General articles on the competitive situation and competitive forces in retail.

  1. CPG: Food
We’ve posted a lot of commentary and emails against the Kroger-Albertsons deal, so it is important to point out that not everybody feels that way, as one MNB reader wrote: Throughout the saga of the Kroger-Albertsons deal I’ve definitely felt I carry the minority opinion.  I work for a large CPG and engage with Kroger’s […]
  1. Channel: Club
The Street reports that Costco “plans to open a store solely dedicated to furniture and appliances.” The story notes that “most of Costco’s 850 global locations are its classic warehouse model that sells food, household goods, and lots of other things. The chain has opened a handful of ‘Business Centers,’ in recent years, locations that […]
  1. Technology & Innovation
First, a quick ask: please take this 5-minute survey on martech composability. We’ll share the full results back with everyone. I bet it will be very interesting. Thank you! Okay, back to today’s post… I prefer empircal data over gut-feel prognostications. For 12 years, I’ve been told that SaaS in general — and martech in […]
  1. Channel: Ecommerce & Digital
When it comes to launching new products, product manufacturers have two main options: retail stores or online platforms like Amazon. Both options have their pros and cons, so it’s important to weigh them carefully when deciding which route to take. Retail Stores Retail stores offer a physical space for customers to shop in-person. This can […]
  1. Channel: Grocery
WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit to block Kroger’s proposed $25 billion merger with Albertsons Cos., contending that consumers will see higher prices and workers will see lower wages if the deal goes through. “This supermarket mega merger comes as American consumers have seen the cost of groceries rise steadily over […]
  1. Trends & External Forces
WASHINGTON — The National Grocers Association (NGA), which represents independent food retailers and wholesales, issued a statement supporting the Federal Trade Commission’s decision to challenge the merger of Kroger Co. and Albertsons’ Cos. “Every day, America’s local independent supermarkets face economic challenges due to the influence of massive power buyer chains who use their leverage […]
  1. Trends & External Forces
MNB reader Rich Heiland had a thought about out continuing conversation about CVS’s shortcomings: I consider drug stores a commodity. None of them do anything to distinguish themselves from one another in any significant way. I live in a downtown area. There is a Rite-Aid a block or so away. I go there. If there […]
  1. Shopper & Customer
For small businesses, resonating with as many potential customers as possible is a unique but critical task. With limited resources and more targeted product offerings, SMBs need the right plan and tools in place to effectively reach different demographics and drive sales year-round. Shopping journeys and preferences look different across generations, and retailers looking to […]
  1. Technology & Innovation
Joybird, a unit of La-Z-Boy and furniture manufacturer and retailer, has announced the full integration of 3D Cloud by Marxent’s 3D Cloud Room Scanner technology into its online 3D Space Planner tool. Joybird is the first furniture retailer to offer this integrated 3D floor plan creation experience to customers. The 3D Cloud Room Scanner technology […]
  1. Operations & Supply Chain
Demand planning uses available data and analytics into past market behavior in and around a business to predict the future. Without these insights, business owners could make inventory misreads, marketing mistakes, shipping blunders, and hiring miscues, all eating into profit margins. By assessing your current business performance and past order histories, you can anticipate the […]
  1. Data & Insights
Artificial intelligence (AI) may be the next big thing, yet most retailers wait on the sidelines, watching what other businesses reap from this new digital technology. It’s not that they don’t want to pursue this new technology. Working in low-margin businesses, retailers understand the value of a technology that can promote significant organizational change and […]
  1. Channel: Restaurants
  Crowdfunding is a way of raising money from a large number of people who each contribute a small amount, usually through an online platform. Crowdfunding can be used for various purposes, such as launching a new product, supporting a social cause, or expanding a business. We asked our Grocerant Guru®, Steven Johnson of Tacoma, […]
  1. Shopper & Customer
Financial information about customers has typically been stored by banks in their own closed systems. With open banking, however, banks and third-party service providers can exchange financial data through application programming interfaces (APIs). Open banking gives consumers the power to control what information can and cannot be shared with apps and third parties. Despite having […]
  1. Trends & External Forces
Launching a new product in retail can be an exciting but nerve-wracking experience. You have put in countless hours of hard work and dedication to create something unique and valuable, and now it’s time to introduce it to the market. One crucial aspect that can make or break your product launch is pricing. Setting the […]
  1. Trends & External Forces
Xpeng, a electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, is gearing up for a significant expansion. The company’s CEO, He Xiaopeng, revealed plans to hire 4,000 new employees and invest heavily in artificial intelligence (AI) technology. In a letter addressed to the company’s staff, Xiaopeng highlighted the fierce competition in the EV industry, likening it to a potential […]
  1. Operations & Supply Chain
