Friday, 24 February 2017

Aldi's down-to-earth proof-of-origin

According to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, Aldi Süd are piloting Isotope Analysis to guarantee produce source by locality/region...more details here.

Apart from savvy consumers’ interest in establishing the source of their food, this Aldi initiative will also help in allaying doubts regarding discounters ability to provide like-for-like produce at prices lower than the mults.

In addition to adding cost to the sourcing process, this will heighten consumer curiosity as to the origin of other products available in discounters.

In the UK, this increase in their costs would result in a reduction in the pricing advantage enjoyed by the discounters, but if this proof-of-origin initiative gives Aldi a competitive advantage, others will follow…

Interesting how the cookie crumbles...

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The extra little help Tesco Ireland does not need during a strike.....

Students and Scargill show support.

A St Pat's lecturer brought her students to Tesco yesterday to teach them about the strike. According to The Journal, the DCU Lecturer from St Patrick’s Campus in Drumcondra, Dublin brought her students to the local Tesco so that workers could inform them about the nature of the strike action.

This comes as the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) reaffirmed its support for the industrial action after workers at Tesco Drumcondra stated that local students had been crossing the picket line and entering the store.

In addition, The Irish Times reports that the terms of employee contracts at Tesco have come under criticism from former British trade union leader Arthur Scargill, who joined workers on the picket line at two of the 23 striking stores on Saturday.

Given that the workers affected by the old contract appear to represent approximately 2% of the Tesco workforce in Ireland, perhaps a defensible way of buying out the old contracts may be the only pragmatic option?

Monday, 20 February 2017

Kraft-Unilever, file closed, now what?

Kraft-Heinz's weekend agreement to withdraw its offer to take over Unilever will not be the end of the story...
  • Fundamental issues remain for each party
  • K-H still need to improve Sales and Margin growth, with acquisition the fastest route
  • In preparing for the Unilever bid, K-H's appetite for Home & Personal Care margins will have been whetted... (think Colgate, Kimberly Clark etc. etc.)
  • Also, Unilever coverage of emerging markets is complementary to that of K-H, see other options of similar profile
  • Meanwhile, moving back from the stock exchange spotlight, Unilever will need to make some signigficant changes to indicate it has 'learned' from the encounter...(think refinition of 'core', sell-offs etc, and more cuts...)
  • More significantly, K-H have demonstrated that a company can make a credible bid for a target more than 3x its size in sales revenue...
  • In other words, anything goes in terms of potential takovers, anywhere...
A what-if is never wasted...

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Need high-level help with a de-listing?

How about trying a trump card?

International Business Times reports that President Trump has tweeted against retailer Nordstrom for dropping Ivanka’s fashion line: "My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by ‪@Nordstrom. She is a great person -- always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!"

A pointer for well-connected NAMs everywhere?

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Amazon's supermarket of the future could operate with just 3 staff - and lots of robots

According to the New York Times (as quoted in Business Insider) both Amazon Go and the new supermarkets (10,000 to 40,000 sq. ft. two storey) would contain no cashiers, no registers, and no lines. Instead, they would rely on an app on customer's phones that would detect items picked off shelves for purchase.

No one really expected Amazon to simply make a better version of what is available…

The issue for other retailers has to be how to find ways of copying – and improving upon – these amateur shopkeepers who realise that all a consumer wants on the shop floor are 4,000 items that shoppers "like to touch," such as fresh meat, fruit, vegetables, and eggs, while robots complete the shopping list upstairs..

Meanwhile, suppliers need to figure out ways of keeping their brands on that shopping list. 

What about the complainers that don't...?

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Tesco Continues Recovery with Solid Q3 and Christmas Trading Results

Tesco latest Trading Results sugests the following Implications for NAMs:

Where at: In a relatively flat demand environment, it could be said that Tesco is growing at the expense of Asda and Sainsbury’s in the mults channel and slowing the growth of the discounters, at best

Where headed: For this to continue, Tesco will have to sustain its relative competitive appeal…

Effect on you: This has to mean continued pressure on resisting supplier cost price increases…

Action: Essential that branded NAMs reassess the degree of match between their consumer profiles and the traffic-profiles of individual mults, as a basis for differentiated trade strategies that optimise supplier labelling of customers as invest, maintain or divest, and negotiate their cost-price increases accordingly

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Food Suppliers Squeezed As Recovering Supermarkets Push To Remain Competitive

Latest news of cost-increase resistance by buyers raise the following issues for NAMs:

Where at: Surprise, surprise! Whilst pragmatic NAMs do not expect retail buyers to roll over and accept cost-price increases, some state of equilibrium will be required to minimise supplier concentration and less choice…

Where headed: …if fewer, more powerful suppliers emerge in the coming months

Effect on you: Smaller players in niche categories can survive by optimising their (realistic) place in the market

Action: Time to revisit fundamentals of real consumer demand vs. available alternatives to define core proposition. Then numbers, numbers, numbers to calculate cost and value and build a financial rationale

Alternative use of redundant retail space?

    King's Mall, Hammersmith

Monday, 9 January 2017

Disappointing Results for Discounters whilst Tesco and Morrisons Continue their Recovery

Latest News of Christmas trading raise the following implications for NAMs:

Where at: The combination of intense price-warfare and consumer expectation ‘that 2017 will be more expensive’ gave a boost to most Christmas sales, while suppliers and retailers absorbed pent-up cost-price increases

Where headed: Q1 will reflect real world conditions in terms of price increases i.e. a re-set in relative performance where historical performance counts less..

Effect on you: Opportunities for pro-active NAMs while competitors await trends and perhaps an expectation of a return to normal

Action: Why not assume that you are re-launching everything in Q1 and re-assess your relative competitive appeal on that basis?