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Whole Foods changes unlikely to spark Canadian grocery price wars
August 29th | The Globe and Mail | by DAVID FRIEND.

The country's biggest grocers are unlikely to play along with deep cuts by Whole Foods' new owner Amazon in the aisles of its 13 locations across Canada. That's partly because the imminent threat of the high-end chain wouldn't justify the financial hit of reacting with deep discounts, suggested Brynn Winegard, a marketing expert at Winegard and Company.

"Places like Loblaws, Sobeys and Longo's won't necessarily be able to afford that," she said.

"But what you will be looking at is a huge market play towards loyalty."

Winegard expects established chains to lean on their reputations – and points-redemption programs – in hopes of keeping customers from straying to competitors in the short term.

Expect better deals on taking home three bottles of spaghetti sauce instead of two, for example, and more appealing bonus point offers designed to get customers back into stores. Both are generally more affordable, and effective, strategies than deep cuts to a wide assortment of products.

Price wars have a long history of offering Canadian grocers little upside, especially if their profit margins are cut to the bone.......Canadian grocers are misdirecting their attention to storefronts, rather than establishing infrastructure that could go head-to-head in the digital world, Amazon's forte.

"Amazon certainly has the capacity, the capability and the website support to do this – the other stores, like Loblaw and Sobeys, aren't really there yet."
supermarkets  grocery  Loblaws  Sobeys  Longo's  Amazon  Whole_Foods  Canadian  price_wars  loyalty_management  oligopolies 
august 2017 by jerryking
Bill McFarland: Why it’s crucial to embed innovation in business plans - The Globe and Mail
GUY DIXON
TORONTO — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Apr. 29 2014,

When it comes to innovation, wouldn’t it be better to be second--to let another company assume the headaches and expense of innovating first?

A lack of drive to innovate or even taking solace in being second best has been a trait of Canada’s business DNA. ... innovation as a means to try out new things, even if they mean going out on a limb, with a greater possibility of failure. But he notes the importance of building innovation into a business plan. Some companies, he said, also reward employees for trying and even failing, setting up a company culture in which not trying is seen as a bigger problem than continual success.
PwC  fast_followers  innovation  business_planning  CEOs  Sobeys  grocery  supermarkets  customer_experience  failure  organizational_culture  mediocrity  Michael_McDerment  messiness 
september 2014 by jerryking
Sobeys to close 50 stores amid tightening grocery field - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 26 2014
Marina_Strauss  retailers  Sobeys  store_closings 
june 2014 by jerryking
Sobeys to close stores, chop jobs in wake of Safeway deal - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jun. 25 2014
Marina_Strauss  retailers  Sobeys  Safeway  layoffs  Wall_Street 
june 2014 by jerryking
Sobeys slashes jobs, costs after Safeway acquisition - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER

The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Mar. 13 2014
Sobeys  cost-cutting  retailers  grocery  supermarkets  Marina_Strauss 
march 2014 by jerryking
With Safeway deal complete, Sobeys demands price cuts from suppliers - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER

The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Jan. 08 2014,

In its letter, Sobeys says its acquisition of Safeway Canada will provide it with a new growth platform in Western Canada, the country’s fastest-growing region, while also significantly increasing the retailer’s economies of scale. To help it gain scale, Sobeys will require the retroactive 1-per-cent “synergy savings rate” from suppliers, it says.

“This 1 per cent synergy savings rate will be deducted from payments starting the end of January 2014,” the letter says. “Retroactive savings will also be deducted. The rate applies to all branded and private label grocery products.

“In addition, and as you are aware, current market retail pricing conditions leave no room for absorption of cost of good increases. As such, Sobeys Inc. will not accept any cost of goods increases through 2014.”

It will make some exceptions in cases of pharmaceutical supplies and “single commodity items,” which are currently priced daily or weekly, such as sugar, or possibly “where extraordinary unforeseen circumstances apply,” the letter says.
Marina_Strauss  grocery  supermarkets  retailers  Sobeys  Safeway  scaling  consolidation  supply_chains  economies_of_scale  synergies 
january 2014 by jerryking
Pulling More Meaning from Big Data
August 2013 | Retail Leader | By Ed Avis

"A.G. Lafley [Procter & Gamble's CEO] spoke of the two moments of truth," says John Ross, president of Inmar Analytics based in Winston-Salem, N.C. "The first occurs when a consumer buys a product, and the second when they use it. Much of the data today is about orchestrating and understanding those two moments. But two additional moments of truth are emerging to bookend Lafley's. One occurs when a consumer is planning to make a purchase. The other happens following use, when the consumer talks about his or her experience with the product. All of these activities leave a 'data wake' that describes how the consumer is moving down the path to purchase." (jk: going to assume that data wake = exhaust data).