It’s the way of the world that giant corporations have the resources to crush their competition, especially when they attain a dominant position in the marketplace. The goliaths of and eBay did this to SMBs when they started offering FREE returns of online purchases. To be fair, the big companies probably didn’t foresee the […]
  1. Shopper & Customer
  Boston Market, formerly known as Boston Chicken, began serving its homestyle meals of spit-roasted rotisserie chickens, made-from-scratch cornbread, and creamy mac and cheese in 1985. As it grew in popularity, it had about 1,200 locations at one time, according to Restaurant Business.  Today there are just over 300 locations in the United States and Puerto […]
  1. Corporate Strategy
  Regular readers of this blog know that the restaurant industry is facing a labor crisis, as many operators struggle to find and retain qualified staff. Some may be tempted to hire experienced executives from other restaurants, hoping to benefit from their expertise and connections. According to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based […]
  1. Channel: Grocery
Colorado Attorney Journal Phil Weiser yesterday filed a lawsuit designed to block Kroger’s proposed $24.6 billion acquisition of Albertsons, saying the the deal would be anticompetitive. Axios reports that “Weiser has been leading a multi-state investigation since December 2022 and is the second state to sue following Washington … The announcement said the deal not […]
  1. Channel: Ecommerce & Digital
The Associated Press reports that Amazon has been ordered by Mexico’s Federal Commission on Economic Competition (COFECE) to reveal its algorithms and inform vendors on the platform “of all the variables and factors that are taken into consideration in selecting promoted items, to encourage certainty and transparency.” In addition, COFECE is ordering Amazon to “wall […]
  1. Agencies & Vendors
One of the benefits of being a RangeMe Starter or Premium subscriber brand is the opportunity to submit products to buyers who have immediate, limited-time opportunities that take place throughout the year. During these campaigns, retailers, distributors and foodservice operators invite brands that meet specific criteria to submit their products to be considered for placement […]
  1. Trends & External Forces
The Wall Street Journal reports that “Walmart is shopping in the TV aisle to help grow its advertising business.  The retail giant is in talks to buy smart television-manufacturer Vizio for more than $2 billion, according to people familiar with the situation. The move would give Walmart more places where it can sell ads and pitch […]
  1. Shopper & Customer
MNB reader Doug Galli has a reaction to my argument that while Amazon may try to steer shoppers to products with higher margins, so do many retailers: Kevin, you are correct on this point of how retailers “merchandise” and market their respective stores. You work to steer customers toward higher margin products, which might not […]
  1. Data & Insights
The retail landscape is forever evolving and with so much competition, it is imperative that retailers look at ways to stay ahead of the curve and thrive. ESL Data Strips, coupled with electronic shelf-edge labels, have the potential to reshape the way retailers operate, providing… This story continues at ESL data strips: Indispensable for competitive […]
  1. Channel: Grocery
Kroger this morning issued a press release that continues to make the argument – the same argument that it has made since first proposing the $24.6 billion acquisition of Albertsons – that it will lower prices once the deal is complete, and that it has a 20-year track record of lowering prices after it makes […]
  1. Channel: Ecommerce & Digital
The Hollywood Reporter writes that “Amazon is facing a lawsuit accusing it of misleading Prime subscribers by charging them an additional fee to stream movies and TV shows without ads.” The proposed class action suit, filed in California federal court, “claims breach of contract and violations of state consumer protection laws on behalf of users […]
  1. Shopper & Customer
The retail industry, particularly e-commerce, is expansive, constantly evolving, and dynamic. The primary challenge for retailers lies in retaining existing customers amidst competition and the rising cost of acquiring new customers. The 2023 State of Customer Messaging Report highlights the significance of customer retention, with 95 percent of professionals emphasizing its importance. Effective customer retention […]
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  1. Merchandising
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Testing for Ships in Product Packaging compatibility often involves “a series of drops and vibrations,” a packaging innovation team leader said. Sellers can expect fee discounts for program participation. Amazon is pulling back the curtain on how it’s teeing up more packages to arrive on doorsteps without Amazon logos. Last week, the Ships in Product Packaging program expanded by […]
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  2. Department: Food
  3. Department: Nonfood
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  6. Agencies & Vendors
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84.51° is out with a new report that “examines who omnichannel shoppers are, where they shop, and some of the reasons why they choose to shop in-store and online.” Some key findings: •  “This shopper is likely to be Millennial or Gen Z, is engaged with natural and organic, is more likely to have children, […]
  1. Channel: Mass
  2. Corporate Finance
  3. Media & Marketing
  4. Shopper & Customer
  5. Trends & External Forces
Walmart this morning released its final results for Q4 and the just completed fiscal year, saying that Q4 revenue was $173.4 billion, up 5.7 percent from the same period a year ago.  Q4 operating income was up 13 percent to $7.3 billion. US same store sales for the quarter were up four percent. Global e-commerce […]