fall 2003                                         digest        Excerpts from RetailWire.com news discussions.            ...
digest                                                                     www.retailwire.com     How to Use the RetailWir...
digest                                www.retailwire.com            Contents            How to Use the RetailWire Digest  ...
digest                                                                          www.retailwire.com  Foreword           Inn...
digest                                                                  www.retailwire.com  Innovation Discussions  Whos G...
www.retailwire.com          Of course, Ryan is on to a key point that our industry needs to understand for future growth. ...
www.retailwire.com      Lets face it, the supermarket industry is and always has been risk averse. Revolution has risk; in...
digest                                                                  www.retailwire.com   Innovation Discussions   Cons...
www.retailwire.com        The bottom line here seems to be the bottom line. Customers prefer self-checkout because its fas...
www.retailwire.com            Retailers looking to enhance their service levels at all times of the day will be successful...
digest                                                                    www.retailwire.comInnovation DiscussionsNot Your...
www.retailwire.com          chain (excuse the pun). The vast middle tends to be vastly the same because they forget to ask...
digest                                                                  www.retailwire.com Innovation Discussions Creating...
www.retailwire.com          they are good common sense principles which are not followed in most large organizations. Just...
www.retailwire.com      In creativity, the "how" is less important than the "why." If you think you might like to go on a ...
digest                                                                   www.retailwire.com  Innovation Discussions  Why C...
www.retailwire.com              While I agree that giving shoppers the ability to manage their relationships is essential,...
www.retailwire.com            Ive long believed that companies need to balance the push of demand creation efforts with th...
www.retailwire.comThe RetailWire BrainTrust PanelWe thank our BrainTrust panelists who have graciously volunteered to lend...
www.retailwire.com About RetailWire          RetailWire is a unique online news analysis and discussion forum, which launc...
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Retail innovation

  1. 1. fall 2003 digest Excerpts from RetailWire.com news discussions. THIS QUARTER Innovation Evolving beyond one-stop shopping... Serving up self-service... Lessons for department stores... Nurturing new ideas.. Out of CRM comes CMR... All part of this common thread of news and discussion from recent RetailWire archives. For RetailWire.com sponsorship information, contact: Al McClain 203-609-0557 amcclain@retailwire.com Plugin. For other business inquiries, contact: Rick Moss www.retailwire.com 845-353-5586FREE registration for retail industry professionals. moss@retailwire.com
  2. 2. digest www.retailwire.com How to Use the RetailWire Digest PASS IT AROUND! Weve designed the Digest to be highly portable. Its a great FYI to send along to your customers, friends and associates. As long as you are redistributing this document in its entirety, without any modification...permission is granted. If you need help sending it to a large list of folks, drop us a line at: info@retailwire.com. Well be happy to customize an e-mailing for you. 1 Download When you click the link to download the Digest, youll either be presented with a choice to download it to your local hard drive, or it will open for you immediately (in your web browser or in Adobe Acrobat). If the latter, you may use the FILE: SAVE AS... function to download the Digest to your local drive. 2 Open Youll need the Adobe Acrobat Reader application in order to open the Digest. If you dont have a copy, go to this address for a free download: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html 3 Read You may browse the document on-screen or... 4 Print Use the standard "File/Print..." function in Acrobat. Pass-Along 5 Our suggestion...simply attach the document to your email message...saves postage and gives the recipient all the benefits of the electronic version. Log On 6 Visit RetailWire EVERY BUSINESS DAY. (OK, that doesn’t have direct relevance but we figured we could sneak it in.) If youre not already a member...what are you waiting for? Registration is FREE. Go to our home page and join us: www.retailwire.com RetailWire Power User TIPS 1. Read More... The Digest, of course, contains only portions of the full discussions available 24/7/365 on RetailWire. To view the complete discussions, simply type in any string of words from the article title into the Search field at the top of any RetailWire.com page. 2. Other Hot Issues... For your research purposes on RetailWire, we’ve organized our discussion topics into topical themes, such as “Employee Motivation” and “Niche Marketing”. To explore them, click the "Advanced Search" link adjacent to the Search field at the top of any page. Then use the "Choose a Hot Issue" pull-down selector at the bottom of the page.RetailWire Digest - Fall 2003 page 2 The Power of Collective Thinking
