Rite Aid In-Store Back to School Campaign

Rite Aid began blitzing shoppers in July with back-to-school messages incorporating product images from top brands across an array of in-store signage.

Rite Aid Capri Sun Merchandising Matters Retail Localization

Ceiling signs, side panels, endcap headers, window posters and other signs depict such seasonally relevant products as Hasbro’s Playskool crayons, Newell Rubbermaid’s Expo highlighters, Texas Instruments calculators and MeadWestvaco’s Mead notepads. All of the signage embody a unified theme of product beauty shots against backgrounds of school imagery such as lockers and blackboards. Other seasonal partners including Kraft Foods’ Capri Sun are showcased on shelf talkers with back-to-school messaging.

Back-to-school deals began running in Rite Aid circulars in late July as well. In one offer, Wellness+ loyalty cardholders were offered $1 in +Up Rewards with purchase of two packs of Bic pens or Newell division Sanford’s Sharpie or PaperMate writing instruments.

Rite Aid Celing In-Store Media Retail Localization Merhcandising Matters

In its most significant seasonal vendor collaboration, Rite Aid joined with General Mills to offer $5 back on a $20 purchase of eligible products from July 27 to Aug. 30 through the chain’s Single Check Rebates program. An ad in the program’s monthly catalog also plugged a national sweepstakes awarding 250,000 bonus “Box Tops for Education” through Mills’ evergreen cause effort. The list of eligible products includes such Mills brands as Betty Crocker, Cheerios, Nature Valley, Progresso and Chex, along with items from “Box Tops” partners Avery Dennison, Kimberly-Clark, SC Johnson’s Ziploc and Welch’s. A back-page circular feature on Aug. 7 supported.

The retailer did surprisingly little for the season on its website, with an ad on the landing page for its “Save Now” section promoting the chain as “Back to School Central” but simply directing visitors to the weekly circular.

In a somewhat odd promotion, Rite Aid stores in California promoted whooping cough vaccinations at the pharmacy by dangling a free cone of private-label Thrifty ice cream with an inoculation.

Elsewhere, the chain revived its teen girl-targeting Glam Camp promotion, which has been running since 2003 and is currently managed by Cosmetic Promotions Inc., Winter Park, FL.

Banana Republic Flagship to Debut in Paris in December

Courtesy of Chain Store Age

Merchandising Matters Banana Republic Paris

Gap announced Monday that it will open its first Banana Republic store in France in Paris in early December. The 15,952-sq.-ft. store will be located on Avenue des Champs Élysées, one of the most popular international shopping destinations in the world.

“Following the success of our London and Milan openings, we are delighted to bring Banana Republic to Paris and take another exciting step in our international growth strategy,” said Stephen Sunnucks, president, International, Gap.

The new store features architecture and materials inspired by the heritage of France but with connections back to America with an exhibition of iconic imagery curated by Michael Hoppen. Many of the building’s original architectural details have been retained and updated; the contemporary white and black diamond marble floors combined with limestone, sweeping marble feature staircase and an old era style lift accessing the main shopping area lit by a Charles Edwards chandelier. French Art Deco antiques, curved ebony paneling and black enamel detailing create the feeling of a residential environment while a series of neoclassical arches and vaults evoke a shopping promenade.

Last year, the company opened its first Banana Republic store in Italy in Milan. In 2010, the company also made Banana Republic products available to European customers online by launching a dedicated e-commerce site.

Courtesy of Chain Store Age

MC Sports Selects JDA Retail Solutions to Improve Margins and Reduce Inventory Levels

Courtesy of BusinessWire

Merchandising Matters MC Sports JDA Solutions

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–JDA® Software Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: JDAS), The Supply Chain Company®, today announced that MC Sports, a privately-held sporting goods chain with more than 70 stores in seven states throughout the Midwest, selected JDA Allocation and JDA Size Scaling in the second quarter of 2011 to help increase revenue while reducing inventory levels. JDA retail solutions are well suited to midsize businesses like MC Sports due to adaptable configuration models that allow scalability while still providing best-in-class functionality and optimization.

