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CFOs Still Value U.S. Expansion


Would you like to be able to read the minds of 100 chief financial officers at leading retailers throughout the country? Well, maybe you can. This week, a story in Chain Store Age reported on the findings of the seventh-annual BDO Retail Compass Survey of CFOs. The findings are good news for the members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry.

The main point of the story is that retail executives still consider U.S. stores the core of their business. Thirty percent of the CFOs said that U.S. expansion will be their priority growth tactic in 2013. Others include improving merchandising assortment at 24 percent, and e-commerce and mobile commerce at 22 percent. Here are some other key findings:

-Thirty-four percent said that they will be looking to add staff, both in-store and HQ.

- Among risks to their business identified by CFOs, 34 percent said that federal, state and local regulations top the list. Another 32 percent said competition and consolidation. Other risks are foreign supplier and vendor issues, data security and geopolitical events.

- Thirty-two percent said that they plan to invest most of their capital in advertising and promotions. Twenty-nine percent said they will invest in e-commerce. Twenty-six percent said redesigning and remodeling stores.

The findings of the survey and the story underline that, although retail executives see the opportunity in foreign markets and e-commerce, they have not forgotten their core competency and have not abandoned the store. Rather, there seems to be a definite movement toward providing a true omni-channel experience to their customers.

It is up to the members of World Alliance of Retail Excellence & Standards to make sure that our at-retail services align with these priorities. One way to do that is to attend the Retail Merchandising & Marketing Conference (RMMC). Click here to visit the official RMMC website and register today.

Report Examines 2013 Trends for Grocery

February 14, 2013 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, RMMC2013, What's in store


The first few months of any year are awash with end-of-the-year reviews and trend predictions for the next. These are helpful exercises in that they help us pause, reflect and plan for the challenges that lie ahead. The January edition of Competitive Edge by Willard Bishop is one such report that identifies 10 trends for the retail food industry in 2013. In this case, Author Jon Hauptman takes an interesting approach weaving in past and present pop culture references to make this report a fun read.

The references are too many to spend time on here, and we would not want to steal the thunder from Competitive Edge. We will focus on the trends themselves that all players of the go-to-market process need to understand so they can deal with them successfully.

-Costs and prices are rising. Retailers and manufacturers will have to help consumers stretch their grocery budget or lose them to a competitor.

-Showrooming is real and 37 percent say they do it in grocery stores, mostly to compare price.

-Price comparisons are becoming popular promotions for retailers.

- In-store communication such as signage and shelf-tags are helping to shine a light on strong price and value programs.

-Trading partners need to communicate their marketing message in 140 characters, the length of a Tweet.

-Mobile applications such as loyalty, time saving and geo-fencing programs are helping retailers communicate their value and gain/retain market share.

-Leveraging shopper data to create true personalization in pricing, promotion and services.

-Technology needs to be kept simple. Even with the depth of sophisticated analytics, retailers need to be able to parse it down to meaningful actions and be able to execute those actions.

- A seamless omni-channel approach in terms of pricing, promotion and assortment is becoming the norm.

- Retailers are adjusting store formats to fit the marketplace such as the urban formats put forth by Walmart, Target and Walgreens.

The World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards is committed to Learn, Change, Grow by keeping members informed of the industry trends that shape the way we provide merchandising and marketing services to retailers and manufacturers. The Association is getting together for the Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) on April 27-30 in Scottsdale. Visit the official conference website and register by clicking here.


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