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Stop & Shop Strikes Out For Easter!

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Stop & Shop Strikes Out For Easter!

By Joel Albrizio

As Retailers How Do We Gain & Hold Sales...During & After This Stop & Shop Strike?

While I am a business owner I will not pretend to have the answers for what is really taking place with the Stop & Shop strike. As a business owner in retail food we understand the incredible headwinds of running a business today. However as a vendor we understand how difficult it is to do business when we face reductions in the marketing budgets of our customers.

It is likely we will never understand the real nuts and bolts of the how & why this strike took place. It seems fair to say the differences between the parties were significant enough to have both sides say enough and walk away from the table.

What Could We Do As Retailers To Capture & Keep These New Found Retail Sales?

Some of our supermarket retailers are bag stuffing coupons or bonus buy type specials that can be redeemed anywhere from four to eight weeks out. This effect of releasing specials now that can be redeemed over a protracted time period are often called bounce back coupons.

Many supermarket marketing executives are running additional perishable "3" day sales via eMail. These eMails are responsive to the strike as it continues each day. The complication today is the supermarkets are now so busy it is difficult to be both reactive and proactive at the same time.

There Is Some Great Talent On Strike This Week!

From local and national politics these striking employees seem to have not only local but national political support. Is this an opportunity to interview employees that otherwise might not be looking to make an employment move?

How about supporting the striking employees with coffee or drinks every so many hours. Does it make sense to have pizza or some food delivered even if only once per day? While controversial, goodwill is goodwill. Local employees and even more important local shoppers just might find a local retailer suddenly means something they now miss.

In retail "Local" has lots of strength. Most feel local is often stronger than the term organic. Your business is local. Stop & Shop is not. We need to do everything every day to annunciate what shop local really means. Today is that day.

The answers to these questions will be different for each retailer. The key is this Stop & Shop strike is a long term opportunity for every retailer who sells food. Lets not miss this long term opportunity while we reap short term sales.

Many have asked why I choose to write about what I see in the supermarket industry today and my ideas. At Bad-Adz Digital, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife we believe great ideas and the resulting branding will give new life and direction to any company. So for that reason we chose to open the discussion.

Yes, I understand I probably misspelled something or butchered the English language in a few places, the goal however was to open your minds to new ideas. 

Joel Albrizio Bad-Adz Digital, Bad-AdzVideos.com PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife

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Seriously? Too Old For Digital?

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Seriously? Too Old For Digital?

By Joel Albrizio

"Independent Retailers...Their Customers Are Too Old For Digital"

I shared an article Sunday on LinkedIn from eMarketer. Here is the link to that article.

https://www.emarketer.com/content/online-grocery-shopping-is-reaching-a-tipping-point

The article is much of what as retailers we already fully understand. In waves the consumer today, in every age group is migrating towards digital. Customers will choose the specials they enjoy most and where they will shop for them online.

Where Does The Printed Ad Fit In All Of This...Is The Printed Ad A Fit?

As supermarket customers we service migrate to digital we believe the printed ad does remain relevant. Many of our retailers distribute printed circulars once or twice per month while employing digital to reach the consumer every week.

KPMG recently published a study showing that close to half (48%) of US grocery shoppers currently purchase at least some of their groceries online and 59% intend to in 2019. Those who plan to do 40% or more of their grocery shopping online make up the fastest-growing segment—from 17% in 2018 to 25% in 2019. 

So if we imagine 59% of U.S. grocery shoppers intend to purchase at lease some of their groceries online in 2019 how many will do so with a laptop or phone in one hand and a printed ad in the other hand. This digital referral reaches what was referred to as the tipping point. Digital is here to stay and together as an industry we need to figure this out.

Independent Retailers Experience Flat Retail Sales As The New Good?

In conversations every day independent retailers either tell us one of the following latest talking points. Flat sales are the new good or My customers are too old for digital marketing.

If this philosophy is in fact correct, and I believe it is, then as an industry we have accepted intended irrelevance in the absence of a digital plan as our retail customer ages and independent supermarket sales diminish with our older consumer demographic.

Kroger Is Digital...Kroger Will Survive & Perhaps Even Thrive!

Kroger like many of the major retail supermarkets has adapted with the times. Kroger has both accepted and adapted to changes in the marketplace. According to Yael Cosset, chief digital officer of Kroger, we have done everything to make the ability to shop digitally available to all of our customers throughout the U.S.

As independent grocers we have the unique opportunity to make almost instant price and item decisions digitally as soon as we understand the big boxes price points. Then digitally we can extend those now established right priced items to all of the potential shoppers likely to shop our store.