“The ability to translate key customer insights into pinpointed allocations across stores and more profitably manage their sized inventories will go a long way in helping MC Sports continue its competitive retail advantage.”

JDA Allocation enables the creation of accurate, store-specific allocations based on any combination and level of demand, plan and historical performance data. Retailer-defined custom calculation methodologies provide the power and flexibility to manage inventory constraints, optimize predefined distribution preferences and precisely implement end-of-life strategies to realize significant inventory efficiency gains.

JDA Size Scaling can help businesses with the assortment, ordering, manufacturing, distribution and replenishment of properly sized products in order to optimize an overall inventory. JDA Size Scaling transforms the generation of detailed size curves into an automated, cost-effective process, driven by advanced predictive and descriptive mathematical techniques. By launching updates at the right frequency, the solution recognizes unique consumer shopping patterns by time period and changing demographics, revealing the highest-demand size curves.

During the selection process, JDA’s Strategic Services Consulting Group worked closely with MC Sports, evaluating existing systems and processes to determine which solutions would have the biggest impact on their business, with allocation and sizing emerging as having the best potential to drive increased revenue for the business.

“Over the past 18 months, MC Sports conducted a broad review of technology platforms capable of enhancing our merchandise allocation strategies. Through this review, our goal was to identify the platform best suited to increase the effectiveness of our allocators and provide the business intelligence necessary to manage a size intensive product mix,” said Bruce Ullery, president and chief executive officer, MC Sports. “We believe JDA solutions will provide the tools necessary to improve in-stock positions, increase turns, raise gross margins, and ultimately increase revenues for our company.”

“We are very pleased to partner with MC Sports to deliver automated and scalable allocation and sizing solutions to support their continued growth,” said Wayne Usie, senior vice president, retail, JDA Software. “The ability to translate key customer insights into pinpointed allocations across stores and more profitably manage their sized inventories will go a long way in helping MC Sports continue its competitive retail advantage.”

Read the full article on BusinessWire

DemandTec Delivers New Collaborative and Analytical Capabilities on the Network

Courtesy of DemandTec

Community of retail and manufacturer trading partners equipped with deeper insights, richer interactions

DemandTec Retail Localization Collaboration Optimization Network

SAN MATEO, Calif., Aug. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — DemandTec, Inc. DMAN +5.12% , the collaborative optimization network for retailers and consumer products companies, today announced that it has deployed its latest services release and existing customers are actively using the new capabilities on the network. This update delivers several enhancements to support richer collaboration, improved trade planning efficiency and effectiveness, and extended shopper-centric retail planning and promotion capabilities.

Significant enhancements to DemandTec services on the network include:

DemandTec Connect(TM) – New moderated user groups facilitate peer collaboration and discussion by sharing DemandTec product usage ideas, suggestions, and roadmap direction. All community members can also maintain a professional biography and photograph to further support peer discovery and joint planning on the network.

DemandTec Decisions(TM) – A simplified product workflow increases efficiency for scheduling and visualizing price and promotion activities, and introduces deeper insights through new performance metrics.

DemandTec End-to-End Promotion Management(TM) – Embedded shopper insights dashboards introduce forecasts by defined shopper segments.

“This release brings to reality two exciting and unique components of the DemandTec vision: shopper insights at the point of decision and strengthening peer and trading partner collaboration on the network,” said Marc Dietz, Vice President of Marketing for DemandTec.

Read the full article at DemandTec

Walmart Competing with Local Shops on Main Street

Courtesy of IndependentRetailer.com

Walmart Competing with Main Street Shopper Marketing

Walmart recently encountered one of the longest slides in domestic same store sales in its retail history. The Wall Street Journal confirms, saying, “Walmart’s U.S. business, which accounts for 62 percent of its $419 billion in annual revenue, has reported declining sales at stores open at least a year, for two consecutive years.” Analysts believe the smaller stores could help Walmart compete with dollar stores, which have been a big hit in the weak economy. According to MSNBC, “They could also pose a competitive threat to pharmacy chains and local mom and pop shops that have traditionally received business where a Walmart box store did not rule.”

