Wal-Mart’s New ‘Checkout Promise’ and ‘Price First’ Private Brand

As we discussed last month, the tough times continue for Wal-Mart. As a result, two of its various new initiatives to turn things around are a customer service pledge and introduction of the Price First brand.
With regard to customer service, Wal-Mart is going to offer a checkout promise this holiday shopping season. Shelly Banjo reports for the Wall Street Journal that:
In an attempt to lure more customers this holiday season, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is promising to staff each of its cash registers from the day after Thanksgiving through the days just before Christmas during peak shopping times. The move, called the ‘checkout promise,’ is aimed at addressing one of the retailer’s biggest customer complaints: long waits in checkout lines, which can cause even more frustration when positions aren’t fully staffed. The pledge will cover hours typically on weekend afternoons but which can vary by store. ‘We feel good about price and having the top gifts of the season, so the next priority is about getting customers in and out of the stores quickly,’ Duncan Mac Naughton, Wal-Mart’s chief merchandising officer, said in an interview. ‘Taking the possibility of waiting in long lines off the table will attract more people into stores.'”
 Click the image to read more from Banjo.
Photo by Reuters
And to re-establish with customers its emphasis on low prices, Wal-Mart is rolling out its Price First private brand that is intended to appeal to generic brand shoppers — those interested in the deepest discounts. Monica Watrous reports for Food Business News that:
“Price First, a new opening-price-point private-label line, is set to debut nationally in Wal-Mart U.S. stores in the coming months. Peanut butter, pasta, snacks, baking mixes, and condiments are among items offered at significantly lower prices than branded products. Over the past year, Wal-Mart piloted approximately 50 items in a couple of hundred stores and now has expanded distribution to more than 2,500 stores, according to a company representative.”
“‘In an environment where customers have so many choices about where to shop and how to buy, and many of them are feeling pressure on their budgets, we have to be at our best,’ said Doug McMillon, president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., during an August conference call with financial analysts to discuss second-quarter earnings. ‘That’s why it’s so important for us to deliver a compelling customer proposition of low prices and quality service for every transaction.’”
Click the image to read more from Watrous.


 

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Part 8: Putting It All Together | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Better Understanding Hispanics: Ad Age’s 2014 Fact Pack

There are more than 55 million Hispanics in the United States, representing about 17 percent of the total U.S. population. As such, Hispanics represent an important — and growing — market segment for marketers.
One good resource for understanding and marketing to Hispanics is the FREE Advertising Age Hispanic Fact Pack 2014.
Click the chart to access the full report.
 
Hispanic Fact Pack2

 

Posted in Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Social Media and Retailing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Young Guns Now Leading Burger King

For most of its history, Burger King has  lagged well behind McDonald’s in the fast-food burger wars. This is a major reason why the company has had 21 chief executive in the 60 years since Burger King’s founding.
Now, the firm has decided to turn its management over to a younger generation of senior executives to try to turn things around — again.
As recently reported by Devin Leonard for Bloomberg Businessweek:
“Last summer, a trim guy with wavy brown hair, high cheekbones, and a broad smile could be found making Whoppers, working the drive-through window, and scrubbing bathrooms at a Burger King in Miami. His name was Daniel Schwartz. He learned to make a Whopper in less than 35 seconds and blended in well with his fellow employees, except for the fact that Schwartz had a guy with a video camera trailing him. ‘I cleaned about 15 toilets in the past two days,’ he boasted at one point, as if he’d just completed a marathon. Schwartz was justifiably pumped. That June he’d been named Burger King’s chief executive officer, with a $700,000 annual salary and a potential bonus of twice that. There was another reason for him to be exuberant: He was only 32 and on his way to becoming a star in the fast-food industry.”
“Making sure the fixtures in Burger King’s restrooms gleam is only one of Schwartz’s challenges. The chain has had six owners and suffered from years of neglect and strategic incoherence. Unlike his predecessors, Schwartz isn’t just competing with McDonald’s and Wendy’s. He has to keep customers from straying to trendy newcomers such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread. Their sales in the U.S. last year grew 17 percent and 12 percent, respectively, according to Technomic, a food industry consultant. Sales were essentially flat for Burger King and its two primary rivals.”
Click the image to read Schwartz’s plans.

