Progressive Grocer - September 2011 - (Page 158)

Nonfoods General Merchandise Cross-merchandising offers a win for the consumer, supplier and retailer Seasonal Excitement Build those events, and they will come. By Bob Gatty F or 25 years, Jerry Lynch worked for Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans, and in his last job was business group manager, general merchandise (GM). Today, Lynch runs the International Periodicals Distributors Association, a position he has held for the past six years. So Lynch knows a little something about GM at retail, including seasonal, having helped lead the efforts of a company recognized in the industry as one of the best in GM, as well as food. He has a solid fix on what works and what it takes for supermarket operators to maximize seasonal sales opportunities. Foremost, he says, is staying abreast of changing consumer interests and translating them into a company’s goto-market strategy. “The test,” he says, “is if you are profitable.” But if smart category management responds to the consumer with the right product mix that generates profit, the program will succeed. With seasonal, Lynch stresses the importance of timing, with products changing to reflect the season. “You have to make sure you are there ahead of the season and have time to prepare and execute your program,” he says. “A lot of products may not be something the customer is used to seeing, so a high-traffic location, ads and signage are important.” Cross-merchandising offers a win for the consumer, the supplier and the retailer, Lynch notes, pointing to valuable opportunities for tying seasonal books and magazines in with seasonal events such as grilling or holiday cooking — heavily promoted events that help build excitement, traffic and sales. “It makes it easier for the consumer when you can bring products from different departments in the store together, but it is challenging to execute across departments both from headquarters and store-level standpoints,” says Lynch. “The best-in-class retailers are those who can cross those hurdles and bring this to the consumer. It’s not easy, but when it is done right, it looks great when you see it in action. It’s the right thing to do.” Partner for Success Supermarket operators should seek out partnering opportunities around seasonal, advises Lynch. “There are not a lot of categories where you can just walk in, sell it and leave,” he says. “You really have to walk those initiatives through from beginning to end, from the time the product is ordered until the time the event is concluded. There are so many factors in play: the weather, unforeseen events can cause havoc with your plans. So you really have to be nimble and able to react.” A seasonal “Best Practices Report,” published by the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Global Marketing Development Center (GMDC) in 2006, stressed the importance of selecting the right supplier partners for effective seasonal events, which GMDC said should be part of the overall corporate strategy. That advice still stands, according to experts. The supplier should have a history of successfully supporting the retailer’s business and meeting or exceeding expectations, and have high-quality and abundant personnel available to help identify and leverage businessbuilding opportunities, the report recommended. In addition, it said, the supplier should be able to provide data and analytical information to help make the event succeed and to assess its performance. Outdoor products readily lend themselves to such events, and Gary Peterman, president of Maxum Holding Co., whose company manufactures and sells outdoor living, beach and patio furniture, believes grocery is a growth area for C M Y CM MY CY CMY K 158 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | September 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Progressive Grocer - September 2011

Progressive Grocer - September 2011
Table of Contents
New Era for Old World
Inside the Market Basket
Perfect Partners
Still Pink
Progressive Grocer Independent: Lasting Impressions
Breakfast Retailing Handbook: Breakfast Across the Store
Breakfast Foods/Frozen Waffles, Pancakes and French Toast
Cereal, Energy and Snack Bars, Q4 2010-Q1 2011
Fresh Priorities
Innovation in Focus
Goodness Grazing
Practical Implications of Food Safety Research
Gleaming Opportunities
Putting the Shine On
Seasonal Excitement
What Price Beauty?
Progressive Grocer Tech: Sourcing Savings
Bright Ideas
Supplier Side News
Editors’ Picks for Innovative Products

Progressive Grocer - September 2011