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QR More Than Symbol

November 15, 2011 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf


As documented by Supermarket News, Kantar Retail has recently released the 15th Annual PowerRanking Report. The report annually lists the best manufacturer and retailers. An important aspect of this report is that these rankings represent how trading partners see each other. In doing so, trends of the most successful brands in retailing are identified. Kantar Retail uses the QR Code as a theme for the report, but quickly points out that Quick Response is more than just a scanned link to more information. It is a metaphorical link to successful alignment and integration between the very best trading partners.

As a clever marketing tie-in, the cover of the PowerRanking Executive Summary features a QR Code that when scanned by a smart phone or mobile device brings you to a narrative welcome video. The report itself is on sale once you arrive, although the Executive Summary is complimentary.

The Supermarket News story does a good job of summarizing and top lining the report for those who want a quick glance at the information. P&G, Kraft, General Mills, PepsiCo and Unilever rank near the top of the list among CPG manufacturers. Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, Costco, Publix, Wegmens, H-E-B, CVS, Walgreens and Safeway make up the top ten among retailers.

We now see QR Codes all over the retail environment as well as other aspects of our daily living, and are likely to see more in the near future. It is predictable that their use will become a necessity. But the concept of Quick Response is perhaps more important than the technology behind it. It is evident in the Kantar Retail PowerRanking Report that responsiveness and collaboration among trading partners is vital to success at retail and is the common denominator connecting those at the top of the list.

Add one more trading partner to the mix. The members of NARMS are important in delivering on the promise of Quick Response. Professional at-retail merchandising and marketing companies can be the conduit in which responsiveness between retailers and suppliers is delivered.


The Sales Hunter to Face the Challenges of the RFP/RFQ

December 14, 2010 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf

Mark HunterWe have all been there. A potentially major client issues a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a major piece of business. This is the business opportunity of a lifetime, right? During the next installment of the NARMS Webinar series – Winning, Is That What They Call It? - Mark Hunter, the Sales Hunter, will show you how to avoid the many pitfalls when responding to the RFP/RFQ. This NARMS Webinar is another in a series of highly successful member educational offerings by NARMS – U. The session will take place on Tuesday, December 21 at 1:00 PM CST. The webinar series is sponsored by Natural Insight and powered through the technology of ReadyTalk. Both companies are Associate Members of NARMS.

RFPs and RFQs offer tremendous opportunity, but they can also be potential mine fields. First, there is the drill of jumping though all the hoops just to respond in a timely manner. Secondly, there is the issue of putting yourself in a position to compete for the business without giving away the farm. In this hour-long session, Hunter will help you discover ways to keep more profit in your pocket and more opportunities to negotiate. Through his insights, you will be able to develop a strategy you can use with every request you get. There will be an opportunity to interact with Hunter during and after the presentation via a live chat function.

Hunter travels globally more than 225 days per year showing salespeople how to not only close more sales, but to do so more profitably. His sales strategies are in use with numerous corporations, large and small, in the United States and around the world. After spending 18 years in the sales and marketing divisions of Kraft and ConAgra, Hunter began his own consulting and training business in 1998. Thousands of salespeople have benefited from his articles, sales tips, blog posts, videos and audios available at

The session is complimentary to NARMS members as a valuable membership service but is also made available to other interested persons at a non-member rate of $99.95. We encourage you to share this invitation with other co-workers and anyone else who might gain value from this information-sharing opportunity. We hope you will join us for what is sure to be a win-win event. You can register by clicking here.


Total Customer Experience Webinar Next Week

January 22, 2010 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus

phil-lauria27l-scaledThe business climate today is unlike anything in the past. Business models are being challenged as never before with mutual expectations changing by the minute. The next NARMS Webinar - TCE: Total Customer Experience, A Business to Business Experience - will discuss methodologies and strategies for improving business communications and relationships between companies and their client partners. Join Phil Lauria as he leads this hour-long session on Thursday, Jan 28 at 1:00 PM CST. The NARMS Webinar series, part of the NARMS-U educational platform, is sponsored by Natural Insight and brought to you through the technology of ReadyTalk.