Illustration by Kyle Platts

 

Posted in Career Useful Information, Careers in Retailing, Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The State of Digital and Personalization in Retailing

Conversant recently conducted a study involving retail marketing executives:
“The digital opportunities and challenges covered in the study varied from the current role that digital plays in marketing programs to the burgeoning interest and importance of personalized one-to-one marketing. For the retailer, this study provides a benchmark for today’s attitudes and efforts compared to those of a cross-section of other retail industry leaders.”
“In addition, retail is often the ‘first mover’ in digital when it comes to programs with a strong likelihood of ROI impact. Thus, these findings are very relevant to marketers outside of the retail/E-tail sector.”
The slideshow below highlights Conversant’s findings.

 

Posted in Global Retailing, Online Retailing, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Social Media and Retailing, Technology in Retailing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

TJX: A Master of Off-Price Retailing

TJX Companies Inc. considers itself “a global, off-price, value retailer.” Its divisions include T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, and Sierra Trading Post in the United States; Winners, HomeSense, and Marshalls in Canada; and T.K. Maxx in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, and Poland, as well as HomeSense in the UK.
As Beth Kowitt reports for Fortune:
“Is T.J. Maxx the best retail store in the land? The off-price chain has built a fantastically loyal following. How have they done it? We got inside the playbook of parent company TJX. Its annual sales — now $27.4 billion, or more than those of Estée Lauder, Hilton Worldwide, and Hershey combined — have risen 50% over the past six years. Its profits have almost tripled, to $2.1 billion. Its shareholders have been the beneficiaries of 18 consecutive years of earnings-per-share growth. In its nearly-four-decade history, it has had only one year of negative same-store sales. And it does all this by selling blouses…pots and pans…and bedding, sunglasses, sriracha seasoning, yoga mats, and the occasional $1,250 Stella McCartney dress.”
Click the image to read about how TJX does it.

 
http://fortune.com/2014/07/24/t-j-maxx-the-best-retail-store/

Photo for Fortune by Sam Kaplan; photo illustration by Fortune

 

Posted in Global Retailing, Online Retailing, Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 4: Store Location Planning, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Part 8: Putting It All Together | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

IBM’s 2014 Online Retail Holiday Readiness Report

As online and multichannel retailers intensify their already-underway preparations for the 2014 holiday shopping season, they should take a look at a new report from IBM.
According to the IBM report:
“A prosperous 2014 holiday season appears to be in store for U.S. online retailers. Shopping on retail Web sites continues to grow at a double-digit pace. Average order value (AOV) and items per order both rose to record highs over the past year. Soaring usage of smartphones and tablets has made online shopping accessible to consumers anytime, anywhere.”
“Yet, the holiday season presents just as many risks as opportunities. Paths to purchase are more convoluted and unpredictable than ever as consumers interact through mobile devices, E-mail, advertising, and social media. Consumer attention as reflected in such metrics as average time on site and page views per session sank to new lows over the past 12 months. So did the overall conversion rate.”
Click the image to access the full IBM report about 2014 online holiday shopping.

 

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Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Part 8: Putting It All Together | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Self-Branding for Personal and Career Success

Recently, I did a full-length radio interview with Dr. Suzanne Phillips for her CoSozo Psych Up Show  on the topic of self-branding for personal and career success. In this interview, the discussion goes far beyond the concept of self-branding for career success, the subject of earlier posts at this blog.
Self-branding is relevant for every role in which we engage — family member, friend, boss, employee, etc. And (1) our persona varies for each role and (2) we need to understand how others perceive us in these various roles. If we are not perceived as we would like, maybe we need to sharpen our messages and/or change our behavior.
If you have a few minutes (48 overall :-) ), then click on the play button.
 
http://www.cosozo.com/sites/default/files/radio/audio/full/pu0039_podcast.mp3

 

Posted in Career Useful Information, Careers in Retailing, Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment