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Cleveland Research Conference Call Next Week

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Finding retail industry research is not a difficult thing. Understanding and applying research that is relevant to your at-retail merchandising service business is another matter. To get a start down this road, NARMS members are invited to attend a Grocery Conference Call on January 30th at 2 PM EST hosted by Cleveland Research Company. To date, 268 companies are already registered for this high value event. Registration information has been emailed to members.

These 60 minute calls include real-time insights and updates from Cleveland Research Company on the grocery channel and interactions with senior management in addition to a brief question and answer period. The slide deck used during the presentation will also be included for all call participants.

NARMS has started a conversation with Cleveland Research about the importance of research and how our members and association can apply this knowledge into their day to day operations. In addition to this invitation to the members, Cleveland Research led a NARMS Webinar a few weeks back and will host a session at The Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC). Dennis Reed, Director of National Accounts, will lead the session on Tuesday, April 30 at 9:45.

Here is a sample of the types of topics that will be covered in the conference call:

Top 3 Takeaways from Cleveland Research this week:

-Walmart sales look weaker over the last 60 days despite strong plans and relatively decent execution.

-Homecenter sales look stronger than expected this quarter, and we continue to see some upside versus expectations and company guidance for Home Depot and Lowe’s to this point in 4Q.

-Strong B2C shipping demand driven primarily by better-than-expected eCommerce volumes.

Key Themes by Company/Channel sorted by Business Fundamentals:

-Homecenters – business stronger than expected, orders improving.

-Pet – good near-term sales momentum, outlook expected to moderate slightly.

-Coffee – one of the strongest performers in retail/foodservice as well as down the grocery aisles.

-Luxury Retail – continued Chinese consumer weakness hurting sales, particularly jewelry and watches.

-Appliances – volumes still soft, early signs that promotional activity is returning.

Your association is in the process of defining what our members need in the area of industry research. Your involvement in webinars, conference calls and educational sessions at RMMC can help shape the future of the at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry.

Digital Natives Seek Omnichannel Brand Experience

December 13, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, RMMC2012, What's in store

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As the last installment of the NARMS Webinar Series pointed out, there is a wealth of research available that can help guide and enhance the efforts of the at-retail merchandising and marketing community. In fact, NARMS will shortly be seeking your opinion on the content of an industry study. In the meantime, helpful nuggets of data appear every day in the trade media. Today we will look at a consumer survey by IBM as reported on in the pages of Chain Store Age.

The study looked at the shopping behavior of 1,200 consumers between the ages of 13 and 60. The key themes again center on future shoppers being social, mobile and self sufficient. There is less differentiation between the various touchpoints of the customer experience and more focus on seeking an overall flawless experience regardless of the channel.

The next generation of shoppers, or digital natives, is much more likely to shop on mobile devices. This group wants retailers and brand marketers to know them and their shopping patterns intimately. In return, they are much more willing to provide information about themselves and will actively advocate for the stores and brands that they see as delivering a complete omnichannel experience.

Cost and quality are listed as among the most important factors for the participants of the study. Being in-stock (91 percent), delivering on an overall experience (90 percent) and providing a convenient return process (85 percent) were the next three factors for recommending retailers. The post-purchase process was listed as important in building brand loyalty and advocacy.

Members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing services industry have a huge impact on the touchpoints experienced by the future shopper. Out-of-stocks can cause a shopper to quickly find a replacement brand or store via their smart-phone and turn a powerful brand ambassador into a negative influence. The story shares many more findings and you should click on the link to get more details.

Research and how to use it is an important topic for NARMS. It is vital that our members get involved and tell us what they are looking for. One way to get involved and have your voice heard is to attend The Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) presented by NARMS scheduled for April 27-30 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort. Click here to find out more and to register.

The Value of Industry Research to NARMS Members

December 6, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, What's in store

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What is research? It is the result of advancing knowledge created in the past. Have you ever wondered how to apply the enormous amount of research that we receive daily into your business? The next installment of the NARMS Webinar Series - The Value of Industry Research to NARMS Members, an interactive webinar presented by Cleveland Research Company -will answer these questions and discuss what types of research the members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry need going forward.

