Nuevo año, nuevos retos: innovar la tienda minorista (mi artículo de la Revista Abasto)

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Una vez pasada la campaña de Navidad, es hora de realizar los correspondientes balances entre ventas y productividad de nuestras tiendas para guardarlos y a realizar las mejoras oportunas de cara a la próxima campaña.

Debemos empezar con la nueva operativa de año nuevo y focalizarnos en seguir atrayendo a nuestros clientes de todo el año y sumar nuevos.

El Yucateco

Es muy importante sintonizar con ellos, así, sabemos que nuestras tiendas físicas son las mejores agencias de publicidad que podemos tener, por lo tanto, es de maxima importancia superarnos día a día en cuanto a trato y servicio a nuestros clientes.

No debemos tener miedo a lanzarnos a las ventas online.

Independientemente del sector minorista que gestionemos (alimentación, moda, electrodomésticos), y del tamaño de nuestra compañía, no debemos tener miedo a lanzarnos a las ventas online. Se trata de fortalecernos con todas las herramientas a nuestro alcance, creando nuevas oportunidades de negocio, y sin grandes inversiones, tratándose del canal online.

La explosión de las ventas en línea no viene sola, debemos apostar por una presencia real en la Red, ejecutándola en primera persona. Nuestro contacto con los clientes a través de redes sociales es vital y hay que reforzarlo a diario.

El sector minorista debe mantener una presencia online tanto como física.

Los nuevos consumidores son unos expertos y conocen a la perfección el canal online, de ahí la importancia en potenciarlo, pero obviamente, sin perder de vista nuestras tiendas físicas. Podemos facilitar a nuestros clientes una perfecta integración entre ambos canales, tanto físico como online, ya que, en muchas ocasiones, el cliente puede comprar en la web, y recoger en tienda. Recordemos que una de las ventajas de tener nuestros negocios online es que se encuentran disponible con un solo click, mientras en la tienda física necesitamos, dependiendo del producto, un vendedor especializado que muchas veces no es siempre el mismo, el mejor preparado o el que conoce la información que demanda el cliente. Una buena opción para contrarrestar esto en las tiendas físicas es instalar pantallas de acceso online en nuestros pasillos, donde el cliente puede consultar todas las características de los productos.

En cuanto al desarrollo de nuestra marca, ya sea una tienda o una cadena de tiendas, el principal objetivo para este año debe ser ‘echar raíces’ en la relación con nuestros clientes, debemos incitar que realicen sus compras periódicas con nosotros, manteniendo el contacto directo con la marca, a través de los planes de fidelización, ofertas y otros beneficios. Nuestra marca ha de ser capaz de crear la necesidad de compra por parte del cliente con nuestras tiendas.

En el negocio minorísta. aunque cada día surgen nuevas fórmulas para adaptar y actualizar nuestros negocios tradicionales, queda mucho por hacer e innovar, la clave es mantenernos despiertos a estas nuevas fórmulas y no escatimar en esfuerzos para poder estar constantemente actualizados y a la vanguardia de nuestros sectores.

New Year, New Goal: Updating the Retail Store (my Abasto Magazine article).

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Now that Christmas is over, it is time to strike the appropriate balance between sales and productivity to update our retail stores and make the necessary improvements for next season.

We must begin with initiatives for the New Year, focusing on attracting our customers all year. And as always, we must continue adding new ones.

Manzela peanuts

It is very important to be in tune with our customers, and our physical stores are the best advertising agencies that we have. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to outdo ourselves from one day to another as we improve our customer service and treatment.

We can’t be afraid of launching into online sales.

Regardless of the retail sector we manage (food, fashion, home appliances) and the size of our company, we can’t be afraid of launching into online sales. We venture into online sales specifically to fortify ourselves with all the tools at our disposal, creating new business opportunities without large investments.

The explosion of online sales does not happen by itself. We need to aim for a real presence on the Web, running it personally. Our contact with customers through social networks is vital and must be strengthened daily.

In the retail sector,  you must maintain both your online and physical presence.

The new consumers are experts and are perfectly familiar with the online channel, hence the importance encourage it, but obviously, without losing sight of our physical stores. We can provide our customers seamless integration between the two channels — both physical and online — since, in many cases, the customer can buy on the web and pick up the product in the store. Recall that one of the advantages of having our businesses online is that they are available with a single click. On the other hand, in the physical store we may need, depending on the product, a specialized vendor that is not always the same, for example, the one that is the best prepared or knows the information that the customer requires. A good option for countering this in physical stores is to install screens in our online access aisles, where customers can consult all the product features.

