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‘Independent squeeze’ pressures retailers

They still have advantages in being community-oriented players with personalized service. However, requirements for scale are increasing in this era of consolidation. Independents are squeezed between large brick-and-mortar chains and growing online competitors. In truth, the definition of “independent” differs by retail channel, from food to pharmacy to mass. However, I tend to think of independents not just in terms of size, but also as innovative, entrepreneurial, customer-focused, and often family- or privately owned. They often support underserved markets.

The Ingredients of Fresh: Achieving Real-time Visibility to Increase Profits and Reduce Waste

Many grocers have little to no visibility on their fresh inventory (e.g. meat, seafood, produce, & prepared foods). Today, there is a large demand from grocers for insights on quality, waste, inventory levels, tracking, and daily production for fresh and prepared foods. This becomes more and more prevalent as the market sees consumer demand for healthier, prepared foods continuously trend upward. For example, by 2025 the global organic food and beverage market is expected to reach $320.5 billion, tripling its market-value from 2016. I recently had the opportunity to visit with a grocery retailer in North America with over 200 stores and $3 billion in revenue. A large part of our conversation centered on the retailer’s need to put a solution in place that would provide associates and management real-time visibility into their fresh inventory. Some of the challenges this retailer is facing are typical for many others and we see them on a daily basis. I’ve outlined several below.

How technology is shaping the future of food retail

In an ever-changing retail environment, grocers and online food retailers are constantly innovating and utilizing technology to ease the consumer shopping journey. They’re also finding ways to use technology to streamline business operations. From smart shelf labels to the use of artificial intelligence, technology is paving the way for a grocery experience unlike anything shoppers have seen before.

Seven Ways to Keep Customer Coming Back

Lots of money, effort and time go into acquiring customers, but not nearly enough thought goes into keeping them coming back. Sure, There’s the occasional offer or the “We’ve missed you” discount. All too frequently, we don’t pay attention unless they’re unhappy or turn up missing. Then, we get busy and try to get them back. Such business behavior has unintended consequences. The cable companies are an example. Customers have learned to complain and threaten to leave unless they age given concessions. And how do you feel when a company unleashes the sweet talk after they haven’t heard from you? This is when you say, “Why didn’t you take care of me before I left?”

4 New Ways Grocers are Empowering Associates through Technology

One of the biggest problems in retail is turnover. Data from Philadelphia-based Hay Group show that retail has one of the highest turnover rates of any industry, reporting a median rate of 67 percent for part-time employees. Additionally, on average, it costs 16 percent of one year’s salary to find, hire and train a replacement for one minimum-wage employee. In the past year, several grocers have helped remedy the situation by raising minimum hourly wages and benefits. For instance, Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart said it would raise the starting wage rate for all hourly U.S. associates to $11, expand maternity and parental leave benefits, and give eligible full- and part-time workers a one-time cash bonus of up to $1,000. Also, Minneapolis-based Target raised its minimum hourly wage to $12.
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"In a multi-store operation it is important to have control from a central point. STCR provides the systems and technical expertise to do just that."