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Five theses about the future direction of grocery retailing

FMCG/retail sector is in a phase of transformation, the likes of which we have not seen before. Business stakeholders drive some of the changes while others are clearly coming from the outside. Business models nimble enough to adapt will thrive, while many others will be caught flatfooted and perish. Here are five theses for the […]

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Dark days could be getting lighter for major grocers

Rather like a listing supertanker Tesco continues to battle rough seas to right itself as it struggles with the after-effects of a space race that has left it drained of financial resources and lacking in differentiation in the marketplace.   Speaking at the recent IGD Big Debate 2015 conference Dr Clive Black, head of research at […]

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Start-ups need to show a clean pair of heels

Making a return visit to the young meat retailer Muddy Boots as it begins to grow-up has thrown some interesting light on the challenges faced by a typical start-up and how important it is to constantly flex the model. Having initially been a branded supplier to Ocado and Waitrose of meat products the company 15 […]

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Unwanted self-service checkouts in the shopping area

For years shoppers have been told that they really do like to use self-service checkouts. But do they? Well, judging by the findings of a recent bit of research by Morrisons, consumers don’t actually like self-service checkouts. In fact, it found a whopping 96% of its customers prefer to use a staffed checkout. Not surprisingly […]

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Waitrose tackling increasingly complex customer journeys

Today’s myriad customer journeys have made things so complicated for retailers. Where once it was simply a case of customers walking into a shop and buying the product, we now have numerous channels that have created a complex web of touch-points for retailers to manage. Speaking at Retail’s Big Show, organised by NRF, in New […]

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Innovative Retailer – Wholefoods Market

The Name: Wholefoods Market The Place: America (all over the place) and the UK (a lot fewer but spreading fast-ish). The Story: Innovation is in the DNA of the Wholefoods business – these after all are the people who pretty much invented the category of organic, health and ethics-filled shopping. Give me a product… Lentils: […]

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Black day Black Friday

In almost 20 years of commenting on the retail sector the past week has been one of the least enjoyable. The reason for this is the dark cloud that Black Friday has cast over the industry. Firstly, it has been the level of bandwagon jumping by retailers, service providers, research houses, commentators, and media channels, […]

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Aldi considering direct sourcing for own label

As Aldi looks to increase its range of products and add extra services in order to secure a greater average basket size and attract a broader mix of consumers it runs the risk of complicating its business (see earlier column). The simplicity of its limited range and basic utilitarian customer offering is a key component […]

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Big grocers and discounters all playing with complexity

These are transformational times for the grocery industry and the travails and challenges of the big supermarkets were laid bare at the recent IGD Convention in London. It has been the case that the big multiples have over the years continued to add complexity to their businesses as they have brought in extra services, added […]

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Morrison’s deal added £2 billion to Ocado valuation

Since Ocado signed its licensing deal with Morrison’s the financial footings and reputations of both organisations have diverged somewhat. Prior to the deal last year the Ocado business model was still being aggressively questioned by City analysts and its share price was sitting at 199p – on May 17 . The arrangement pushed the shares […]

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Tesco’s online grocery journey

Recently Tesco celebrated the 17th birthday of the launch of its online service. Since then much has happened. Tesco has become the undisputed king of online grocery retailing with revenues of more than £2.5 billion, more than twice the sales of the closest competitor. When Tesco talks about the online channel, others listen carefully. However, […]

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