  3. 3. digest www.retailwire.com Contents How to Use the RetailWire Digest 2 RetailWire Power User TIPS 2 Foreword 4 “Innovation” Discussions Who’s Going to Start the Revolution? 5 Consumers Prefer Machines to People 8 Not Your Mother’s Department Store 11 Creating the Innovative Business 13 Why CRM Doesn’t Work 16 The RetailWire BrainTrust Panel 19 About RetailWire 20RetailWire Digest - Fall 2003 page 3 The Power of Collective Thinking
  4. 4. digest www.retailwire.com Foreword Innovate or Stagnate By Rick Moss, President - RetailWire It could be said that there’s a consistent background hum that resonates throughout every online discussion on RetailWire. It’s best described as an undertone of thinking about innovation. Whether our BrainTrust panel and other members are debating the need for new retail operational efficiencies; better means of satisfying cus- tomers; or the discovery of fresh retail formats, its intuitively understood that, in the absence of innovation, you get stagnation. And as with perpetually moving sharks, in retailing, you keep progressing, or expire. So, given its essential place in the world of retailing, it wasnt difficult to fill this edition of RetailWire Digest with stimulating, innovation-related topics and commentary, drawn from our archives of over 1,800 online discussions. We felt it was important to not only cover successful initiatives, but also to have a look at areas in which innovation is sorely needed. Hence, youll see discourse on the validity of CRM (customer relationship management) programs, as well as a critique of the current state of the department store channel and what it will take to rejuvenate business- es within that sphere. And we ask...flat out..."what does it take to create the innovative business?" ...and "whos going to start the revolution?" Were confident youll gain a great deal from what you read here, but we believe youll get much more out of RetailWire by joining us online. The quintessential RetailWire experience is one of participation. RetailWire is about breaking news, multi-point analysis and opinion...but mostly, its about involvement. "Plug in" to RetailWire, and become energized about retailing like never before! We thank you for your ongoing support, and ask you to utilize the Business Tips and In-Sites provided by our sponsors, who make RetailWire possible every day. Campbell Soup Interactive Edge www.retailwire.com/Campbells_GDA www.retailwire.com/interactive_edge ACNielsen www.retailwire.com/acn Georgia-Pacific www.retailwire.com/gp Sara Lee Lunch www.retailwire.com/lunch SPAR Group Procter & Gamble www.retailwire.com/spar www.retailwire.com/pg National Grocers Association Concept Shopping www.retailwire.com/nga www.retailwire.com/concept_shopping.comRetailWire Digest - Fall 2003 page 4 The Power of Collective Thinking
  5. 5. digest www.retailwire.com Innovation Discussions Whos Going to Start the Revolution? By George Anderson Ryan Mathews laments in an editorial on the Grocery Headquarters Web site, "It seems all but unthinkable that as we enter the 21st century, we cant come up with a better retail concept than more one-stop shopping." "There have been several revolutions during the past century of American food retailing " he adds. "The most profound was the advent of self-service retailing. Equally important was the move toward mall-based, suburban retail centers. Finally, Wal-Mart launched its own revolution by enfranchising lower-income shoppers. Each of these retail revolutions rode the crest of social change rather than lead it." Another social revolution, this one shaped by uncertain economic conditions, aging baby boomers, growing ethnic pop- ulations, increased security concerns and other factors will demand a retail response other than building more super- centers, argues Mr. Mathews. "Were ready for another revolution," he writes, "but were short of revolutionaries." Moderator’s Comment: Do you agree with Ryan Mathews contention that another grocery format is needed to meet the needs of the new America? Do you have a vision for such a format? The answer probably isnt in a single-format. With a population as fragmented as ours, smaller stores focused on the needs of specific groups will become a necessity. Personally, wed like a store that combines the technology of Metros Extra Future Store with a Trader Joes-like limited assortment and Wegmans prepared foods. - George Anderson - Moderator Comments: I agree with Ryan; its time for new thinking. I have always had a problem with one-stop-shopping, because consumers have never said they wanted it, nor have they supported it. One-stop-shopping was invented by retailers to justify or rationalize building bigger and bigger stores. Even the busiest consumers now shop different formats, so where is the advantage? Further, larger stores are fine now, but what about when the Baby-Boomers retire? People of advanced age will not shop large stores frequently. It will be too much of a physical strain. In 10 to 15 years, these stores will be white elephants. Note: Supercenters 2.3 shopping trip per week customers live the same 5 to 7 miles from the store as for any supermarket. Could it be time to ask the customer what they want? - Frank Dell, BrainTrust I agree with Ryan that the future vibrancy of grocery retailing is dependent on change. My vision for a new format is based on the fact that the center store is, and has been for some time, a boring place to shop. Sure, sampling and demonstrations help, but it is difficult to get customers consistently excited about shopping for canned goods and soap. Even the best merchandisers in the world, and we all know who they are, dont do this particularly well. So, remove the center store categories from the store. Keep the promoted items, and maybe some safety stock, but remove everything else in the center of the store and fill the space with expanded service departments and kiosks on which shop- pers can order those center store items for either in-store pick-up or home delivery. New stores could be smaller as a result, and, in cases where a retailer has a lot of money tied up with real estate, use every fourth or fifth store as a replenishment/selection facility for the remaining locations. - Ron Margulis, RW CommentatorRetailWire Digest - Fall 2003 page 5 The Power of Collective Thinking