Regarding the development of our brand, whether it consists of a store or chain of stores, the main goal for this year should be to strenghten the relationships we havewith our customers. We must get them to shop with us regularly, maintaining direct contact with the brand — through loyalty plans, offers and other benefits. Our brand must be able to instil in the customer the need to buy in our stores.

Although new ways to adapt and update our traditional businesses emerge in retail every day, much remains to be done.. The key is to stay awake to these new formulas and spare no efforts in keeping updated, so that we can stand at the forefront of our sector.

J.C. Penney overcomes warm weather with omnichannel.

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Less than 12 hours after Macy’s shared bleak holiday results, J.C. Penney said enhanced digital capabilities helped it to produce strong holiday season same store sales growth which allowed the company to reaffirm its full year profit forecast.

J.C. Penney said same store sales for November and December increased 3.9% on top of a prior year increase of 3.7% and confirmed that it would achieve earlier financial targets of $645 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and generate positive free cash flow. Barring a major fall off in January sales, the 3.9% increase through November and December has J.C. Penney well positioned to achieve its full year outlook which called for same store sales growth of 4% to 5%, considering comps during the first, second and third quarters increased 3.4%, 4.1% and 6.4%, respectively.

“Despite unprecedented warm weather that significantly affected apparel sales across the company, our focus on private brands, enhanced omnichannel execution and compelling gift giving selection resulted in strong holiday sales,” said J.C. Penney CEO Marvin Ellison. “I am especially pleased with the accelerated comp sales improvement from November to December, including record online sales for the company during the holiday season.”

J.C. Penney’s affirmation that it will achieve performance targets shared early in the year is not remarkable on the surface. However, the results take on greater significance when viewed against a backdrop in which record warm temperatures throughout the holiday season cast considerable doubt about other retailers’ ability to achieve sales targets. Also making J.C. Penney’s performance noteworthy is that it comes on the heels of hugely disappointing news from Macy’s. The day before J.C. Penney’s announcement on Jan. 7, Macy’s said its November and December same store sales declined 4.7%, worse than earlier guidance which called for a decline of 2% to 3%, and lowered its full year profit forecast.

J.C. Penney can breathe a sigh of relief that it appears to have weathered the holiday season better than others, but Ellison noted the company’s transformation remains a work in progress as it looks to build on omnichannel progress evident during the holidays.

“Although we have much work to do, our strengthened omnichannel capabilities enabled our supply chain network to process millions of jcp.com orders this season, supported by 250 stores across the country that helped fulfill online orders using in-store inventory,” Ellison said. “With this level of selection, we saw more online customers take advantage of our in-store pick up option available at over 1,000 JCPenney stores nationwide. We look forward to capitalizing on this digital progress through 2016.”

The company will report its fourth quarter and fiscal 2015 results on Feb. 26.

El Gobierno Valenciano mediará en la pugna entre las diferentes DO de vinos valencianos.

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La pugna entre las Denominaciones de Origen (DO) del vino de Alicante y Utiel-Requena contra la DO Valencia es sólo una batalla artificial de territorios, sin incidencia en las ventas, que protagonizan las marcas, según han declarado bodegueros de las tres DO a Economía Digital.

El conflicto entre las tres DO surge en 2011 a partir de que Alicante (14.000 Ha.) y Utiel-Requena (34.000 Ha.) entienden que la marca Valencia (13.000 Ha.) les resta personalidad. Hace una semana el Tribunal superior de Justicia de la Comunidad Valenciana falló a favor de la DO Valencia, para que todas pudieran funcionar bajo el paraguas Valencia. Los de Alicante y Utiel-Requena van a recurrir al Supremo.

Los bodegueros de la Comunidad Valenciana, que comercializaron en 2014 más de 46 millones de botellas, entienden que el cliente acaba comprando por marca de vino y para conseguir este objetivo las empresas envasadoras han de hacer mucho marketing, que no tiene nada que ver con las DO.

Del cava a la DO Rueda

Según los bodegueros la artificialidad de la territorialidad queda probado con el cava, con una DO que se extiende a más de 62 municipios de toda España, desde que en 1987 el Tribunal Supremo sentenció que el método podía utilizarse fuera de Cataluña.

Freixenet por ejemplo, compra en la comarca valenciana de Utiel-Requena el 80 % de la uva que puede destinarse a cava, porque al final este método necesita una temperatura, una tierra, sol y una humedad que se da en esta comarca, por encima de que esté en Cataluña o en Valencia. La DO Cava es suprarregional.

Por otro lado, la DO Rueda lleva desde hace años en una pugna burocrática con la Junta de Castilla y León y el Ministerio de Agricultura, sin que ello esté afectando a las marcas que venden vino de esta DO.