Lets dig a little deeper and accept casual dining as a real competitor as well. How will we invite the shopper to enjoy our best prepared food options or tell a customer what time we will open after the storm weeks in advance while planning a printed ad?

Let me close with these talking points....

My customer is too old for digital...Yet the largest growing digital demographic is the elderly.

My customer can't afford a computer or a cell phone...But the same shopper will spend $19.70 a week for the Boston Globe?

There are government sponsored programs for those in need for cell phones. Does any state have a financially subsidized program for the daily newspaper?

Next to every time clock in every supermarket is a note not to use your cell phone while at work. When was the last time we posted a sign not to read the newspaper while at work?

I agree I find many of these conversions frustrating. However there is nothing more fulfilling that when a retailer makes the move to digital and now has greater discretionary funds for real markdowns intended to build retail sales.

Many have asked why I choose to write about what I see in the supermarket industry today and my ideas. At Bad-Adz Digital, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife we believe great ideas and the resulting branding will give new life and direction to any company. So for that reason we chose to open the discussion.

Yes, I understand I probably misspelled something or butchered the English language in a few places, the goal however was to open your minds to new ideas. 

Joel Albrizio - Bad-Adz Digital, Bad-AdzVideos.com, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife

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A Bartender To Congress Via Digital!

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A Bartender To Congress Via Digital!

By Joel Albrizio


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Went From A Bartender/Waitress To Congress Via Digital Marketing!

Is Cortez well educated, articulate, attractive, perhaps even knowledgeable? We would have to agree to yes for all of the above. However did those attributes make the outspoken Cortez one of the latest congresswomen?

No Not Entirely...Cortez Was Delivered To Congress With Digital Marketing While Operating A Campaign From Behind the Bar Out Of A Paper Bag!

Thats right...Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in an exact quote from her own Wikipedia page states...She began her campaign while waiting tables and tending bar at Flats Fix a taqueria in new York City's Union Square. Oh and while out spent 18-1 Cortez beat a 10 term congressman by over 15%.

Great...So What Does Cortez Have To Do With Our Supermarkets?

Even the most pessimistic supermarket retailer has to admit the 29 year old waitress/bartender Cortez operating her campaign out of a paper bag behind the bar was delivered to congress digitally.

That said, perhaps digital could have a place in the branding customer awareness of supermarkets with decades of experience servicing their customers. Most supermarkets have managers in place totaling hundreds of years of experience none of which is digital.

Hence, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez becomes the youngest women to serve in congress while most independent retailers struggle to survive. I will allow you to ponder this unique example and how digital could change your relationship with your customers and the resulting retail sales. I would however steer clear of the "New Green Deal"

Many have asked why I choose to write about what I see in the supermarket industry today and my ideas. At Bad-Adz Digital, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife we believe great ideas and the resulting branding will give new life and direction to any company. So for that reason we chose to open the discussion.

Yes, I understand I probably misspelled something or butchered the English language in a few places, the goal however was to open your minds to new ideas.

By Joel Albrizio Bad-Adz Digital, Bad-AdzVideos.com PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife

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Retail Success... Simple Communication!

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Retail Success... Simple Communication!

Is Retail About Selling Or Just Removing Obstacles To The Sale?

We visit so many supermarket retailers and grocery wholesalers throughout our careers. With so many visits and supermarket reviews there tends to be a pattern to success that develops. What works in building retail sales and why?

We endure loyalty cards, bonus buys, coupons, bogo's, gatefolds, wraps, coated stock, extra pages, radio, tv & on & on. There is so much conversation on what that special or defining message looks like. Will the consumer respond to clutter or the lack of clutter?

Forget most if not all of this. If coupon redemption is about 3% nationally how important is that to the shopper? Lets try to get simple. Depart from the confusion of all of the gimmicks and games and speak directly to the customer. Both in your marketing and in store. Simple sells. Get simple, refine the message and work hard for the customer and your supermarket location develop the direction of "Top Of Mind"

Communicate A Value Proposition...Customer Service & Fair Pricing

We find a great price, however not always just the lowest price works well in tandem with solid customer service. Retail not is about expecting potential customers to drive by two or three competitors to shop your store location. Remaining top of mind so the customers does not drive past your location to shop other retail food options must be the goal.

Fully understanding we will never have the lowest advertised price every week is essential. As an independent retailer we know even if the independent were lower in price on all of the top 100 items the consumer would still believe the big box was less expensive.