Like most consumer packaged goods companies, Procter & Gamble relies on data to determine what consumers are looking for. "Consumer insight is at the core of our business model. We approach every brand we make by asking the question, 'What do people really need and want from this product? What does this mean to their lives?' Let me be clear – this is not casual observation. We employ teams of behavioral scientists, researchers, psychologists, even anthropologists to uncover true insight based on intensive research and exploration," said Marc Pritchard, P&G's global marketing and brand building officer, speaking at the Association of National Advertisers' 2012 Annual Conference....Most firms haven't advanced beyond localized analytics and don't fully capitalize on the existing data they have at hand – such as POS data, loyalty club data and social media traffic – according to a 2012 Deloitte study for the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
massive_data_sets  Sobeys  grocery  supermarkets  Safeway  P&G  A.G._Lafley  Kroger  point-of-sale  loyalty_management  customer_insights  insights  CPG  exhaust_data  psychologists  psychology  anthropologists  anthropology  ethnography  behavioural_science  hiring-a-product-to-do-a-specific-job  data  information_sources  moments  moments_of_truth 
december 2013 by jerryking
globeadvisor.com: Labour costs in spotlight as grocery wars shift to front lines
October 1, 2013 | Report on Business |MARINA STRAUSS.

Grocers are grappling with consolidation, as well as essentially zero inflation this year, forcing them to try to reduce costs, said Sylvain Charlebois, a food policy professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario. "Margins are very tight," he said.
Marina_Strauss  retailers  grocery  supermarkets  unions  Loblaws  Metro  Wal-Mart  Target  Sobeys  Safeway  UFCW  Sylvain_Charlebois 
october 2013 by jerryking
Grocery wars spur industry consolidation - The Globe and Mail
Grocery wars spur industry consolidation Add to ...

MARINA STRAUSS

RETAILING REPORTER — The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Aug. 14 2013
Target  Sobeys  Loblaws  Shoppers  Metro  grocery  supermarkets  competitive_landscape  consolidation 
august 2013 by jerryking
What sent Shoppers and Loblaw down the aisle? Wal-Mart - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 19 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Sylvain Charlebois.

Wal-Mart’s purchase of Woolco in 1994 remains the most transformational transaction in Canada’s food retailing industry. Everything happening in food distribution today continues to be affected by it. Most Canadians didn’t realize it then, but Wal-Mart’s entrance into the Canadian market would change everything: the way we shop; what we buy; and, most importantly, how we buy and value food.

Ever since Wal-Mart entered the Canadian market, it never hid its ambition of becoming Canada’s top food retailer, as it has in the United States.
Shoppers  Loblaws  mergers_&_acquisitions  Sylvain_Charlebois  M&A  food  distribution_channels  Wal-Mart  grocery  supermarkets  retailers  Quebec  Sobeys  Target 
july 2013 by jerryking
THE EVE OF BATTLE
Oct 2006 | Canadian Grocer 120. 8 (): 38-39,41,43. | Andrew Allentuck

Wal-Mart's success in the U.S. was built on conquering the fragmented and relatively inefficient grocery market, says [John Chamberlain]. But Canada is likely to be different. "It it were a slam dunk, Wal-Mart's Supercentres would have been here a lot sooner. If you read into the time they have taken to arrive, there is a recognition that this market is going to be very challenging." As award-winning Business Week senior writer Anthony Bianco said, in The Bully of Bentonville (Random House, 2006), "It is far from certain that even Wal-Mart can thrive in a Wal-Mart world."

What will Canadian retail grocery be like a few years down the road? Chamberlain figures that Wal-Mart will take over packaged goods. "It can dominate the field. Everybody knows what a box of detergent should cost and nobody wants to pay 40% more at a competitor," he says. By sheer massive buying power, with savings passed along to consumers, Wal-Mart will take a lot of the centre store grocery. Rut in differentiated goods, from lettuce to meat, bakery to meal replacement, the market may not tumble to Wal-Mart. To the extent that people are prepared to pay more for quality or even just differentiation, Wal-Mart will have trouble maintaining its winner-takes-it-all momentum, he suggests.

There is also the union question. In China, faced with the pro-union policy of the incumbent government, the company has agreed to work with them. Chinese unions are not trenchant opponents of management. Rather, they work at "promoting good relations between employers and workers," reports the Wall Street journal. If unions did capture Wal-Mart Supercentres, they might raise payroll costs and hinder the company's aggressive cost reduction strategy. Wal-Mart may remain hostile to unions in North America. It shut its Jonquière, Que. store after it was certified by the United Food and Commercial Workers union. The February 2005 shutdown sent a message that was undeniably clear. Bomb threats and temporary store closings followed, Bianco recalls. The cost of Wal-Mart's image was huge, but, as Bianco admits, "The allure of cut-rate prices and convenient locations is not easily resisted."
ProQuest  buying_power  Wal-Mart  grocery  Metro  Sobeys  Loblaws  fragmented_markets  retailers  CPG  winner-take-all 
july 2012 by jerryking
Exotic vegetables coming soon from a farmer near you - The Globe and Mail
Jan. 05, 2012 | Globe & Mail | Rita Trichur.

One estimate pegs domestic sales of exotic vegetables at roughly $800-million a year. The bulk of that produce is imported from the Caribbean, South America and Asia. But with demand booming, Canadian farmers have a fresh incentive to carve out a meaningful slice of that market by diversifying their crops.

Although cooler Canadian climates can present a production challenge, scientists spearheading world crop research at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre near Niagara Falls, Ont., say a surprising number of exotic vegetables can be successfully grown across the country.
vegetables  ethnic_communities  demographic_changes  farming  agriculture  food  Wal-Mart  Sobeys  immigrants  Loblaws 
january 2012 by jerryking

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