By admin | May 16, 2013
Our Field Agent have their eyes out for great products and we recently found this paper display at Staples with product from Dunder Mifflin (from “The Office” fame). A great way to drive a premium in a commodity category!
By admin | May 12, 2013
Just as loyalty programs like Safeway’s Just for U and Shoppers Drug Mart’s Optimum program have gained in popularity, just last week Loblaw unveiled its new PC Plus loyalty program. This program is designed to be the latest digitally intelligent loyalty program.
The PCplus.ca website has gone live and the program is currently available in 44 Loblaw stores in Ontario with plans for the program to be rolled out across country later this year.
The program is specially designed for smartphones as they are currently in widespread use and still gaining in popularity. The program will be available on the iPhone, Blackberry 10 and Android smartphones.
Plastic cards are also available and current PC financial credit card holders can sign up while still collecting points or receive a new plastic card.
Uwe Stuekmann, VP Marketing at Loblaw says the app is based on the following three customer insights: 1. People are busy and want grocery shopping to be more convenient, 2. Many customers are disappointed with current loyalty programs and, 3. Most people are now connected with smartphones.
Loblaw President Vicente Trius says, “We expect this program to build on our business momentum, increase customer engagement, further enhance customer experience and drive share of wallet.”
What makes the PC Plus loyalty program unique is that it is designed to individually market to each customer based on individual previous purchase history.
“Doing the same thing for all customers doesn’t make sense anymore,” said Stueckmann.
Approximately 8-10 products are promoted to customers each week in “time to event modeling” which determines when customers are in need of certain products.
For example, if a customer buys Palmolive dish soap approximately every 3 weeks then the program would send promotions on this item around the time the customer would typically buy the product.
Stueckmann says that PC Plus represents true one-to-one marketing. The longer and more frequently customers use the program, the more data is compiled that personalizes individual offers even more.
Even though offers are based on past purchase behavior the company is also offering “stretch offers” with promotions on products customers may be interested in. For example, a customer who buys diapers frequently may be interested in baby wipes.
Offers may be made on individual products or based on departments or shopping frequency. For example, additional rewards could be given if a shopper spends a certain amount on produce or if they shop two times a week.
The program works by allowing customers to accumulate points that can be redeemed for discounts off their grocery bill. They can also keep track of points and the dollar amount they are worth (1,000 points = $1).
The PC Plus program offers other special features in addition to promotions like shopping lists, browsing flyers and linking recipes to shopping lists.
The integrated shopping list allows customers to add their own shopping list and link in foods to the list from the Loblaw flyer or from recipes with the click of a button. The system is also intuitive enough not to add everyday items you may already have in your pantry into the shopping list from a recipe.
A unique feature is that customers can compile the shopping list by department so that the list is displayed in the order the customers intends to shop in while in store, making grocery shopping even that much more efficient.
The PC Plus program offers unique, helpful and cost-saving features and raises the bar for other loyalty programs, especially in the integration of mobile commerce. With more than 50% of Canadians carrying smartphones already, expect other programs to take Loblaw’s lead sooner rather than later.
By admin | May 4, 2013
Sobeys, Canada’s second largest food chain based in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, is poised to experience a significant change to its business as Target continues to open its new locations across Canada in 2013.
As the official supplier of food to Target stores across the nation, Sobeys business is about to exponentially expand as Target stores continue to open, and by all accounts, experience a high degree of success with the Canadian public.
Canadian grocers are currently under pressure as Wal-Mart expands its food offerings across the country and Target continues to open its stores.
Target is slated to open 125-135 stores in Canada that began to open in March of this year, with most locations expected to open by the end of the year.
Sobeys had provided limited food distribution to Zellers before its leases were purchased, but food distribution to Target is expected to be much more significant. In fact, Sobeys is partially insulated from the increasing pressure of the industry since it has inked a deal with Target.
Sobeys will supply food and grocery items such as frozen, dairy and dry goods that will include national brands and Target private label products.
