What a concept!
Retailers are taking concept stores to the next level.
It’s tough to be a retailer these days. When groceries can be bought just about anywhere at any time, it’s imperative that you stand out amongst the crowd. Industry execs and consumers alike are always looking for something new in retail, and whether it’s a line of new products or a new layout to a classic store, retailers have to constantly look ahead to the future and see the next step in furthering their businesses. Lately retailers have been taking a fresh look at additions to their stores, coming up with new concept store formats to entice consumers, making their store name synonymous with quality and innovation.
For example, Wild Oats Markets Inc., the Boulder, Co.-based natural and organic grocer, recently announced plans to test market a “store-within-a-store” – complete with Wild Oats branded products – with Stop & Shop, the largest food retailer in the northeastern United States. Three to five Wild Oats stores-within-a-store are planned later this year and early 2005, with possible expansion into other markets, if these stores are successful.
Additionally, starting in the fourth quarter of 2004, Wild Oats is pairing with Internet grocer Peapod in the Chicagoland area, selling its private label items through the peapod service.
Perry Odak, president and chief executive officer for Wild Oats, notes that: “By pursuing other, non-traditional retail channels, our business would be more diversified to drive improved value for our shareholders and both top- and bottom-line growth for our company despite external challenges, such as swings in the economy and increased competition, which face our retail stores.”
Another retailer, San Antonio-based H-E-B, is planning its own concept store in The Woodlands, Texas, combining the company’s food and drug stores with some of the most popular features from its high-end Central Market concept. A Central Market Café on the Run and a variety of Central Market specialty items will be featured in the store, as well as national grocery and H-E-B’s own brands. The new Woodlands store will also feature one of the largest seafood departments in the Houston area, an expanded cheese department with 40 of Central Market’s top picks and a full-time cheese specialist. And where there’s cheese, there has got to be wine, and the H-E-B Woodlands Market will have more than 2,000 varieties of wine with professional wine stewards and an expanded produce section carrying more than 900 kinds of fruits and veggies. Catering from Central Market will also be available at the new store.
No one wants to let customers go once they walk in the store. In order to lessen the multiple trips people often make to buy certain products at certain stores, Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons completed the rollout of a new dollar zone concept in all 2,500 of its stores across the United States. Items in the new discount zones include fresh foods, dry goods and general merchandise. Having a dollar zone in a store allows customers who would normally buy certain products elsewhere at a lower cost to shop all in one store, saving both time and money. PLB
The third annual Virtual Trade Show hosted by the Chain Drug Marketing Association (CDMA) will run September 21-27, 2004. An integral event for the association, VTS helps regional chains, regional wholesalers and independents keep their fingers on the pulse of the industry, enabling buyers to meet more than 175 vendors, all without leaving the comfort of their office. Vendors are able to display lines virtually, giving unique opportunity to smaller retailers and wholesalers.
Jim Devine, president of CDMA says, “Independent pharmacies and regional chains still make up almost 49 percent of the industry. It is more important now than ever before to show your support for the regional chains and wholesalers. The industry depends on the vendor’s dedication to keeping the buyers informed, and this even is mutually beneficial in terms of profits and relationship building.”
This year each booth will feature up to 30 products, complete with item description, cost, display options and images, and the show will give access to more than 60 category reviews and planograms, many of which would not be accessible to the retailers/wholesalers anywhere else.
CDMA will continue its tradition of the Idea Exchange, which opens the lines of communication between the retailers/wholesalers and vendors, acting as a conduit of information and ideas, helping CDMA members be more successful. Also, during the Online Chat Function buyers and sellers will be able to chat with one another during the entire show. Additionally, there is a message center to post messages and communicate ideas back and forth with attendees.
At the VTS, CDMA members will be able to purchase CDMA’s 1,000 private label offerings at low prices, exclusive to CDMA members and show participants. Participating members will be able to purchase product through the TruServe warehouse at extreme discounts. PLB
The MARCA Private Label Conference and Exhibition will take place in Bologna, Italy on January 27 and 28, 2005. This is the first Italian event specifically addressing the private label world, giving important business opportunities to stakeholders in national and international large-scale retail trade and private label industries.
MARCA is an event independent of the manufacturing world and features a prestigious partnership with large-scale retail trade. Its exhibiting target is product development, including the manufacturing, retailing and monitoring of product. The special Buying Office Stand Service (BOSS) allows supply and demand to meet through an agenda of appointments between international buyers and manufacturers.
Additionally, there will be a Permanent Scientific and Technical Observatory created by BolognaFiere with Parma University involving the main Italian banners with the support of IRI-Inforesources. The Observatory will provide an updated framework on private label development dynamics within the Italian retailing system, considering the competitive process underway, all while focusing attention on strategies and processes before and after retailing, offering an integrated pipeline approach. PLB