That said, the value proposition through service is essential. Deliver to the customer well trained employees. Trained to ask the shopper looking for something how they might help. Teach the cashier to engage in positive conversation. What could this positive well trained conversation look or sound like?

Don't just talk fresh, look fresh. Housekeeping in retail allows the consumer to believe your claims of "Today's Catch" or the We have the freshest whatever.

Become A Resource To Your Customer...Recipe Videos!

BadAdzVideos.com

Check out our over 200 and growing BadAdzVideos.com Here you will find a valuable Recipe Video tool in the search to become a resource for the potential customer or loyal weekly shopper. When we teach a customer how to cook something or give the customer creative cooking ideas we build a more loyal shopper base. Equally important, a larger basket size will result.

Retailers will always have lots of competition. From casual dining to the big boxes the completion will keep coming. Keep the offers and engagement simple while keeping the customer Top Of Mind. When you and your associates keep the customer in sight and Top Of Mind, the customer will likely do the same in return.

Many have asked why I choose to write about what I see in the supermarket industry today and my ideas. At Bad-Adz Digital, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife we believe great ideas and the resulting branding will give new life and direction to any company. So for that reason we chose to open the discussion.

Yes, I understand I probably misspelled something or butchered the English language in a few places, the goal however was to open your minds to new ideas. 

Joel Albrizio Bad-Adz Digital, Bad-AdzVideos.com PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife

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A Legacy Retailer King Kullen Sells...

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A Legacy Retailer King Kullen Sells...

Written By: Joel Albrizio - President, Bad-Adz Digital

The Retail Supermarket Industry Is A Tough Road Often Ending In A Sale!

King Kullen, recognized by the Smithsonian Institute as America's First Supermarket will now be sold to Ahold, known locally at the retail level as Stop & Shop Supermarkets.

King Kullen founded in 1930 by Micheal Kullen had become a staple in the New York retail supermarket industry. King Kullen introduced the full service, diversified retail food marketplace to what would become the modern supermarket industry.

As retailers like King Kullen wind down locations and sales growth so many will look and will discuss what went wrong. Why didn't King Kullen do so many different things. They should have and could have done so many things.

So many will forget King Kullen innovated and grew in a tough industry for almost 90 years. An industry King Kullen created and thrived within for so long.

This month it was announced King Kullen would sell the remaining 32 retail locations to Ahold. We believe in one of the most difficult industries for a company to innovate and thrive for this long much can be learned from King Kullen.

King Kullen created departments as we know them today and expanded and experimented with these departments to build at its peak +-$800 million in sales. Opening locations and expanding, it seemed for so long King Kullen did everything right.

It seems clear that the powers to be at King Kullen felt today's valuation by Ahold held more promise than looking ahead at increased competition and what the coming years might hold in return for the continued retail food battleground.

Kudos to King Kullen and its employees. What a legacy to have been a part of. 

In looking forward to the independent marketplace....

Retail Supermarket Acquisitions Raise Concern For The Independent Grocer

The sale of King Kullen, Best Markets and Olean Wholesale Grocery by themselves seem somewhat benign. Big deal, three longstanding independent oriented companies sell rather than deal with all of the obstacles of retail food in the coming months and years.

However the sale of these companies are quietly significant. These three acquisitions alter the supermarket ecosystem of balanced shopping opportunities for the consumer. 

Best Markets sold to Lidl, King Kullen sold to Ahold & Olean Wholesale Grocery sold to C&S Wholesale Grocers.

Simply put the consumer, when faced with less shopping alternatives will likely pay more for staple items necessary for daily meals. Without the independent grocer and in Olean's case the smaller grocery wholesaler, less retail and wholesale food sources are available.

Any time in any business environment when we witness less retail shopping alternatives the consumer ultimately pays more for the food they will purchase.

In Upstate New York, Olean Wholesale Grocers was purchased by C&S Wholesale Grocers. C&S Wholesale Grocers is a major player in the grocery wholesale industry throughout the United States.

Hopefully in 2019 and forward, new retail opportunities will present themselves for the independent grocer.

Many have asked why I choose to write about what I see in the supermarket industry today and my ideas. At Bad-Adz Digital, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife we believe great ideas and the resulting branding will give new life and direction to any company. So for that reason we chose to open the discussion.

Yes, I understand I probably misspelled something or butchered the English language in a few places, the goal however was to open your minds to new ideas. 

Joel Albrizio - Bad-Adz Digital, Bad-AdzVideos.com PreparedFoodPhotos.com, Adlife

Follow Me On Twitter @joelalbrizio, and don't forget to "Like Or Share" with your colleagues!