El negocio es el negocio

Los bodegueros insisten que al final el vino es un negocio de mercado no de territorio y que ellos son los que crean ese mercado, aunque reconocen que en cada tierra y en cada clima se da una variedad y una calidad del vino. Y todos apuestan porque esta apuesta por el mercado les está dando buenos resultados económicos.

Comerciantes frente a productores, aunque algunas veces coinciden. Las grandes marcas españolas sólo cultivan un porcentaje pequeño de lo que venden. Para llegar a su nivel de rentabilidad compran vino donde sea, al margen de la DO, lo que demuestra la escasa importancia de estos aparatos administrativos, según ellos.

El gerente de pago de Tharsy, Vicente García, una marca líder en España, tanto en cava como en vinos, se pregunta: ¿Hablamos sentimientos o de economía? Porque como dicen otros bodegueros las DO acaban defendiendo sólo el terruño, no el negocio. Las DO viven de cuotas por hectáreas de viñedo y por botellas. Hay muchas y pobres, dicen los bodegueros.

El granel es el líder

Se da la paradoja que de los 43 millones de Hl que produce España la mayor parte es para granel, que se utiliza en colorantes naturales (lo gasta la Coca Cola), alcoholes y consumo barato. Nuestro vino a granel es el más barato de los grandes países productores del mundo.

Castilla La Mancha produce el 56% del total del vino en España, que alcanza record de viñedos en el mundo pero somos superados por Francia e Italia en producción de vino. Franceses e italianos beben más vino que los españoles e invierten más por marca para exportar sus productos.

En la comarca valenciana de Utiel-Requena, una de las mayores zonas de producción de vino de España, solo se embotella el 10 % de la producción. El resto va para granel.

La estética del vino

Los bodegueros consultados por ED insisten que todo es cuestión de marketing. Petrus o Vega Sicilia alcanzan el precio que tiene por el marketing que lleva detrás como vino de lujo, no por su valor como producto frente a otras marcas.

Destacan que los vinos franceses guardan una estética hasta en los viñedos, para generar una imagen de marca de alto valor que se traduce en precio. Aquí están apostando por esta estética los bodegueros de La Rioja.

Pero el consumidor tiene mucha confusión. Santa Rosa, un buen vino de Bodegas Mendoza con DO Alicante, es muchas veces confundido como un vino de La Rioja, simplemente porque suena mucho. Las DO no sirven en estos casos. Y los bodegueros explican el caso de viñedos de Nájera (Logroño) a partir de plantones criados en Bodegas Gandía.

Los bodegueros se preguntan cuál es el papel de las DO cuando en ellas están representados sindicatos, administración e instituciones que no pintan nada en el mundo del vino. Lo que ha llevado a una falta de control de la producción que baja los precios en el campo por exceso de oferta de uva.

Holiday scorecard: winners, losers and those in between

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In what was arguably one of the strangest holiday season in recent memory – for a variety of reasons – retailers have reported a variety of results ranging from impressive to outright awful.

A strange mix of crosscurrents made the recently ended holiday season made for one of the most unusual and challenging selling environments in recent memory. Exceptionally low gas prices had a muted impact as did a job market that was seemingly improved but characterized by a lack of wage growth. While retailers were coping with factors affecting consumers ability to spend, they were also dealing with the an always intensely competitive time of year made even more so by the forces of e-commerce coupled with increased expense pressures associated with executing complex omnichannel sales and fulfillment strategies.

The first week of the New Year saw a wide range of companies disclose what proved to be a real mixed bag of results for the holiday season. A handful of others reported third quarter results that included the early part of the season. Here’s a look at how they fared in no particular order:

Macy’s: Yikes! November and December same store sales at Macy’s declined 4.7%, much worse than what was already disappointing guidance that called for a 2% to 3% decline. The weak topline prompted the company to lower its profit outlook, disclose the locations of 40 previously announced store closures and lay off thousands in stores and at headquarters. One bright spot was online, where the company said it achieved 25% growth and filled nearly 17 million orders. Chairman and CEO Terry Lundgren said the company was particularly disadvantage by the warm weather. “About 80% of our company’s year-over-year declines in comparable sales can be attributed to shortfalls in cold-weather goods such as coats, sweaters, boots, hats, gloves and scarves,” Lundgren said. “We also continued to feel the impact of lower spending by international tourists as the value of the dollar remained strong.”

J.C. Penney: What warm weather? J.C. Penney produced a 3.9% same stores sales increase in November and December, putting it on a trajectory to achieve its full year forecast of comps in the 4% to 5% range after reporting inreases of 3.4%, 4.1% and 6.4% in the first, second and third quarters. CEO Marvin Ellison did say warm weather negatively affected apparel sales, but touted the company’s success with private brands, compelling gift offerings and solid omnichannel execution with orders place online shipped from 250 stores. “I am especially pleased with the accelerated comp sales improvement from November to December, including record online sales for the company during the holiday season,” Ellison said.

