Eye-on-Retail Tipsheet 2/13/13: Schnucks fights back vs. Walmart; Kroger rumored Harris Teeter buyer


“Schnucks to Walmart: End “Inaccurate”, “Misleading”, “Unlawful” Ads” in Grocery & Retail News. “Nearly a year into Walmart’s advertising campaign that puts its grocery competitors’ prices in the crosshairs, one grocery chain is fighting back. St. Louis-based Schnucks is demanding that Walmart “cease, desist and refrain” from what it calls “deceptive and misleading” advertising. Schnucks’ allegations, and Walmart’s responses, also pull back the curtain a bit on how Walmart’s ads are produced, and who exactly is selected to appear in them…Walmart explains to Schnucks that “Sheri”, one of the shoppers featured in its St. Louis ad campaign, was chosen “through a standard selection procedure.” She “is an ordinary St. Louis-area consumer and mom” who is not a regular Walmart shopper and had no idea how the prices for the items she bought at Schnucks would compare to those at Walmart. “She had no basis to ‘game’ the comparison by loading up on multiples of items that were less expensive at Walmart.” Read more: https://couponsinthenews.com/2013/02/11/schnucks-to-walmart-end-inaccurate-misleading-unlawful-ads/


“Harris Teeter Considering Sale” at WSJ.  “Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc., a publicly traded grocery chain with stores along the East Coast, is considering a sale and is working with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. to pursue options, according to people familiar with the situation.  The Matthews, N.C.,-based company, with a market value of around $1.8 billion, operates roughly 200 stores in states along the coast from Florida to Delaware and has been adding locations in recent months. There have been waves of buying and selling in the grocery industry for decades, as larger chains have gobbled up small, independent grocers.”  Read more:  https://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324196204578300363998148432.html?mod=googlenews_wsj


“Kroger rumored as possible Harris Teeter buyer” by Steve Watkins at Business Courier-Cincinnati.  “Kroger Co.’s name has been mentioned as a potential buyer of North Carolina-based grocery chain Harris Teeter Supermarkets.  DealReporter, a Financial Times web publication that tracks mergers and acquisitions, said Wednesday that Kroger might be a likely buyer of the chain.  Harris Teeter hired J.P. Morgan to help it decide whether to sell the company and to consider other options, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.”  Read more:  https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/blog/2013/02/kroger-rumored-as-possible-harris.html


“Charles Redfield of Sam’s Club: The Realities of Global Business” at knowwpc.  “Charles Redfield, the executive vice president of merchandising for Sam’s Club, outlined the major lessons he’s learned in business at the February luncheon of the Economic Club of Phoenix:

“Customers and colleagues are the same everywhere around the world. Customers want to trust the organizations they do business with; colleagues want someone to listen, act and follow through.”

“Transparency is the new norm.” In this new world the details of businesses are in public view. This relates to trust, Redfield said, especially around pricing. But beware, he said, because transparency can be good for companies but it can also be used as a weapon.

“Global opportunities are difficult to execute.” Sam’s Club can leverage scale, but that’s not as simple as it seems. Example: genetically modified foods, common in the U.S., are not welcome in the U.K.

Read more:  https://knowledge.wpcarey.asu.edu/article.cfm?cid=25&aid=1340


“Apple, Costco and Container Store top ‘100 Best Retailers to Work For’ list” by Marianne Wilson at Chain Store Age.  “The 2012 100 Best Retailers To Work For include the following top 10 retailers:



The Container Store


American Eagle Outfitters





Ann Taylor/Loft

Read more:  https://chainstoreage.com/article/apple-costco-and-container-store-top-%E2%80%98100-best-retailers-work-for%E2%80%99-list


“Hispanic men present opportunities for marketers, reports Mintel”  “While the Hispanic population is growing at a fast pace in the US – and with them their purchasing power – it seems in the last few years much of the focus has been on Latinas, neglecting an equally important Hispanic shopper…Hispanic men. Indeed, according to latest research from Mintel, some 42% of Hispanic men and more than half (55%) of Hispanic dads are the top decision maker on the purchases made in their household.  Moreover, influence in the household also varies with age. Around half (54%) of Hispanic men aged 45-64 have the most influence on their household purchasing decisions, as do half (50%) of Hispanic men aged 35-44, versus 44% of those aged 25-34.”  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6300336&access=EH


“How Valuable Are Costco’s Ancillary Businesses?” at Trefis.  “Although ancillary revenues account for less than 20% of Costco’s total annual revenues, they have grown faster than its overall stores revenues. Their revenue share has increased from 13.5% in 2007 to 18% in 2011, and we expect this trend to continue. This can be attributed to growth in Costco’s membership as well as increased usage of ancillary services by its members. An average Costco member spends about $255 on ancillary services annually. Over the past five years, the average spending by a Costco member on general merchandise has increased by just 1% annually, whereas the spending on ancillary services has increased by about 10% every year. This clearly implies that while the customers have kept their shopping basket size more or less the same, they haven’t been hesitant in spending more on Costco’s low-priced ancillary services such as food court, pharmacies and gasoline.”  Read more:  https://www.trefis.com/stock/cost/articles/168315/how-valuable-are-costcos-ancillary-businesses/2013-02-13


“Meijer Announces Investment of More Than $160 Million in 2013”  “Meijer will finalize an investment of more than $160 million in new and remodeled stores this year, Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer Hank Meijer announced today.  The new Meijer supercenters opening in 2013 include: Swartz Creek, Michigan Portage, Indiana Detroit, Michigan Danville, Illinois Evergreen Park, Illinois Warsaw, Indiana.”  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6299346&access=EH


“More Than One-Third of U.S. Adults Currently or Plan to Shop for Groceries Online, Reveals New CouponCabin.com Survey”  “As the popularity of online shopping grows, consumers are beginning to explore new digital shopping categories, including groceries. A new survey from CouponCabin.com finds that 15 percent of U.S. adults have shopped for groceries online. An additional 19 percent said they don’t currently, but plan to in the future. This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of CouponCabin from January 29 th to 31st, 2013, among 2,109 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.  The high cost of food may prompt some shoppers to click their way through their grocery list. The majority, 91 percent, of U.S. adults indicate they are at least somewhat aware of rising food prices due to weather-related issues in 2012. In addition, 70 percent of U.S. adults who haven’t shopped for groceries online said they would be at least somewhat likely to do so if online groceries were less expensive than buying them in the store.”  Read more:  https://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6297626&access=EH


“Who Makes Trader Joe’s Food?: A Taste Test” at HuffPo.  “It’s no secret that Trader Joe’s sells marked-down name-brand products disguised under its own label. What is a secret is which big brands Trader Joe’s carries — when it comes to publicizing that information, TJ’s remains mum. The price difference between the Trader Joe’s and big brand products is sometimes so big ($2.99 vs. $5.49 for the same box of cereal?!) that it sparked our curiosity. Now, we’re on a quest to discover who’s hiding under those TJ’s labels.”  Read more: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/12/who-makes-trader-joes-food_n_2664899.html 


Thanks for reading…


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