The event will take place next Tuesday, December 11 at 1:00 PM CST. This webinar is generously sponsored by Natural Insight and is brought to you through the technology of ReadyTalk. You can register by visiting the members area of www.narms.com.

The one-hour session, presented by two leading analysts from Cleveland Research Company, will provide a clear understanding of consumer coverage and how this can help NARMS members in their business. This is also your opportunity to let us know what knowledge and information you need to help you grow and succeed in your business. As always, attendees will have a chance to participate via the ReadyTalk chat function.

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The presenters will be Dennis Reed and Jason Whitmer of Cleveland Research Company. Reed serves as the Director of National Accounts and Whitmer is a Senior Research Analyst with the firm. Cleveland Research Company is an independent equity research firm that takes pride in a disciplined research process that features a high level of service and regular engagement with the companies they cover.

The NARMS Webinar Series is a valuable service provided as part of your membership at no additional charge. Please join the many fellow members who regularly take advantage of these educational sessions. This is a real opportunity to gain insight and voice your needs in the area of industry research.

Webinar to Explore Importance of Holiday and Event-Based Store Audits

November 29, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, RMMC2013, What's in store

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The next installment of the highly popular NARMS Webinar Series is on tap for next Thursday, December 6 at 11:00 AM CST and could not come at a better time. With the frenzy of the holiday season already upon us, Bob Bahramipour will present: The Importance of Holiday and Event-based Store Audits - Why Speed, Courage and Flexibility are so vital and how Mobile Technology achieves it. This webinar is sponsored and presented by Gigwalk, and brought to you through the technology of ReadyTalk. You can register for this event by visiting the Members Area on www.narms.com.

During this hour-long session, Bahramipour will instruct attendees about store presence, the sales patterns and the effect of poor retail execution, and how mobile technology is making audits more effective during the busy holiday season. As always, there will be an opportunity to interact during a question and answer session via the ReadyTalk chat function.

Bahramipour brings 15 years of digital media experience to his role of CEO at Gigwalk. Prior to Gigwalk, he served as vice president of advertising products at TRUSTe. Before that he was vice president of business development at venture-backed YuMe. He was a senior member of the Yahoo! Search team and managed the Yahoo! search toolbar business and oversaw all search distribution and partnerships.

The webinar series is a complimentary service to the members of NARMS. Register today and join the many at-retail merchandising and marketing industry professionals who take advantage of this value added educational opportunity. While we are on the topic of learning, do not forget to register for The Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC) presented by NARMS to be held April 27 – 30, 2013 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort. You can find out more by clicking here.

Providing Legs and Arms to Shopper Marketing

October 16, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf

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The term Shopper Marketing has enjoyed a high profile for the past few years and the basic principles of gaining insight, identifying real shopper needs and executing programs to fulfill those needs has enjoyed success. In a recent blog, Supermarket News Editor-in-Chief David Orgel advises practitioners to strive for Shopper Marketing programs that engage shoppers for long periods of time and avoid the temptation of quick gains by using overly aggressive price promotion.

Orgel recently moderated a webinar panel on Shopper Marketing along with the Path to Purchase Institute. The Institute is hosting the Shopper Marketing Expo this week at Navy Pier in Chicago.

The main point of the blog is that Shopper Marketing should not be about price promotion or short term sales gain, but should address the needs of the shopping behavior and meet business objectives of the manufacturer and retailer trading partners. Orgel cites a couple of strong examples initiated by Walgreen’s and Wal-Mart/Procter & Gamble that have legs and go far beyond focusing on short term wins.

Whether it has been Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) initiatives, Category Management practices or now Shopper Marketing, the members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry have played a vital role in executing the tactics in-store. Seamless, flawless execution can keep these programs on the straight-and-narrow by allowing plans to work as designed.