This is just the start of a long-term partnership for the grocer that could see expanded offerings in the future.
“We plan to have a long-term relationship with Sobeys,” said Tony Fisher, president of Target Canada. “We want to look into what further supply chain opportunities there may be with Sobeys…I think there could be other opportunities for us to explore an expanded partnership when it comes to food supply chain with Sobeys.”
Apart from its partnership with Target, Sobeys has been busy orchestrating a number of strategic moves over the last number of years that have proven to be successful thus far.
In the fourth quarter of 2012, the company acquired 236 retail gas locations and related convenience store operations. Sobeys President Mark Poulin said the grocer is looking to capitalize on the convenience store sector by cross-promoting Sobeys in the gas and convenience centres.
Sobeys sales contribution to parent Empire ending the fourth quarter 2012 rose $100.8 million or 2.6%, excluding sales from gas and convenience outlets.
The company has also been in the process of converting all of its Price Chopper stores to the FreshCo banner. This is expected to be completed by year-end. The FreshCo banner will directly compete with the Loblaw No Frills banner with an emphasis on low-priced produce and ethnic food.
The company is even a step ahead of rival Loblaw with the major ownership of the Crombie REIT since 2006 that holds a number of Empire properties. In December 2012, Loblaw announced the intention to create its own REIT to purchase its real estate assets.
The company also produces the popular Inspired Magazine that is free for customers. The magazine features very appealing and beautifully illustrated recipes that customers can try while purchasing ingredients at the store.
A visit into a local Sobeys store also provides customers with specialized counters including the gourmet cheese shop, the deli counter, seafood counter and of course the other departments including produce, meat, grocery and bakery.
The deli counter is impressive indeed with hundreds of deli meats and gourmet cheeses. There is a number of specialty dishes designed to appeal to customers for any occasion. There is an increased quantity in the gourmet selection provided.
At the seafood counter, premium hard-shelled Nova Scotia lobster is supplied and customers have the option of having seafood steamed while they shop.
One other major development is the upcoming centralization of procurement activities, which is long overdue in our opinion and will give Sobeys more negotiation power on a national scale. The challenge of this change will be to ensure that Sobeys does not lose touch with its local market sensibilities, which allowed its IGA banner to grow to be the number one grocer in Quebec.
Sobeys has undergone a number of successful shifts in business strategy recently and will continue to benefit from its partnership with Target, at least in the medium term. It’s never easy being “number two” but Sobeys is carving out a unique strategy to help it effectively compete with Loblaw and Walmart in a tight Canadian retail market.
By admin | May 3, 2013
By admin | April 27, 2013
We visited one of Target Canada’s new locations at Shopper’s World in the East End of Toronto and were quite pleased to see the progress this closely watched (and scrutinized) retailer has made since our first visits over a month ago.
We are pleased to report that improvements are being made and we found the overall shopping experience to be quite enjoyable.
Judging by consumer baskets and overheard conversations, the offer seems to be resonating with “normal” shoppers as well.
This report highlights some of our observations on our visits and includes some things that Target is doing quite well and areas that they can still work on as they roll out their network.
Download the report here.
By admin | April 27, 2013
By admin | April 22, 2013
Safeway US recently launched its new Just for U program that offers customized digital coupons for each consumer instead of the regular generic print coupons that have always been available.
It is strongly rumored that Safeway will bring the Just for U program to Canada in 2013 and we wanted to give you a peek behind the curtains at this shopper focused program.
As our way of life becomes more technology focused, Safeway has adapted its marketing approach to remain in line with this technology by being one of the first major stores to help pioneer this new idea.
New deals are offered daily to club members as the program acts like an upgrade of extra savings to the club card. The program is available on the internet and mobile.
The following four key areas are identified in the Just for U program.
The coupon center contains all of the manufacturers coupons and Safeway coupons all in one place. They can be sorted by expiration date, new offers or purchase history. The purchase history determines the coupons a customer has used before and places them at the top of the page for easy visibility under the premise that customers frequently buy similar groceries compared to what they have bought in the past.