Hhgregg: No weather excuses here. This operator of 227 stores said same store sales for its third quarter ended Dec. 31 declined 11%. The decline was most pronounced in the computer and tablet category where comps declined an estimated 35%, followed by a 10% decline in appliances, an 8% decline in consumer electronics and a 3% increase in home products. CEO Dennis May said, “we were challenged by the competitive pressures in the market.”

Conn’s: A 13.9% same store sales increase in the furniture and mattress category, wasn’t enough to offset weakness in electronics, home office and other categories, resulting in an overall comp decline of 5.9% for the period ended Dec. 31. “Excluding the impact of our decision to exit video game products, digital cameras, and certain tablets, same store sales for December increased 1.8%,” said Conn’s CEO Norm Miller.

American Eagle Outfitters: Fourth quarter same store sales to date increased 4% at American Eagle, the company said in press release on Jan. 8 that affirmed its profit forecast. CEO Jay Schottenstein said the company had a solid holiday season despite a very challenging environment. “The online business was particularly strong, and we leveraged our omnichannel tools to deliver an improved customer experience,” Schottenstein said.

Gordmans: This operator of 102 discount department stores played the weather card in explaining why its 1.9% same store sales decline in November and December was worse than expected. President and CEO Andy Hall said, “Following a positive start to the fourth quarter, sales declined in December as unfavorably warm weather throughout our upper Midwest foot print negatively impacted pre-Christmas store traffic. Full fourth quarter sales are expected to decline between 1% and 1.5% versus an earlier forecast that had comps ranging from flat to up 2%.

Finish Line: After weathering a disastrous third quarter, this operator of more than 1,000 predominantly mall-based athletic footwear and apparel stores said it expects same store sales to increase in the low to mid single digit range in the fourth quarter ending Feb. 27. Comps declined 5.8% in the third quarter ended Nov. 28, largely due to supply chain issues cause by the implementation of a new warehouse and order management system. The problems have been resolved, according to Chairman and CEO Glenn Lyon.

Bed Bath & Beyond: This leading home goods hinted of holiday challenges ahead when it preannounced weak sales and profit estimates on Dec. 22, for its third quarter that ended November 28. Sure enough, comps during the period, which included most of Thanksgiving weekend, were essentially flat, on a constant currency basis, with a decline in stores offset by online growth. The company said expects it fourth quarter comps to be flat to up 2%.

Gap Inc.: Total sales for the five weeks ended Jan. 2 fell 3% on a constant currency basis and same store sales fell 5%. Comps declined 9% at Banana Republic, 7% at Old Navy and 2% at Gap.

Container Store: This operator of 77 stores revealed that it expects fourth quarter same store sales to decline between 3% and 5% when it announced ddddor the third quarter ended Nov. 28 on Jan. 8. Third quarter comps increased 0.5%, but the introduction of free shipping in April on orders of more than $75 dinged profits.

Costco: The nation’s leading membership warehouse club had an okay holiday season with same store sales at U.S. clubs up 4%, excluding the impact of gasoline sales.

Five Below: Things were looking up at Five Below during the nine week period ended Jan. 2. Same store sales increased 4.1%, which prompted CEO Joel Anderson to say, “We are very pleased with our strong performance across both new and existing stores during the all-important holiday season which illustrates the broad appeal and value proposition of Five Below.” Exciting and cohesive marketing improved brand awareness of Five Below’s.

Children’s Place: This operator of nearly 1,100 stores blew away its sales expectations for the holiday season with same store sales up 7.3% for the first nine weeks of its fourth quarter, far better than guidance that called for a low single digit increase and a prior year gain of 7.3%. The strong results prompted CEO Jane Elfers to comment, “We have consistently stated that our multi-pronged transformation strategy would begin to deliver results in the back half of 2015 and our announcement today clearly indicates that we are on track.”

Toys “R” Us: Toys “R” Us produced surprisingly strong results, especially online, despite operating in what is arguably the most competitive of all holiday categories. Same store sales at domestic stores increased 2.9% while internationally comps increased 5.1%, on a constant currency basis, during the five week period ended Jan. 2. The company said it enjoyed particular strength in online sales, but did not disclose a percentage growth rate, with core toy, learning and seasonal categories generating the strongest growth. “Our positive holiday same store sales results demonstrate our ability to execute our holiday plan in a highly competitive marketplace,” said Toys “R” Us CEO Dave Brandon. “We successfully maintained a strong in-stock position on the hottest toys while offering customers competitive prices and an extensive merchandise assortment, both in stores and online.”

