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GMDC Reveals Retail Trends From IHA Show

Moderator Todd Hale with the panelists, from left: Mark Mechelse, GMDC; Tammy Marlowe, Associated Food Stores; Anna Mancini, Valu Merchandisers; Joe Kirby, Imperial Distributors; and Brett Bradshaw, Bradshaw International.

The Global Market Development Center (GMDC) offered its take on the top four grocery retail sales strategies that emerged from this year’s International Home + Housewares Show that will drive the industry of tomorrow.

“Next practices” for how retailers can start creating the store of the future and win more sales were discussed throughout the show’s business insights sessions, including “Turning Food Shoppers into Housewares Buyers,” a panel discussion moderated by Todd Hale, former SVP of consumer and shopper insights for Nielsen.

Panelists for the session included Mark Mechelse, director of research, industry insights and communications for GMDC; Brett Bradshaw, president of Bradshaw International Inc.; Joe Kirby, VP of retail sales and category development for Imperial Distributors Inc.; Anna Mancini, VP of merchandising for Valu Merchandisers Co.; and Tammy Marlowe, director of GM/HBW for Associated Food Stores Inc.

The top four strategies are:

Cultivate food prep—A new mega-category called “food prep” was introduced, consisting of kitchenware, housewares, cookware and kitchen gadgets. It’s about how shoppers see the category, not how buyers buy. As the revolution of fresh food continues to grow in the grocery channel, there’s emphasis on how ingredients are prepared and what tools can get the job done precisely in order to ensure food tastes and looks good.

Leverage merchandise adjacency—Retailers across categories can strategize to turn what was thought to be a shopping trip into a shopping occasion and maximize the basket fill with top-of-mind items. Statistics show that while 70 percent of shoppers visit a store with a purchase in mind, half are influenced by what they see in stores. Proof of this was revealed during the session by retailer/wholesaler panelists who explained how selling a pineapple corer not only increases the profit margin of the overall spend, but also creates significant lift in the fresh food category. It’s a win-win for retailers.

Attract the Millennial—This means having a sales strategy that integrates technology, convenience and experience. While Millennials are connected to all things digital, they still desire the brick-and-mortar experience and love to touch and feel the fresh food that they buy.

Don’t forget the Boomers—They continue to heavily influence the Millennials as many have left the nest, but not the wallet. Boomers continue to spend on upgraded food prep tools.

“In our rapidly changing industry, we are constantly innovating for the evolving consumer, to help them prepare food better, faster and in a more fun, creative, colorful way,” Bradshaw said. “We are introducing leading-edge trends from Europe such as ceramic and stone finish cookware; produce choppers and spiralizers in gadgets; and specialty baking pans, springforms, mini bundts and madeline pans.”

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Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
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