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.
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.
When retailers and suppliers talk about partnership and collaboration the focus tends to be on two areas: merchandising and marketing initiatives that drive sales or operational matters of making sure products are in the right place at the right time.
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.
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.
A friend observed recently that he feels like his 45 rpm life is being played on the 78 rpm setting. Now, I know that only those of you as old as I am will get his reference, but his observation put into words what many if not most of us feel.
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.