Barnes & Noble: The operator of 640 stores and BN.com said its “core” same store sales for the nine-week holiday period ended Jan. 2, increased 1.6% on top of a prior year increase of 1.7%. Retail sales, which include Barnes & Noble stores and BN.com, declined 0.8% to $1.1 billion. Sales of the company’s NOOK products declined 25.8% to $41.2 million which caused total company same store sales to increase 0.6%. CEO Ron Boire said the company was pleased with the performance of its bookstores, adding, “We were also encouraged by the improved performance of BN.com during December, as the site remained stable and traffic improved through the holiday period.”

Fred’s: This Memphis-based operator of 659 discount stores – 376 with a pharmacy – said same store sales for December increased 2.4%, however that was on top of prior year decline of 1.4%. Commenting on the December results, CEO Jerry Shore said he was pleased and attributed the growth to holiday season merchandising initiatives and the specialty pharmacy business. Strength in the general merchandise and holiday gift-giving areas were offset by weakness in the retail pharmacy business due to the low incidence of cold and flu activity.

Tandy Leather Factory: December was a good month for leather. Tandy Leather Factory CEO Jon Thompson said the company set a new monthly record with sales of $9.1 million and, importantly, it did so without sacrificing margin to cap off what had been a challenging year. Same store sales at the company’s 82 retail leathercraft stores increased 3%.

Stein Mart: This operator of 278 off-price department stores said its same stores sales increased 1.8% during the five week period ended Jan. 2, on top of a prior year increase of 5.8%.

The Buckle: Things were pretty quiet for this operator of 469 mall-based apparel, footwear and accessories stores. Same store sales declined 5.4%.

Signet Jewelers: The world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry, with banners such as Kay, Jared and Zale, got even bigger during the eight weeks ended Dec. 26. Total same store sales increased 4.9% on top of a prior year increase of 3.6%, giving the company confidence that it would achieve the upper end of its profit forecast. CEO Mark Light said, “Signet delivered excellent holiday sales as a result of the successful execution of our product, marketing, and omnichannel selling strategies, as well as our superior customer experience.”

Walmart to close 269 stores including all ‘Express’ sites.

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Wal-Mart Stores on Friday said it would close 269 stores — 154 of them in the U.S. including all of its 102 Walmart Express small-format stores.

The decision to close the stores follows a review of the retailer’s portfolio initiated in October to ensure its stores were aligned with its strategy, Walmart said. In total, the impacted stores represent less than 1% of Walmart’s 11,600 stores worldwide. The closures are expected to impact 16,000 employees, including 10,000 in the U.S.

“Actively managing our portfolio of assets is essential to maintaining a healthy business,” Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart, said in a statement. “Closing stores is never an easy decision, but it is necessary to keep the company strong and positioned for the future. It’s important to remember that we’ll open well more than 300 stores around the world next year. So we are committed to growing, but we are being disciplined about it.”

As previously reported in SN, Walmart a year ago dialed back plans to expand through the Express format, which was launched in a test phase in 2011, folding the 12,000- to 16,000-square-foot stores into its food-and-drug Neighborhood Market division. The company at one time envisioned the concept to potentially number in the thousands and serve as a defense against fast-growing small discounters like Dollar General. Express stores were largely concentrated in the Carolinas and in Texas.

Walmart said it would instead focus on strengthening Supercenters, optimizing Neighborhood Markets, growing its e-commerce business and expanding pickup services. The U.S. closures also include 23 Neighborhood Markets, 12 Supercenters, seven stores in Puerto Rico, six discount centers, and four Sam’s Clubs. Walmart said it would publish a list of the intended store closures shortly.

More than 95% of the closing stores in the U.S. are within 10 miles on average of another Walmart, “and the hope is that these associates will be placed in nearby locations,” Walmart said. “Where that isn’t possible, the company will provide 60 days of pay and, if eligible, severance, as well as resume and interview skills training. Whether with Walmart or elsewhere, the company’s objective is to help all associates find their next job opportunity.”

Domestically, Walmart intends to open 50 to 60 Supercenters and 85 to 95 Neighborhood Markets in fiscal 2017, which begins Feb. 1. In the same period, Sam’s Club plans to open between seven and 10 new locations.

Internationally, Walmart intends to open between 200 and 240 stores during the coming year. The closures announced Friday also include 115 stores outside the U.S. — 60 money-losing sites in Brazil and 55 in other Latin American markets.

Walmart estimated the closures would result in a financial hit of 20 cents to 22 cents per share, with most of it to be recognized in its current fourth quarter. Approximately 75% of the impact relates to U.S. closings and the remaining portion involves Walmart International, with a large majority of that relating to closures in Brazil. Walmart will report its fiscal 2016 fourth-quarter and full-year results on Feb. 18.

