMC will offer retailers, retail service providers, manufacturers, members of NARMS and non-members the opportunity to learn, collaborate, network and gain insight into the future of retail.

You can visit the official conference website by clicking here or following the tabs on The website features everything you need to plan your trip to Scottsdale in April. You will find a welcome from Conference Chair Ron Apel, general RMMC information, conference registration, hotel reservations, sponsorship opportunities and how your company can participate as an exhibitor at the trade show.

The site also features the conference agenda tab already filled with engaging keynote speakers, networking opportunities and informative educational breakout sessions. The breakout sessions offer four tracks discussing trends and important issues relating to Operations, Sales and Marketing, Human Resources and The Changing World.

All retailers, manufacturers, retail service providers, support service companies and anyone whose company has an interest in expanding their knowledge about retail services are encouraged to bring their departmental staff and executives and take advantage of this opportunity to learn and network with well-established industry leaders.

It is time to mark the date and register. Although the site and registration is an exciting development, the real magic happens when you attend and bring your voice, viewpoint and energy to our annual at-retail merchandising and marketing forum.

RMMC Seeks Input

April 24, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under RMMC2012, Top Shelf


With the 2012 Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) in the rear view mirror, the event was held last week in Tampa, the time to gather fresh perspectives of what NARMS members want out of their conference is now. Conference attendees are being asked to fill out a brief on-line questionnaire available by clicking here.

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 while they attended the at-retail merchandising and marketing industry showcase event. NARMS leadership and 2013 Conference Chair, Ron Apel of Ex-Sell Sales & Merchandising, are now asking that you take a few minutes to add your comments, suggestions and ideas on how NARMS can improve upon your experience. The information that you provide will be invaluable as we begin preparing for the 2013 event. The 2013 RMMC will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The early reviews from the 2012 RMMC are encouraging, but the association needs a voice from every member company to continue to improve the experience and the value of the event. Your voice, ideas, input, point-of-view, experiences and opinions are crucial to the vitality of the conference and The Association.

The challenge for the balance of 2012 will be to clearly define what it means to be a member of NARMS and further validate the value of your membership, participation and leadership to your customers and clients. When you participate in the process, you can proudly display the NARMS logo on your website and sales material knowing that the brand stands for the highest possible standards. Please take the five minutes to fill out the post-RMMC questionnaire today and strike while the iron is hot.

Connection Session Brings it all Home


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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