Monthly Archives: September 2019

Kroger gets urban

Kroger has an urban store! Been awaiting how they’d handle the challenge- USA, like Canada, is increasingly urban, and downtown density doesn’t just put ROI pressure on a traditonal ‘generous’ suburban footprint (land cost, taxes, parking spaces, staff space,…); it also means different habits wrt how shoppers get to a grocery store, what they can carry, types of food & formats desired -smaller sizes, more ready-to-eat, less-oven but more-stovetop/microwave, more eco-conscious packaging preferences, more culturally diverse food desires. This sounds intriguing. Hope to visit and have a look for myself before long!

find the low hanging fruit!

a cool challenge: where can your business find low-hanging fruit?

If you’re a traffic-based retailer, what ELSE might you sell, to generate high margin per unit sale? eg Dryer sheets? Done that. Greeting Cards? Got it. Fresh Cut Flowers? Taking care of it. Bakery? Got it. There’s always Giftware; but Loblaws has repeatedly tried different Centre-Of-Store housewares/ home decor/ giftware mixes, with ‘mixed’ results. Even Indigo has had some challenges getting Giftware just right.

But Grocery chains ARE starting to rock the RTE world.

The what?

Grocery Stores are agggressively pursuing ReadyToEat (RTE) revenue; these are high margin impulse-driven ticket items, and, to win, Loblaws et al need to battle Fast Food restaurants who generate far less traffic & often have higher ingredient-buying costs. Where’s this battle playing out? Not just in Liberty Village, Toronto (although that is a Lead Market!) but nationally. And who can Loblaws learn from abroad? imo from Wegmans (Rochester) who aced the in-store dining area and takeout RTE meals DECADES AGO.

So watch this trend closely — and enjoy the outcome.

But also take note of what ‘incremental high-fit high-margin’ ticket items exist that your business might expand into. Just as P&G did, when it moved Crest out of the (comparatively low margin) dental paste category, into tooth whitening kits, for which the ‘competition’ was (VERY high margin, low traffic) dental office cleaning appointments.

Demographic Shift – does this favour you?

Here are some stats supporting a trend you may think is obvious.

However, have you paused & prepared, then done enough (as a job seeker, business manager, workplace/product designer, researcher, etc) to fully leverage this shift?

Ponder it: More & More Single Females 25 to 44 yrs old in the workplace- implications?