SuperSano inaugura su segunda tienda en Valencia.

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La cadena de supermercados ecológicos SuperSano abrirá mañana en Valencia un nuevo establecimiento en la calle Jesús número 105, junto al mercado del mismo nombre y que se suma al que ya tiene en el centro de la ciudad.

Los supermercados SuperSano integran todos los productos necesarios para la alimentación y el hogar en su versión ecológica. Cuenta con más 3.000 referencias distintas repartidas en las secciones habituales de cualquier supermercado convencional: panadería, frutas y verduras, carnes, lácteos, snacks, bebidas, limpieza e higiene personal. También incluye herboristería, cosmética natural y productos tanto para celíacos como para otras intolerancias alimentarias.

En 2013 inició una estrategia de crecimiento y expansión nacional con un goteo de aperturas que ha incrementado el número de tiendas desde las 4 con que contaba en ese momento hasta las 12 con las que inicia 2016. En este momento, la cadena está presente en Alicante, Elche, Altea, Murcia, Albacete, Zaragoza, Valencia y Madrid, en esta última con 4 supermercados. Para este ejercicio tiene previsto mantener el mismo ritmo de inauguraciones  -en 2015 abrió 5 establecimientos- de modo que espera finalizar el año con al menos 16 tiendas.

El modelo de SuperSano responde a la creciente preocupación de los consumidores por la salud, la seguridad alimentaria y el respeto y cuidado por el medio ambiente en la producción de los alimentos. Su objetivo es promover la cultura ecológica entre la población española como un modo de vida, y, para que así sea, se ha propuesto que el precio de los productos ecológicos no sea un impedimento para los que se quieren iniciar en el consumo de estos productos. Con ese fin, su estrategia comercial se centra en igualar cada vez más el precio al de un supermercado convencional a través de su Tarjeta Descuento (que garantiza en cada compra un ahorro de entre el 10 y el 25%) y procurando una economía de escala con la rápida expansión de sus tiendas.

Consumers put a premium on specialty coffee pods.

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With premium and artisanal single-serve coffee pods, the average cup of joe is getting an upgrade.

Retailers report growing demand for upscale blends, sweet and seasonal flavors and textural components like froth or foam. Eco-friendly packaging is also of interest to shoppers who opt for the single-serve brew method.

Chicago-based IGA reports that craft brew brands like Peet’s are particularly popular.

Hazelnut and French Vanilla Cappuccino pods are among the private label flavors introduced by IGA.

Hazelnut and French Vanilla Cappuccino pods are among the private label flavors introduced by IGA.

“What is selling best now within retail independents are premiums or craft brands,” said Dave Bennett, SVP of procurement and exclusive brands for the voluntary network of 4,000 supermarkets worldwide. “Peet’s and Gevalia do very well here, along with Starbuck’s. Each of these brands offers dark roasts and various blends, like breakfast blend and Kona blend, and cappuccinos are seeing additional play with people who appreciate the added foam or froth texture.”

Cappuccino has captured enough attention for IGA to market its own private label version. It launched single-serve IGA Signature brand cappuccino cups in French Vanilla and Hazelnut flavors earlier this year.

Other coffee varieties in the IGA Signature line include Breakfast Blend, Coastal Blend, Donut Shop, Hazelnut, House Blend and Decaf Breakfast Blend. In 2016, IGA will unveil seasonal flavored pods merchandised in shipper displays.

Premium brands like Peet’s and Gevalia are also sold at Cincinnati-based Kroger stores. Peet’s flavors range from a spiced Holiday Blend and medium- and dark-roasted varieties to regional renditions like Sumatra, Colombia and Guatemala San Marcos.

Gevalia offers unique flavors like Pumpkin Spice Latte, Caramel Macchiato, and Peppermint Mocha Latte while Starbuck’s has its own creative collection of one-cup concoctions, including Holiday Blonde, Caffé Verona and Pike Place Roast.

The influx of upscale offerings into the market in recent years is no surprise to Elizabeth Sisel, beverage analyst for Chicago-based market research company, Mintel. According to Mintel’s September 2015 Coffee report, 83% of surveyed consumers  believe there should be better quality coffee available in single-pod form.

“Craft roasters and coffee shops are really the ones able to fit the description of premium and artisan trends best,” said Sisel. “Because big brands are associated with large scale production, fitting into artisan trends will be more challenging.”

Sisel sees potential in private label premium pods. But only if retailers can find a way to make affordable artisan offerings, since many shoppers seek lower-priced premium products.