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Whole Foods Masters Social Media With..."User Generated Content"​

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Whole Foods Masters Social Media With..."User Generated Content"​

What Is User Generated Content & What Do Retailers Need To Know About It? 

U.G.C...Today's reference term to the all important User Generated Content. User Generated Content is the fastest building core of what social media is all about. How more information is distributed than ever before.

Whole Foods and "Brands" like Chobani contribute, encourage and foster a social media environment where there respective "Brands" are highlighted and their abilities almost exaggerated to build retail food sales. How do they do this?

Touching the customer digitally...feeding and sometimes overfeeding the social media channels. This is what has led these companies to "Brand" level recognition directly attributed to social media

A great example is how Chobani grew a new dairy category "Greek Yogurt" by promoting to the point of exploitation yogurt recipes across all of its distribution channels as well as all of the available social media channels.

According to BuzzFeed's companies like Tasty have more than 94 million Facebook followers. This becomes the definition of User Generated Content. So we as retailers must contribute to and better understand content will ultimately prime the retail food sales building pump.

Lets look deeper into the Whole Foods...User Generated Content pipeline. Whole Foods is said to feature more recipes than promotions on its website homepage. Understanding this fact points to users coming to the web for information and not just price.

Whole Foods has a dedicated newsletter and constantly promotes recipes on Twitter and Instagram. Then there is the WholeFoods Facebook chatbot in which customers can check out products or search recipes searching keywords..which are "Content", again not price.

As Supermarket Retailers We Must Escape From The "Digital Denial" 

 Supermarkets across all demographics will tell you "Flat sales are the new good"...seriously, when we accept as purveyors of an analog dialog (print) that flat is the new OK we have embraced "Digital Denial"

The primary use of print for supermarket retailers to build sales is in essence relying on an old friend we like but fully recognize can no longer deliver for us. 

The sales growth opportunity results with User Generated Content as digital coupled with social media is before us like never before. 

A Recent Nielson Study Found....Over 80% of Millennials want to know more about how their food is not only produced but prepared....73% of Millennials are willing to pay more for the "Brands" they trust.

Now we better understand User Generated Content and the resulting information and digital transformation translates into retail sales growth. We could live with the past, send out only the printed ad and with that forget User Generated Content.

Stop for a moment and think about the "Vendor Program" opportunities. Branded items looking to expand their reach digitally. While any "Brand" can easily go digital themselves the retailer allows the "Brand" the availability to now purchase the items. 

A few years from now we will all chuckle about sending ads to press 10-14 days in advance of any sale.

 Imagine hoping we picked the right sales items and prices. We believe we could wait for that knowledge by receiving the competitions printed ad and reach out to the customer with all of the latest information and pricing only hours before a potential sale easily targeting the competitions featured sale items.

In 2019, We Must Become The Retailers We Have The Ability To Become.

Content & real time information will drive retail sales growth. Given the opportunity to drive content together we will soon understand its as much about User Generated Content as it is about the price of bananas.

Forgetting or avoiding digital content and its information driven environment is in fact forgetting and avoiding the consumer as well as our ability to sell.

Check our recipe videos at 

Bad-AdzVideos.com... Thank you for following.

Many have asked why I choose to write about what I see in the supermarket industry today and my ideas. At Bad-Adz Digital, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife we believe great ideas and the resulting branding will give new life and direction to any company. So for that reason we chose to open the discussion.

Yes, I understand I probably misspelled something or butchered the English language in a few places, the goal however was to open your minds to new ideas. 

Joel Albrizio Bad-Adz Digital Bad-AdzVideos.com PreparedFoodPhotos.com Adlife

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"Lidl Acquires Best Markets"​

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"Lidl Acquires Best Markets"​

Is This A Shift From "New Build" Back To Acquisition For Major Retailers?

It's always better to have the option or opportunity to sell a retail location with competition building. Most supermarket retailers would rather have the option to sell than just have a major player move into the same marketing area and destroy your valuable supermarket asset.

So that is the positive...the negative becomes another major player comes into greater volume in an already over serviced New York retail food marketplace. The growth of Lidl would seem to be quicker and the danger larger to conventional retail supermarkets.

Conventional supermarkets who are already facing a shrinking center store presence will now erode even quicker.

For Best Markets this would appear to be a lifeline. Best Markets had solid supermarket competition form all sides. The ability to generate profitable growth for Best Markets had all but dried up as it has for most of the smaller conventional retailers in New York.

Not of any fault of Best Markets, the New York marketplace seems the intersection of so many aggressive big box retailers.

Could This Be A Conventional Supermarket Retailers Opportunity?