While some retailers fear the big box store stepping on their turf, it doesn’t go unnoticed that the large retailer won’t be without its struggles during the transition. While easier than finding a location for another Super Center, Walmart is still faced with the challenge of finding locations for all 350 stores. The greatest challenge, however, will be product selection. As Patty Edwards, chief investment officer with Trutina Financial, tells MSNBC, “Finding the right assortment of items could be especially challenging for the big box store, which is used to sprawling shelves lined with a vast array of goods.” According to Walmart’s spokespeople, the Express stores will stock a variety of general merchandise, and a few will even support a pharmacy. Watch out Main Street USA, Walmart’s renting the space next door. This piece has been adapted from a story on msnbc.com.

Read more on IndependentRetailer.com

Meet the 2011 Hot Concepts! Award Winners

Courtesy of Restaurant News

Retail Localization Restaurant

Nation’s Restaurant News has selected five emerging companies as its 2011 Hot Concepts! Award winners, citing this year’s group for bold tactics, outstanding creativity and strong performances in a persistently sluggish economy.

This year’s winners are Crave, FöD (Food on Demand) from Sodexo, Mixt Greens, True Food Kitchen and Twisted Root Burger Company. The concepts will be honored at the Hot Concepts! Celebration sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company during the 52nd Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators, or MUFSO, Conference at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas, Sept. 25-27.

“I am very much looking forward to this celebration, which showcases our industry’s amazing vitality and innovation,” said NRN publisher Randall Friedman. “Congratulations to each of these outstanding concepts for their day-to-day focus on delivering fresh and exciting dining experiences to the public.”

NRN’s Hot Concepts! program recognizes forward-thinking companies with emerging growth potential that appeal to consumers and position themselves at the leading edge of the foodservice industry. In-depth profiles or each Hot Concepts! Award winner will be available next week both online and in the Aug. 8 issue of Nation’s Restaurant News.

The 2011 winners:

Crave, a Bloomington, Minn.-based concept, opened in 2007 and now has six locations with a seventh set to open in October. An upscale casual concept with stores in Minnesota, Florida and Nebraska, Crave features American seasonal cuisine, an extensive wine list and a focus on sushi that has helped attract the female demographic. “The culture of Crave is rooted in passion, innovation and creativity,” said Kam Talebi, founder and chief executive. The diverse menu, from filets and New York strip to pizza and pasta and lots of sushi, helps drive traffic to the tune of over $6 million in average unit volumes annually. The company is projecting $38 million in sales for this year and over $60 million in 2012. Looking ahead, Talebi said he anticipates steady growth, and plans to add three to four units a year.

FöD (Food on Demand), a Sodexo USA concept, was launched in 2010 as a unique, technology-focused casual-dining experience for college campuses. Based in Gaithersburg, Md., FöD is high tech from start to finish. Guests order digitally from a touch-screen kiosk. Each dish is then individually prepared, and the customer is buzzed via smart phone or pager when the meal is ready. Designed for smaller accounts, FöD is operating at six universities with more on the horizon. “The food choices and the technology really resonate with students,” said Jeff Pente, senior director of brand management for Sodexo. The program is customizable for each campus and includes whatever food the school chooses to offer. “Choices might include fast casual, BBQ, upscale, all healthy choices, a pub-style operation — the possibilities are as wide as your imagination,” Pente said.

Mixt Greens is an eco-centric restaurant that is holding true to its original vision of advocating healthful, sustainable food. Launched in 2006 and based in San Francisco, Mixt Greens has nine locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. A New York opening is set for later this year, and international licensing deals are in the works, according to chief executive Richard Cervera, who describes the concept as “white tablecloth quality, with local sourcing and a strong eco and sustainable ethic.” This efficient buffet-style operation is environmentally friendly and features sandwiches and design-your-own-salads created from dozens of ingredients. “We are maniacal about great ingredients and balanced flavors," Cervera said.

Read the full article at Restaurant News