The practice of Shopper Marketing does indeed have legs when executed with its founding principles in mind. The last six-feet to the aisle and shelf can be the longest stretch that these programs have to travel. The members of NARMS provide the legs (and arms) to make sure that the promises of Shopper Marketing practices continue on a long term path to purchase.

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Private Health Exchange Now Available for Members

October 9, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf

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Keeping pace with the changes of the season, NARMS headquarters announced three big changes of their own last week. The creation of the Retail Service Provider (RSP) committee and the rebranding of Associate Members to now be called Support Service Members are changes designed to reflect the current and ever-evolving state of the at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry. Another announcement, the creation of the Affordable Care Act Compliant Private Health Exchange, will help address the growing concern for the new Affordable Care Act, and its business tax provisions in 2014 and beyond.

The Affordable Care Act Compliant Private Health 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-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.

NARMS-Exchange was created by Support Service members Robert Plante and Rob Dooley specifically for the members of NARMS and is more than just a website. Both Plante and Dooley are available to consult with you at no cost on how the Affordable Care Act will affect your business based on the unique characteristics of your company.

To further enhance your understanding of the new law, Dooley and Plante will be leading the next installment of the NARMS Webinar series on October 23. You can register by visiting the members section of www.narms.com. The team will also be leading one of our HR Track breakout sessions at the Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference scheduled for April 27-30 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Registration for RMMC will be active shortly and is highly recommended for human resources and key staff members involved with healthcare topics.

The NARMS-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. Visit the website today and start down a path of preparation for the Affordable Health Care Act.

Webinar to Feature Learning While Working

September 11, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf

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Does the premise of learning while working seem absurd? After all, work for you and your team is a place where real work and putting out fires consume every minute. But like any game changing strategy, a truly innovative approach adopts a daring and counter-intuitive stand. Join Art Turock as he shows us the solution in the next NARMS Webinar - The Learning While Working Game Changer Strategy. The session will be held on Thursday, September 27 at 11:00 AM CDT. The NARMS Webinar Series is sponsored by Natural Insight and brought to you through the technology of ReadyTalk.

This one hour, highly interactive session will feature the results of a survey which will help assess how well your work process produces learning and skill-building to improve performance year after year. To get the best results from this interactive webinar, please remember to complete a 15-question survey by September 19th and also invite your work colleagues to participate.

The solution lies in designing a work process where employees constantly build capabilities while work still gets done. During the webinar, we will reveal the results of the survey, identify limitations in your current practices, and determine solutions to create job-imbedded development opportunities. Turock will provide coaching to help you dispense with obstacles and implement change. Get ready to apply the most research-based and time-efficient design to produce continuous skill improvement and ultimately elite performance on your team.

Turock is an elite performance provocateur who translates elite performance research into practices for developing superior talent as a competitive advantage. His presentations, coaching, and consulting efforts disturb his clients sense of what constitutes competent performance and triggers their conceiving and aligning with new standards for elite performance. His ideas have appeared in Success, USA Today, Fortune, Association Management, Bloomberg News, and CNN. Since 1986, Turock has been a valued resource to over 120 Fortune 500 companies.

The session is complimentary to NARMS members as a value added membership service. You can access registration and the online survey through the members area on www.narms.com.

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Webinar to Focus on Mobile Technology for Retail Services

July 17, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf

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Would you be surprised to know that over 50 percent of mobile phone users in the U.S. now own a smart phone? Combine that statistic with the fact that the at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry is by its nature field based, and that consumers no longer differentiate between physical, digital and mobile retail spaces. On Tuesday, July 24 at 11:00 AM CDT, Associate Member Gigwalk will sponsor the next NARMS Webinar - Real Time is Right Now: Taking Advantage of Mobile Technology for Retail Services. The NARMS Webinar Series is brought to you through the technology of ReadyTalk.

Mobile in retail and retail services is no longer the future, it is the now. A smart phone is a computer more powerful than those of the 90s. Computers have done a lot to make in-office work more efficient. Now mobile is doing the same for field work. In this webinar, Bob Bahramipour, Vice President of Business Development at Gigwalk, will explain how mobility will change the way field work is done. You will gain an understanding of the benefits of recruiting through mobile, and how you can make sure you are hiring the best people. The hour-long session will introduce you to the technology that can help with common problems in the retail services industry such as verification, communication and coverage. You will also have an opportunity to interact directly with Bahramipour through the ReadyTalk chat function.

