Monday, 31 January 2011

‘Doom & Gloom’, an opportunity for reappraisal?

Latest reports of consumer confidence reaching a 20 year low should not come as a surprise, given 4 years of warning signals to those not in denial…

Whilst many suppliers are waiting for patterns to emerge, or even a return to normal, proactive BAMs are busy dealing with the here and now, as business managers factoring market conditions into their trade strategies.

For those who are realistically optimistic, these unprecedented market conditions provide unprecedented opportunities to reappraise market offerings and go-to-market strategies.

Starting with savvy consumers unwilling to outsource their decision-making to either brand owners or retailers, ever again, it is vital to reappraise the brand vs its competition through the eyes of a demanding consumer wanting demonstrable value for money and unwilling to settle for less.

Next it is vital to acknowledge the financial pressures on all retailers, now coming through in latest annual reports, and worsening….

Again, it is essential to evaluate your competitive appeal in terms of the financial impact of your offering on retailer profitability, and be able to quantify and demonstrate that effect using latest available data.

With the right attitude, ‘Doom & Gloom’ is simply a label for real opportunity…

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Blacks Leisure & Walmart, joining up bigger dots?

An article in The Telegraph indicates that Home Retail Group (Argos & Homebase) had considered bidding for Blacks Leisure.

This was probably seen as a way for Home Retail to expand through acquisition, thereby warding off predators…i.e. Asda taking over Argos

Viewing this in a more global way, some of the bigger dots begin to join up:

  • Asda is underperforming vs Walmart on ROCE and Net Margin, thereby diluting the company’s global performance
  • Asda need to scale up significantly in order to match Walmart’s performance
  • Acquisition of another grocer (JS/Morrisons) is ruled out by competition legislation
  • Organic growth is limited by planning legislation
  • This leaves moves into non-food, i.e. by acquisition of Home Retail
  • ….. with access to Blacks Leisure (& Millets) a bonus morsel?

Time for suppliers to check out possible prices and terms disparities, just-in-case?

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Tesco to open Beauty Salons

According to Marketing magazine, the strategy includes beauty services such as hairdressing and manicures, and an improved range of premium beauty products.

The salons will look like separately-branded concessions, called Your Beauty Salon within Tesco Extra stores and offer haircuts from £12.50 and leg waxing from £10, among other services.

Following trials of nail-bars and eyebrow threading in 4 stores, the "shop-in-shops" will open in Leicester and Chesterfield next Monday (31 January), as the supermarket makes inroads to the "huge opportunity" offered by beauty.


A no-brainer for Tesco (think about it), this is a serious breakthrough that raises important issues for suppliers, not least of which include prices and terms disparities between salon and retail channels.

For Tesco branches, it will be important to meet/exceed current store sales and profit per sq ft. KPIs in their salon area, so every little help from suppliers will be appreciated…

Finally, a long-awaited opportunity for suppliers to convince traditional UK hairdressers that a retailing opportunity exists in beauty salons?

Time for hairdressers to request some relevant training from relevant suppliers, fast…

Monday, 24 January 2011

The Offside Rule and Offside Trap in Football

Given the current controversy, it may be helpful for KAMs to have a precise definition at top of mind…?

The above is offside because the red number 10 is in front of all of the defenders, leaving only the goalkeeper back which isn't enough players to play him onside. This position may have been forced by the defenders moving forward in what is called the offside trap.

A player is not in an offside position if:

- he is in his own half of the field of play

- he is level with the second last opponent

- he is level with the last two opponents

More diagrams and insight

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Obituary: Albert Heijn, the grocer with 8P Insight

Albert Heijn, who died last week aged 83, played a key role in turning his family’s Dutch grocery chain into the international food retailing group Royal Ahold,

His motto was: “You don’t sell on behalf of your suppliers – you buy on behalf of your customers".

Heijn was among the first supermarket bosses to introduce sell-by dates, organic and other “private label” products as well as bonus or club cards and the machine-readable barcode system at check-outs. In the early 1970s, he was a driving force behind the international barcode standard used in most countries today.

However, while others shared his focus on meeting shopper needs, AH provided a tool to make it possible…

Twenty five years ago he introduced a retail version of the 4Ps of consumer marketing.

His simple 8Ps of Retail marketing provided a tool for many KAMs to gain insight into how retailers market their shops, and a way for shoppers to evaluate alternative retail offerings....

A truly great loss to grocery retailing everywhere...

Friday, 21 January 2011

Nose-winning no longer enough?

Pic: The Daily Mail

KAMs who had gone to the dogs with their buyers this week were treated to a millions-to-one triple win at Romford Stadium when three greyhounds crossed the line nose-to-nose.

Equally, to really make an impact, it is no longer enough to be as good as the competition.

KAMs who can calculate and demonstrate the financial impact of everything they do on the customer’s bottom line, have got to win with the buyer…

Have an exceptional weekend, from the Namnews Team!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

HMV distributors denied credit insurance. Who carries the can?

pic: Albany

News that credit insurance has been withdrawn on some supplies to HMV is not just ‘something for the Finance Department’.

Whilst their colleagues in finance track the historical reports on customers in Companies House, the salesforce continue to be the essential ‘eyes and ears’ of the company on the ground, and have the potential to gain a current perspective.

Finance-focused NAMs realise that if a customer goes bust owing £150k, a supplier making 5% net profit has to sell £3m in incremental sales to recover the loss. Furthermore, in the case of the home entertainment sector, such sales would have to be made to the major multiples, both on and off-line, adding further to trade concentration. This would tend to increase home entertainment's share of mind for such retailers, possibly diluting their interest in other categories.

To minimise such risk in the future, it is crucial that NAMs heighten their sensitivity to the warning signs: loss of market share, profit-warnings, possible breaches of loan-covenants, and a falling share price.

To this a NAM can add their knowledge and understanding of key people in the decision-making-process, together with their pan-trade insight on how other retailers of the category compare. Finally, constant monitoring of the cost of the credit they give to the troubled customer and insistence on 100% compliance can help to reduce the risk of trade exposure.

After all, it is your money, at the moment…

(See 'Spotting the Signs of a Customer Going Bust')