  6. 6. www.retailwire.com Of course, Ryan is on to a key point that our industry needs to understand for future growth. Sad to say, the foodservice, non traditional- outlets, and specialty shops will continue to chip away at sales from grocers if the retail grocery industry doesnt begin think outside of its four walls. Each major change in the grocery industry helps the operations side of the business, but forgets the consumer side... which today, is very different than the consumers parents and grandparents. - Stephan G. Kouzomis, BrainTrust People admire revolutionaries -- but they dont really want to be one if it can cost them their job. Revolutionary thinking in the industry requires the support of the people at the top. Is it going to be there if a revolutionary -- or even evolutionary -- concept falls on its face? There are relatively few peo- ple out there -- retail or manufacturing -- who are willing to put their butts and career on the line for an idea that may be a real crap shoot -- and an expensive one at that. To me, this means that any revolution in retailing will not take place among the major chains, but among entrepreneurs and smaller operators who have the [guts] to go against conventional thinking. Certainly, advances in technology and applications will continue to be exploited by major chains, like Metro, in conjunction with suppliers who are willing to kick in for experiments, like the Extra Future store. But theres a lot of room for smaller operators to come up with new, interesting strategies, store brands and new store designs that can blow one-stop shopping behemoths out of the water. - Len Lewis, BrainTrust My thoughts, as usual, go with choice and passion, excitement and innovation, none of which have I seen very often in a supermarket. Where they occasionally follow what consumers indicate they want, they tend to neutralise it to the extent that the original concept is transformed into a deadly dull shadow of its original configuration. SIZE MATTERS. We have talked about Mom and Pop shops and their changing stock and interesting/unusual products. We have talked about people liking but not knowing how to use fresh foods. Just three years ago, when I visited Santa Barbara, I went to a live- ly and well patronised, weekly, farmers market. When I go again next month, I am told that there will be an excellent farmers market every day. Doesnt this say something for the number of available suppliers and the customers who encourage them? We have said, over and over again on this site, that employees need to feel motivated and that their contributions to the business are recognised and appreciated. The New Model - which I agree should include several alternatives, including an e- commerce option - should make sure that both the people providing the service and the people who are buying it are thoroughly involved in the transaction. - Bernice Hurst, RW Commentator I think we may be in the midst of a revolution and thus, being there, we really dont realize where we are. Based on that, its hard to see at this point what the end of the revolution will be like. If we look at the world of retailing today, there is an emergence of activity in almost every sector. Nothing looks quite the same as it did even as short as 5 years ago. If you dont think so, ask your- self how familiar of a name was Costco or would you have thought then of Costco as one of the nations top 5 food retailers? One thing is for sure, change in retail is evolving at a faster rate than ever before. The revolution, or age of technology that we are in today, has only just begun. Its hard to envision the results of the real revolution, but it is easy to see the things happening around us that are con- tributing to the results. If we stop and take a look, well find were not really short of revolutionaries. If we really take a look, well understand that were moving at far too fast of a pace to understand them until their impact has already begun. - ScannerRetailWire Digest - Fall 2003 page 6 The Power of Collective Thinking
  7. 7. www.retailwire.com Lets face it, the supermarket industry is and always has been risk averse. Revolution has risk; incrementalism reduces risk; thus we see incremental change rather than revolutionary change. A second point, we have revolutionary operators in Trader Joes, Central Market, et al. They may not be every- where but if they were would they really be revolutionary? - Ken Wagar, Partner, PMG, LLC Ryans new retail format may be as close as the computer he used to write his article. To the extent that I agree with him, Id suggest that e-commerce is well on its way to meeting the needs he described. But Ive got to identify a contradiction in which we sometimes indulge. On one hand, we frequently suggest that grocery shoppers regret every minute they spend in a store and regard food shopping as a chore to be complet- ed as quickly as possible. On the other hand, we rhapsodize about “revolutionary shopping experiences” and “in- store theater.” If shoppers really feel that negatively about grocery shopping, how can