March/April 2013

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March/April 2013

A collection of news, articles and other featured content about March/April 2013.

The market for mergers and acquisitions might be heating up, but exclusive research from Retail Leader indicates fewer than half of companies expect to buy or sell a business unit in 2013. About four out of 10 survey respondents indicated their companies had completed an acquisition in the past 12

Economic challenges have left CPG companies clamoring for consumers' attention – and paying more to do so. Since 1980, the average percent of revenue devoted to trade spending has gone from 5 percent to 18 percent, reports Durham, N.C.-based Clarkston Consulting.

Do your employees trust you? The brutal truth is probably not. It may not be fair, and you may not want to hear it, but chances are that previous leaders have poisoned the ground on which you're trying to grow a successful business.

Photography by Vito Palmisano

Recently, I attended a focus group where eight shoppers were offering candid advice and ideas about how to create the perfect supermarket. Four men and four women of varying backgrounds, education, professions, etc., were present, and all were very enthusiastic and engaged in the process.

It's no secret that the way trading partners choose to work together can be the difference between success and failure. As the economy remains unpredictable, consumer behavior remains conservative. Shoppers are savvier, have more channels to shop and more products to choose from.

Mindful of shoppers focused on getting the most of their grocery dollars and operating on razor thin margins, it's no surprise that cost-cutting is top of mind with retailers these days.

In retail, having the right amount of product at the right price, place and time always has been as much art as science.

Shoppers can kill time many ways while waiting for their number at the deli counter or hot food bar: They can cruise the cleaning aisle, scope out deals on boneless chicken breasts or, in increasing numbers of stores, visit an in-store clinic for a quick cholesterol check. Over the past decade, the

Grocery retailers have shared in the largess this year as U.S. stocks rallied, pushing both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average to new records. The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 14,559.65 on March 26, topping its all-time high set in 2007, ahead of the global financial crisis.

Finding the best talent can seem like a never-ending quest. "You always have to be looking, whether it is at other local retailers, at church, wherever you are," says Jodie Felter, human resources director for Niemann Foods Inc. in Quincy, Ill.

If the industry's current state of flux has you flummoxed, your confusion is understandable. Multiple economic and demographic trends are converging, sometimes contradicting one another.

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