‘Explosion’ of unique brews

Jackie Gray, director at Willard Bishop, a Barrington, Ill. consulting firm, reported a strong desire for unique flavors that has resulted in an “explosion” of new varieties within this single-serve segment of the coffee category over the past year.

According to the firm’s annual SuperStudy, a wall-to-wall look at product performance in traditional grocery, the number of flavored coffee pods (as opposed to unflavored coffee pods) jumped from 13% in 2014 to 21% in 2015.

Single serve coffee consumers are seeking a premium coffee experience with upscale blends and textural elements, like foam, at home.

Single serve coffee consumers are seeking a premium coffee experience with upscale blends and textural elements, like foam, at home.

“New flavors tend to mimic specialty drinks in coffee houses,” said Gray. “Nespresso’s egg nog, Coconut Mocha by Donut Shop and Kahlua’s Kahlua flavor are just some of the flavors I’ve seen.”Dunkin’ Donuts puts out a Bakery Series line of pods with flavors like Blueberry Muffin, Caramel Coffee Cake, Chocolate Glazed Donut, Old Fashioned Donut, Cinnamon Coffee Roll and Vanilla Cupcake. Gloria Jean’s offers Mudslide and Macadamia Cookie while Van Houtte makes Raspberry Chocolate Truffle and Crème Brûlée.

“There are also entrants in the pure, unflavored coffee pods which mimic a more high-end coffee experience, like Green Mountain’s Breakfast Blend and Nantucket Blend, Folgers Lively Colombian, and Tully’s Italian Roast,” said Gray. “Then there are coffee house brands like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts that appeal to consumers not just because of their offerings, but because of the experience they provide.”

They’re likely training consumers’ palates to expect the same in-store offerings, only replicated at home, she added.

Americans are also looking to switch things up, with seven in 10 of those surveyed for Mintel’s Coffee study reporting that they prefer variety packs.

“This sentiment is significantly truer with Millennials and less likely with older generations,” said Sisel. “Supermarkets should look to cater to their main consumer base, depending on who that is. Half of Baby Boomers, for example, say they prefer single-cup variety packs, but the other half do not.”

Miquel Alimentació llegará a China con un GM (Gros Mercat)

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Unos 300 proveedores de Miquel Alimentació se han interesado por exportar sus productos a China después de que el grupo gerundense fuese adquirido en septiembre por el gigante chino Brigth Food, ha explicado este martes el director general de la compañía de Vilamalla, Pere Laymon, en un almuerzo con prensa.

Ello supone más del 50% de los proveedores de Miquel Alimentació que operan a nivel español, mientras que el otro 50% son pequeños productores locales sin volumen suficiente para exportar, sumando un total de más de 1.000 empresas.

El equipo directivo de la que es la primera empresa del sector mayorista de distribución alimentaria en España se ha mantenido pese al cambio de control, que ha pasado de la familia Miquel a la empresa pública con sede en Shanghai.

Laymon ha detallado que Bright Food no tiene planes de importación de productos chinos a España, sino que busca llevar a China productos españoles y europeos.

En los tres meses que lleva trabajando con Miquel Alimentació para ello, ya se han transportado 20 contenedores por vía marítima con productos como vino, tomates, aceite y naranjas, y está en negociación un pedido de aceite de girasol desde Ucrania valorado en 8 millones de euros.

La próxima semana se celebrará un consejo de Miquel Alimentació para tratar el plan trienal 2016-2018 de la compañía en España, que ya había elaborado antes de la entrada del nuevo accionista mayoritario, mientras que en abril presentará otro para el mercado chino, todavía por definir.

En todo caso, la compañía ya avanzó en octubre que han mirado terrenos para abrir un cash&carry en el mercado central de Shanghai, que mantendrá la denominación utilizada en España –GMcash– y que Bright Food quiere abrir este año, ha explicado Laymon.

200 CONTRATACIONES EN ESPAÑA

Los planes para España en 2016 pasan por una inversión de más de 20 millones de euros, con la puesta en marcha de cinco cash&carry GMcash-Gros Mercat y de diez gasolineras, que alcanzarán las 25 a finales de 2017.

Además, se implantará servicio de entrega en diversos centros, de forma que la compañía prevé ampliar la plantilla en unas 200 personas en el país –la plantilla es de más de 2.500 empleados en todo el mundo–, ha calculado el director general.

Miquel Alimentació, que cuenta con 2.400 referencias propias y alrededor de 20.000 de marca de fabricante, cerró 2015 con una facturación de 1.010 millones de euros y un ebitda de 26,1, frente a los 900 millones y 24 de 2014, respectivamente.

Actualmente cuenta con más de 675 puntos de venta entre Cash&Carry y supermercados franquiciados; más de 2.000 clientes entre detallistas independientes y distribuidores locales; la división Export y la de restauración organizada Food Service.