Bahramipour has over 15 years of experience in the technology industry. At Gigwalk, a mobile work marketplace connecting businesses to thousands of smartphone-enabled workers across the country, he is responsible for evangelizing mobile technology in the areas of consumer research and field work. Prior to Gigwalk, Bahramipour was Vice President of Business Development at TRUSTe, and has served in senior positions at YuMe and Yahoo. He attended the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, has a BSFS in Foreign Services from Georgetown University, and serves on the board of advisors for StumbleUpon.

The session is complimentary to NARMS members as a value added membership service. You can access registration through the members area on www.narms.com.

NARMS Webinar Series Returns with NARMScertifyU

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If you missed the sessions at the 2012 Retail Merchandising and Marketing Conference (RMMC), or if you would like hear more about the official on-line training tool of NARMS, you will want to tune in to the next NARMS Webinar. The highly popular Webinar Series makes its return on Tuesday, June 5 at 11:00 AM CDT with NARMScertifyU: What’s in it for U? (Members only)

The topics for the last few weeks in this blog and in Top Shelf have been data and developments in the retail world that support the importance of excellent in-store execution of merchandising and at-retail marketing initiatives. The margin for error for retailers and manufacturers is shrinking and the need for trained field reps is at a premium. NARMScertifyU is a valuable resource to augment your current training program and to help your field reps enhance their skills and marketability.

This webinar will give you a brief overview of NARMScertifyU and the value that this service can add to your company. We will discuss the goals and objectives of NARMScertifyU, what the industry experts are saying, and of course, how to get started. In addition, we will discuss how using the Recruiter to filter for NARMScertifyU candidates will ensure you find qualified employees faster.

Fiona Lipscomb, NARMS Director of Member Relations and Communications, will be facilitating the webinar, and will be joined by Heather Johnson and Scot Maurath from NARMSCertifyU to answer all your questions via the ReadyTalk webinar chat tool.

Trading partners are raising their game at retail. NARMS members and their field reps need to keep pace, upholding the very highest of industry standards. The session is complimentary to NARMS members as a value added membership service. We encourage you to share this invitation with anyone who might gain value from this information-sharing opportunity. Click here to register now!

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Webinar Series Returns with Key Account Management Session

January 17, 2012 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf

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Exciting news this week from NARMS International as it announced the return of the highly popular NARMS Webinar Series. The next installment will be on Thursday, January 26th at 1:00 P.M. CST. Frequent NARMS contributor Mark Hunter, otherwise known as The Sales Hunter, will lead Key Account Management: Maximizing the Opportunities. The NARMS Webinar Series is an important value added member benefit, so make sure you complete your membership renewal for 2012 so you do not miss out on future educational programming. The series is sponsored by associate member Natural Insight and powered through the technology of associate member ReadyTalk.

Managing key accounts can take a significant amount of time and resources, which is fine if the business is profitable and sustainable. During this hour long session, Hunter will share specific steps you can take now to keep problems from arising. More importantly, he will show you how to find ways to grow the business and do it profitably. All participants in the webinar will receive a copy of the same training materials he provides in his key account management seminar, which he has delivered to numerous CPG companies. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions and interact with Hunter during the session via the ReadyTalk chat function.

Hunter is well known within the NARMS community. His background includes 18 years with three major CPG companies and the past 13 years as a consultant and speaker on sales. His clients include numerous CPG companies, such as Wrigley, Unilever, Heineken, Cadbury, and more. To find out more, visit his website and blog at www.thesaleshunter.com. His book, High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale without Compromising on Price, releases next month. You can find it on Amazon.com.

Maintaining key accounts and actually growing the business is vital to all in the at-retail merchandising and marketing service business. The session is complimentary to NARMS members 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. You can register by clicking here.

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