We look at the some of the key headlines from the US this week including new ecommerce initiatives, store remodels and new product development.
Grocery ecommerce in accelerated roll-out mode
This year the US grocery market has moved quickly from testing grocery ecommerce to a broader roll-out program. Although several retailers have had a presence in the channel for many years, including Ahold, Fresh Direct and Safeway, grocery ecommerce last year accounted for less than 1% of the total market as initiatives were highly regionalised and often focused on specific cities. This year an increasing number of retailers have been investing in the channel, including Walmart which will hit 600 store pick-up locations by the end of the year, and Kroger which will hit 400.
The latest retailers to push harder in this area, include Albertsons which is leveraging the expertise from the acquisition of Safeway to launch the service at several of its banners, and Supervalu, where adding the service is a key element of the turnaround plan for its retail banners. With Publix recently partnering with Instacart and Meijer with Shipt, almost all the top ten grocery retailers in the US now have some form of presence in the channel.
A new look and store model for The Fresh Market
Having been appointed as CEO as part of the turnaround plan at The Fresh Market in September 2015, Rick Anicetti has revealed a new logo and strategy for the retailer. With a focus initially on improving pricing and operational efficiencies, redefining the retailer’s brand was also a key element of the plan to restore sales growth to the kind of numbers which the retailer was experiencing two years ago. While this had underpinned its rapid expansion, it over-extended itself geographically, and saw competition intensify through the mainstreaming of natural and organic products.
In addition to the new logo, the retailer is boosting its range of locally sourced products to over 250 items, expanding its range of conventional groceries to include 1,300 everyday essentials, and introducing new lower prices. In addition, new sampling stations will enable shoppers to taste products from across the store, new signage will help to clearly designate departments, and a more comprehensive destination for health and wellness products will be available with its new ‘Mind & Body’ department.
Source: The Fresh Market
Walmart focuses on convenience
In partnership with leading chef, Robert Irvine, Walmart has exclusively launched a new range of convenience-focused fresh food products. ‘Signature Sidekicks’ features a range of fresh produce ingredients which enable a meal to be prepared in three easy steps, and in less than ten minutes. Each component is numbered, with step-by-step instructions listed on the product packaging. This type of product development aligns with Walmart’s strategic goal to ‘make every day easier for families’, its investment in developing a stronger, quality-led fresh food offer, and driving differentiation.
| Stewart Samuel, Program Director, IGD Canada|
Based in Canada, Stewart heads up all of IGD's research and coverage across North America. He is also responsible for shaping IGD's research program in the region. Contact Stewart at [email protected] for further insight on how the market is evolving.