Conventional grocers now within the Lidl marketing area almost anywhere could well have been awarded an unusual opportunity. While Lidl remains serious competition the focus for Lidl will be one more attuned to grocery and less towards perishables.

Should Lidl take this model of acquisition rather than new build today's supermarket retailers may find new value in some older and often overlooked brands.

Recently Brookshire acquired many Winn Dixie locations. Should this trend continue and perhaps expand to other growing supermarket organizations this will present new options. While competition is never good news we would all rather see a competitor enter the marketplace giving the independent financial options not seen for some time.

Many have asked why I choose to write about what I see in the supermarket industry today and my ideas. At Bad-Adz Digital, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife we believe great ideas and the resulting branding will give new life and direction to any company. So for that reason we chose to open the discussion.

Yes, I understand I probably misspelled something or butchered the English language in a few places, the goal however was to open your minds to new ideas. 

Joel Albrizio, President Bad-Adz Digital, Bad-AdzVideos.com, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife

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Sprouts..."Delicious Information"​

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Sprouts..."Delicious Information"​

Sprouts Farmers Markets...Delivering Delicious Information Digitally

Sprouts Farmers Market Understands How We Read & What We Want To Read About!

When we dig deeper into marketing and what does and doesn't work we first must better understand today's customers reading habits. Twenty five years ago on a Sunday morning the Sunday newspaper ruled the morning read.

"The Sunday Newspaper Was King"

When we would first awake on a Sunday morning we wandered to the front door. Hopefully the paper boy or girl had carefully placed our most valuable weekend treasure, the Sunday newspaper between the front door and the screen door. 

The coffee was brewing by the pot, not in a k-cup and you could smell that fresh coffee everywhere in the house. We sat with our coffee and what was to be the next hour or two engulfed by what all of this newsprint was about to tell us.

What we never realized reading the Sunday newspaper, that more than educated we were entertained. We had all of this information in what amounted too information a mile wide and an inch thick.

What Is Information A Mile Wide & An Inch Thick?

The Sunday newspaper had a lot of what interested the majority of us in capsule form. We could better understand almost anything from world news to today's sports in what amounted to results. not lots of details but here are today's results.

The car of the week was just that, "The Car Of The Week" with a short article with little information describing this as a car in a few tidbits of information about this car.

"How We Acquire Information Has Changed"

What Sprouts Farmers Market understands and annunciates with all of its communication and web site is how we expect to receive information has changed. With these lifestyle changes Sprouts has changed the way they will now deliver information.

Today's reader and shopper wants to be fed information constantly. When readers go to the web they go first and foremost for information. Then once a follower or better yet a customer Sprouts is there with the content you will search for meals as we like them today.

So today's reader interested in a car on Sunday morning would go to a search engine on their cell phone. They would read about the car of interest and once finished would find another article and another article until they had consumed all that they cared to read about this vehicle of interest.

That said this information is more than entertainment and is in fact information fed to us just the opposite as the Sunday newspaper. The information is not a mile wide and an inch thick, it is an inch wide and a mile deep. This is how we have some to read today. Differently where we expect more detail.

Sprouts Farmers Markets delivers information a mile deep. Ad specials, organics, recipes, unique approaches to healthy living and on and on.

Sprouts understands we want to better understand what we eat, where it came from and perhaps even how to prepare a new meal idea just a little quicker.

So if we came to the web for information and that information was healthy meal planning, Sprouts Farmers Market had a story we would not only enjoy, but perhaps employ.

Marketing Is Storytelling...Tell Your Story!

Marketing is about storytelling. As retailers we need to present the facts in a digestible and attractive format describing who and what we are as a supermarket resource to the consumer. Telling your story is likely to open the doors as a trusted resource. 

Once as retailers we become trusted resources we have lessened our reliability on price alone. Retail sustainability comes from the value proposition as a combination of service, quality & price.

The more the customer is serviced and trusts your supermarkets quality the more price will become just one of many successful calls to action.

Check out Sprouts Farmers Market and their go to market strategy: 

https://www.sprouts.com

Let me know what you think.....

Many have asked why I choose to write about what I see in the supermarket industry today and my ideas. At Bad-Adz Digital, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife we believe great ideas and the resulting branding will give new life and direction to any company. So for that reason we chose to open the discussion.

Yes, I understand I probably misspelled something or butchered the English language in a few places, the goal however was to open your minds to new ideas. 

Joel Albrizio, President Bad-Adz Digital, bad-AdzVideos.com, PreparedFoodPhotos.com & Adlife

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