Since these coupons are digital, there is no clipping or printing involved and they provide an easy alternative to the regular print coupons. Customers simply have to click ‘add’ on the webpage to put the coupons directly on to a club card.
Your Club Specials
This section displays everything that is currently on sale and which is most important to you based on what you have previously bought.
his section displays offers on items you buy all the time and also on items you may want to buy. In addition to saving you money on things you buy most, it also displays free items. With a simple click and add, personalized offers are displayed based on each customer’s unique shopping history.
All coupons and personalized deals are automatically added to the savings list and it can also be tailored to add your own items as well. You can see the items you buy that are on sale right now and print or email your list. The time commitment for this is a few minutes each week before going shopping.
When asked when the company might scale back on traditional promo spending, Steve Burd, Chairman & CEO Safeway stated “We could get there probably late in 2013 – and as people become more digital, we see it as an opportunity to get out of newspaper ads and personalize the ads for every household.”
This new concept of personalizing deals for each customer provides the company with a unique way to differentiate itself from customers.
This program would put Canada Safeway out in front of its competitors in the Grocery industry, many of whom are just dipping their toes in the field of advanced CRM (Customer Relationship Management), while others have yet to launch their loyalty program.
One question will be how Just for U does fit with the plethora of promotional vehicles Safeway utilizes in-store already, from Air Miles to Club Card Savings programs, to scratch and win contests. A streamlined offering tailored Just for U might actually simplify the offering by only giving shoppers what they really want, when they want it.
By admin | April 19, 2013
By admin | April 14, 2013
I walked into my local Wal-mart store this week as the greeter handed me a new copy of the 1st edition Walmart Live Better magazine produced by Walmart Canada and Rogers. This free, 110 page publication is currently being distributed in Super Centers across English speaking Canada and is available online and for mobile and iPads.
The appealing lemon coconut cake on the front cover, made from a boxed cake mix, resembles something similar to what you might expect to see in a Martha Stewart magazine. Indeed this magazine is designed to read like other Rogers magazines like Chatelaine.
“Canadians want to be inspired by new ideas and stay on budget. With Walmart Live Better they don’t have to make a choice. Our team of experts provide great ideas on how to make dollars go farther with style,” said Editor-in-Chief Sandra Martin.
At a one million print circulation, this magazine will soon become Canada’s largest circulation magazine. It will be published 6 times a year and the website will be updated regularly with exclusive, added value content.
The company has produced this magazine with a large target market in mind of women aged 24-45 years. The resulting content mirrors what women in this age range find important and interesting.
Recipes are a major focus with different recipes provided for lunches, dinner, breakfast, kids and entertaining. There is also a focus on quick, easy, good-tasting meals. Primavera fettuccine with ham and peas is featured and all ingredients for all recipes can be found at Walmart. Many more recipes are provided online.
A spring-cleaning guide features ideas and cleaning products available for sale at Walmart and an outdoor décor guide gives ideas for patio sets and outdoor decor. Baby products and info are also featured along with a picture-taking tips article.
Allergies and remedies are discussed along with nutrition and supplements. Make-up features give great ideas along with a 2013 mom makeover. Lastly, fashion ideas abound for every family member such as the featured different ways to wear a pencil skirt for women.
This magazine does a great job of bringing simple and relevant ideas, tips, advice, information and products to Walmart customers.
Walmart Live Better is the latest in the fast-growing ‘branded editorial content’ arena. Other companies that publish their own magazines include Shoppers Drug Mart with Glow magazine and Canadian Tire with Driver magazine.
Last week, Target launched its inaugural 28-page flyer that showcases deals in the recently opened 24 Canadian stores.
Walmart is ramping right up along to compete with Target in this latest venture. As Canada’s current fastest-growing retailer and most visited store with 8 million Canadians each week, Walmart Live Better is sure to do well.
By admin | April 13, 2013