Tuesday, October 14, 2008


One of the last sizable family owned supermarket chains in Southeast Michigan is being bought by Spartan. This should allow them to better compete with larger rivals...
  • Kroger
  • Meijer
  • Walmart
Spartan has been on an acquisition tear the past few years. Chains they have acquired include...

Spartan Stores: 'Very little will change' when Fenton-based VG's Food and Pharmacy comes under new ownership

FENTON -- A staple in the community and one of area's last independent family-owned chains, VG's Food & Pharmacy has been bought up by the Spartan Stores chain.

The move helps the hometown chain compete with supermarket bigwigs -- including Meijer and Wal-Mart stores that also have been expanding in Genesee County, said David J. Livingston, a supermarket industry analyst...

What are your thoughts on supermarket industry consolidation?

Monday, October 6, 2008

WSJ: "Study Suggests Fan Use Cuts SIDS Risk in Babies"

  • Will fan sales increase in the coming days and weeks? Most stores have cut back on fan inventory already [Summer is over].
  • Will they be able to respond quickly if demand increases rapidly?
  • Will they make signs pointing to where fans are in the store?
  • Will they just sent an email to department managers or will store managers work to drive sales of fans?
  • What training and information will they provide fro front line employees?

Part of the Wall Street Journal article is excerpted below. Full article should be available by clicking on the headline for this post.

Using a fan while a baby is sleeping appears to significantly cut the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, according to new research.

Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif., compared 185 babies who died from SIDS in 11 California counties between May 1, 1997 and April 30, 2000, with 312 normal infants from similar socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds living in the same counties. Mothers were asked several questions about fan use, pacifier use, room location, sleep surface, the type of covers over the baby, bedding under the infant, room temperature and whether a window was open.

TAKEAWAY: Stores with baby sections should use this new information as a communication opportunity. Deliver actionable and important information to consumers that will respond to it. There are so many lost selling opportunities, it makes zone/district/etc managers sick.

Department managers should consult with category managers on which fans are tops with parents with infants. This might be obvious already. Being proactive is important. Order top selling fans today so weekend sales do not lead to Out-Of-Stocks that kill profits and destroy customer satisfaction.

What are your thoughts on how businesses will/should respond to this new research?