While the item that appears on everyone’s strategic agenda is ROI, there remains an essential component that needs to be addressed. It is essential to create a vibrant business relationship environment that fosters a desire to want to do more business together. Lauria will discuss the fundamental drivers creating a successful “Total Customer Experience” with a focus on how to think about creating lasting value driven relationships with clients that encourage multi-level business building opportunities.

An industry thought leader and frequent speaker and panel moderator, Lauria is founder and Managing Director of Pelco Advisors, LLC., a global retail marketing and merchandising consulting practice. He began his career with Kraft General Foods, founded LCA, Inc, and was the CEO of a leading MSO for several years. Lauria is an advisor to several companies and an active member of NARMS having recently developed the association’s strategic plan.

The session is complimentary to NARMS members as a valuable membership benefit and is made available to non-members for a nominal fee. We hope you will join us for this exciting and timely topic and we encourage you to share this invitation with other co-workers and anyone else who might gain value from this information-sharing opportunity. You can register by clicking here.

Embrace the Grapevine

October 8, 2008 by Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf

In 1968, the late Marvin Gaye took the Motown tune, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” to number one on the charts. I wonder what Marvin would think of what the grapevine means to people today. This thought came to mind while reading an item in Brandweek about General Mills and Kraft joining the world of word-of-mouth marketing with on-line networks of their own. While CPG manufactures have always been aware of the unofficial buzz surrounding their products, they have only recently decided to join in on the conversation. The word-of-mouth movement has far reaching effects on the members of NARMS, the at-retail merchandising and marketing industry and for those who hire or are seeking retail jobs. Here are just a few suggestions that come to mind.

Become aware of what is being said about your customers’ products and look for areas where you can be of service. Manufacturers are embracing an honest and open discussion of their products in hopes of becoming more aware of their needs and more in-tune with any potential disconnects. For an example, check out or for a first hand look at the above mentioned networks. Find out if your clients or potential clients have something similar. These kinds of companies don’t do anything by accident, so tuning in to the conversation seems to be a good idea.

Because field personnel represent our product to the industry, find out what’s going on their world. For example, there is a NARMS group on which now numbers almost 1,000 members. Here’s a chance to interact with people who are engaged in the industry and to promote at-retail services as a profession. has a NARMS group of over 700, who sign-up to be notified of new retail jobs. You can also find out what field people are saying about your company on This is a specific chat room that deals with our industry and you will find the discussions lively and informative.

And finally, become involved as a contributor to the discussions here on Our new web 2.0 offering gives you the opportunity to join along in the conversations being started in this Top Shelf blog, the Friday Focus blog and others. Be sure to contact NARMS International HQ if you want to contribute in a different way.

A marketing and public relations friend of mine recently told me that monitoring the grapevine, both official and unofficial, has always been an effective tool for companies. It is not until recently; however, that such channels have become so public and accessible and therefore measurable as a medium. Embrace, engage and dive into this resource and find out, as Marvin Gaye would say, What’s Going On.”

Coupons on the Comeback

September 17, 2008 by Editor  
Filed under News Finds, Top Shelf

The Promotion Marketing Association Coupon Council reminds us that September is National Coupon Month. In support of this time tested sales promotion device, the council has released some pretty compelling statistics. They tell us that, “Eighty-nine percent of the overall population report that they use coupons when shopping for grocery, household and healthcare items at supermarkets.” They add that, “Ninety-seven percent of primary shoppers report that they use coupons at supermarkets.” During tough economic times, manufacturers turn to using coupons, both print and online, to get shoppers back to the store to buy their favorite brand or try a new item. According to Prospectiv’s 2008 Consumer Coupon Poll, 72 percent surveyed say they are using more coupons to make their money go further than they did six months ago. The PMA added that a typical consumer saves 7% on their grocery bill. For NARMS members the increase in coupons, mail-in offers and other sales promotion offers another opportunity to be of service to our clients. Read more


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