Washington D.C. – Energy Management Systems (EMS) are becoming more and more commonplace in both convenience and grocery stores. The promise of reduced energy consumption and costs coupled with a desire to go green is driving leading retailers to try out new EMS offerings across their networks. Kwik Trip, Stripes and Green Valley are among the early adopters benefiting from new EMS technologies targeted at c-stores. Supermarket News reports of similar enthusiasm among forward-thinking grocers.
Author Archives: Marek Polonski
Washington D.C. – The New York Times is reporting that many retailers are going back to the true and tried strategy of stocking their shelves, aisles and backrooms with more inventory. As we discussed before, the notion of shoppers preferring to have less choice is a myth. Many retailers learned this the hard way in the last 3-5 years: SKU rationalization efforts have not worked as well as merchants at the leading retailers have hoped. (more…)
Washington D.C. – Is grocery moving online? BusinessWeek reported earlier that Walmart is said to be experimenting with online grocery delivery. At the same time, many supermarket chains are expanding their grocery curbside pickup services. SuperMarket News is reporting that Harris Teeter is slashing its shop-online-pickup-groceries-curbside-at-the-store fee from $4.95 to $1.95. At $1.95, the fee likely only covers the cost of processing the online payment for Harris Teeter. At the same time other grocers are actively testing the curbside pickup options at their stores as well. Why do it? (more…)
Washington D.C. – In case you missed it, Business Excellence Magazine has a great article by APT SVP Phil Marlsland on why companies need rigorous market trials to maximize ROI on their investments. Examples are from Wawa, Big Lots, Family Mart, Boots and other companies.
Washington D.C. – In case you missed it, Harvard Business Review has an interesting Step-by-Step Guide to Smart Business Experiments. Eric Anderson and Duncan Simester discuss how sophisticated executives are answering this question leveraging the scientific method. While seemingly straightforward, even the most advanced companies find it difficult to design rigorous, in-market, consumer-facing tests and use insights from these tests to guide strategy. Most Fortune 500 companies are now using APT to successfully design and learn from smart business experiments.
Washington D.C. – In case you missed it, Fast Company published an interview with APT SVP Jonathan Marek detailing the ways in which in-market tests are allowing retailers, restaurant, and other consumer facing businesses to measure the impact of location-based services like Foursquare and Facebook. It is a great read if you are interested in seeing beyond the hype and wanting to understand the true incremental impact social media has on an average consumer.
Washington D.C. – In what has become a seasonal ritual, the Girl Scouts set up shop in front of our office building in March to sell their fabled mix of cookies. Mysteriously missing was one of my favorites: Dulce de Leche. No worries, more money to buy Thin Mints, my thinking went.
It was only after a colleague forwarded a Wall Street Journal article highlighting innovative changes being made in this year’s cookie line-up that I realized how much grocery and convenience retailers could learn from the Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouts and SKU Rationalization
It turns out the girl scouts are in the midst of reducing their assortment. But it is the way in which they are going about the SKU rationalization effort that is truly admirable. To quote from the article:
A dozen councils testing the cutbacks with licensed baker Little Brownie Bakers, which is owned by Kellogg Co., hope to streamline sales, speed up cookie delivery and, ultimately, increase profits. (more…)
Washington D.C. – As we’ve discussed before, convenience stores have their sites trained on the lucrative quick service prepared foods market. Through a languishing economic recovery, consumers are looking for quick and convenient meal options at affordable prices without sacrificing quality.
Many c-store operators believe prepared foods to be key to customer loyalty and higher profitability. For example, Steven DeSutter, president and CEO of Stripes, is recently quoted in Convience Store News as saying that prepared foods is their “greatest loyalty program.” (more…)
Washington D.C. – Have you ever been frustrated that the lines around you seem to move faster as you are waiting to pay for your groceries? Or perhaps you would like to improve the operation of you company’s cashiers? Watch the Bill Hammack video below to find out why and how.
Washington D.C. – Note: In this week’s guest entry, APT’s founder and current chairman, Jim Manzi, revisits the famous jam experiment and the (non) paradox of choice.
The jam experiment
Over the past decade, some academics have claimed to have shown scientifically that humans tend to become paralyzed by too many choices. This is often called the “paradox of choice”. Probably the best-known piece of evidence is the “jam experiment,” in which shoppers bought more jam when presented with fewer flavors than when confronted with many flavors.
But what if one of the crucial experiments at the foundation of this mountain of inference showed no such thing? (more…)