The entrepreneurial spirit of the food retail industry is embodied in the role of the store manager. Arguably, no other industry position is so in tune with the community, so motivated by the personality and determination of an individual or so resilient in the face of competition.
As with much of retail, the private brand industry has undergone a dramatic transformation during the past decade. The recession that began in 2007 spurred demand for store brands, and thanks to satisfaction with product quality demand remained intact as economic conditions improved.
Today's category managers are inundated with new sources of shopper insights, marketing methods, ways of collaborating and competitive issues. The fundamentals of category management as a business process remain intact as do some persistent challenges related to data management.
Produce has been the star of the show for food retailers for a long time. Looking to communicate an image of freshness and quality from the moment shoppers arrive in store, grocers have moved packaged goods away from center stage while positioning produce as the focal point of the store.
The news sounds bleak if you listen to the latest on store closings and how the in-store experience is dying, with many citing a disconnect in shopper experience. However, that view would be wrong, according to Market Track's most recent Shopper Insight Survey.
Retailers are being hit by the awareness that always-on customers, who are price loyal rather than retailer or brand loyal, do price comparisons 24/7. This has prompted a surge of interest from retailers on the topic of dynamic pricing.