 

The Disruptors: Food industry game changers.

 

At just 21, Wes Schroll is reinventing grocery shopping for Millennials; Blue Apron’s founders are cultivating a new generation of home chefs; and Whole Foods’ global grocery coordinator is attracting young consumers through product transparency.

They are among SN’s carefully curated list of 25 food industry Disruptors, who, for better or for worse, are bucking the status quo and shaking up the way food retailers do business.

In addition to responding to new consumer trends and in some cases pioneering them, SN’s Disruptors, which were selected by SN’s editors in consultation with industry experts, represent those who are innovating online, influencing store formats and competition, and shaking up the business world.

Check out our list of Disruptors below, and the linked profiles of these industry notables, authored by SN’s editors and our IdeaXchange partners.

INNOVATING ONLINE

• Apoorva Mehta, CEO and founder, Instacart, has developed and expanded Instacart to make it possible for supermarket operators of all sizes to offer home delivery.

• Matt Wadiak, Matt Salzberg and Illia Papas, co-founders of Blue Apron, are changing eating habits while cultivating a new generation of home chefs.

• Kieran Shanahan, who as VP of operations, Walmart.com, is at the forefront of Walmart’s multimillion-dollar e-commerce expansion, connecting stores to online grocery shoppers

• As VP of AmazonFresh Tom Weiland may set consumer expectations for online grocery before some traditional retailers even get in the game.


TARGETING NEW CONSUMER PREFERENCES

• Co-founders of the weekly Smorgasburg food festival, Eric Demby and Jonathan Butler tapped into the possibilities for food’s future by bringing together creative food makers and enthusiastic eaters.

Wendy Collie, CEO of New Seasons Market, a designated B Corp company, seeks to serve as a model for other companies.

• Chipotle’s chief creative and development officer, Mark Crumpacker, is molding the chain’s “Food with Integrity” messaging that is shaking up the food industry as a whole.

• Eataly founder Oscar Farinetti is making his mark with high-volume destination stores dedicated to quality products and immersive guest experiences that don’t follow the rules of any one format.

Paul Lightfoot, CEO of BrightFarms, makes sure there’s an established market for BrigthFarms’ greenhouse-grown produce before constructing a new project, allowing the company to scale faster than competitors.

• PRE Brands founder and CEO Lenny Lebovich is responsible for creative disruption in the meat section, which signals a new vision for the production and distribution of beef.

Suzy Monford, CEO of Andronico’s and a certified holistic health coach, is transforming the industry’s health and wellness approach by adding fitness to the equation.

Wes Schroll, the 21-year-old CEO of Fetch Rewards, is reinventing grocery shopping for Millennials with a mobile app that allows shoppers to scan items as they shop, and receive manufacturer discounts and additional savings.

• Whole Foods Market’s executive global grocery coordinator, Errol Schweizer, is pioneering trends such as GMO transparency and driving consumer and supplier buy-in.


INFLUENCING STORE FORMATS AND COMPETITION

Brian Cornell, CEO and chairman of Target Corp., is initiating changes in Target’s food assortment to appeal to Millennial tastes, with an emphasis on natural, healthy and good-for-you items.

Jodie Daubert, merchandising head of Ahold Fresh Formats, is crafting the assortment of a first-of-its-kind store.

• Aldi CEO Jason Hart is rolling out small-format, limited-assortment Aldi at a fast pace, and evolving the banner as quickly as he’s blanketing new markets.

• Sprouts Farmers Market CEO and former CFO Amin Maredia is investing in technology and human resources to keep the momentum of Sprouts Farmers Market, going.

Gil Phipps, VP of corporate brands for Kroger, is taking the “corporate” out of Kroger’s brands by giving them a strong dose of personality.

Brendan Proctor, CEO of Lidl US, is causing retailers to put their defensive plans in action, two years before any stores are due to open.


SHAKING UP THE BUSINESS WORLD

Alex Behring, Jorge Paulo Lemann, Carlos Alberto Sicupira, Marcel Telles and Roberto Thompson, founders of 3G Capital, are applying aggressive cost-cutting measures to the U.S. food and beverage companies they acquire.

• Cerberus Capital Management founder Stephen Feinberg’s “backing of Albertsons is the best example of distribution done right in the industry,” says Neil Stern, senior partner at McMillanDoolittle.

Food Safety Modernization Act brings far-reaching changes to the way every step of the supply chain defends and monitors food.

Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, pursues a fearless critique of the food industry.

The state of Vermont has mandated GMO labeling.

Margo Wootan, nutrition policy director for Center for Science in Public Interest, led the effort to require calorie labeling on menus.

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