they be entertained into enjoying their twice-weekly (on average) trips to the store? - Michael Banks, Ph.D., BrainTrust Ryans right. It seems to me that the relatively few smart thinkers are finding a niche and sticking by it relentlessly; serving it. The majority are homogenizing themselves, adding in whatever tactic du jour seems to be bringing in a couple percent extra points for other channels. Its getting boring. Allow me to quote my favorite marketing plan yet again, which comes from Don Tyson of Tyson Foods: "Segment. Concentrate. Dominate." Thats how all todays 800-pound gorillas started, if you think about it. And those following that strategy will succeed. - Warren Thayer, RW Commentators I think the food retailing business could use some merchandising, in the oldest sense of the word. Most stores continue to be designed around the way manufacturing (and therefore buying) are organized. Bakery and meats are whole different worlds, whereas customers usually eat buns with their hot dogs. I do not see stores organized around meals or other dynamics that really reflect what goes on in the American household. Cooking and dining are critical parts of our life -- not just for fuel, but for social and status issues, even for fun! Yet few or no stores take cookware seriously. Nutrition and cooking classes are still missing, years after I first saw them at Byerlys in Minneapolis. Almost no grocers serve meals -- which will be an increasing mistake as the wall between "food at home and food away from home" disappears. Customers should be able to enjoy a fresh salad with new ingredients, then be able to buy all the same ingredients, ready to take home and repeat the experience. I am not, however, pessimistic about the future. As always, most innovation will come from outside and startup firms. Remember that King Cullen tried to convince Kroger management of his crazy "supermarket idea" and left to found the first supermarket only when a VP blocked him. I see exciting things going on at Central Market, Whole Foods, Wegmans, and Wawa. Eatzis may not have taken off, but they were onto something. For inspiration, I think the grocers need to look at the restaurant business, where price is not always critical, where innovation is a part of life, and where competitors big and small shine. - Gary Hoover, Retail Entrepreneur ___________RetailWire Digest - Fall 2003 page 7 The Power of Collective Thinking
  8. 8. digest www.retailwire.com Innovation Discussions Consumers Prefer Machines to People By George Anderson Dexter Thomas does it because he doesnt want to "deal with the cashiers and their attitude." Kimberly Ward does it because its "a lot more convenient" and besides, dealing with people "just slows you down." Mr. Thomas and Ms. Ward are two of the consumers who prefer to handle daily transactions from banking to super- market shopping without the aid of a human being; choosing to do it themselves by touching a screen, scanning prod- ucts or clicking on a link, reports the New York Times. The allure of self-service machines for business is obvious says Greg Buzek, president of the IHL Consulting Group. "They cost less than humans" and "self-service machines never call in sick. You dont have to worry about scheduling issues. You dont have to worry about vacations." A study recently released by ACNielsen (a sponsor of RetailWire) found 61 percent of U.S. households have used self- checkout lanes. Nearly one in three says self-checkouts are "great" while 16 percent find them "frustrating" to use. Todd Hale, senior vice president, ACNielsen Consumer Insights, says, "Its good news for retailers that so many house- holds have tried the new lanes. However, retailers who want to grow consumer acceptance, satisfaction, and continued use of the do-it-yourself checkout lanes need to offer shoppers more help in getting comfortable with the process." Moderator’s Comment: Which provides retailers with a better opportunity to compete – a highly personable staff of front-end personnel or money-saving self-checkouts? It would appear many, if not most, consumers trust machines more than people based on the Times piece. Clifford Nass, a professor of communication at Stanford University observes, "If we asked people even a few years ago which would be more likely to make a mistake, an A.T.M. or a cashier, they would say the A.T.M. Now people would say the cashier. Thats an amazing change." - George Anderson - Moderator Comments: I think that people will increasingly prefer using machines for transactions. I pay almost all my bills online these days and resent it when a company does not offer that option. However, for older peo- ple, using the newest technology can be confusing and frustrating. Stores should not just plunk these check out machines down and walk away. There needs to be a transition period where people can readily get help in using the machines. Our current generation of people over 65 often prefer the per- sonal touch. - Joanne Fritz, BrainTrust Im sorry, George, but I find the question a little disingenuous. If most stores, in fact, had pleasant checkout people, that would be the preferred option. However, since I havent run into a pleasant checkout person in a chain retail environment in a dogs age, my answer is: I, and apparently, a lot of other people, would prefer to deal with machines. I agree with the statement made in the article that someone elses bad mood can rub off on me and Id just rather not. Stores would do well, particularly in an economy where low-level jobs are rapidly vanishing, to hire pleasant and competent people. - Karen Kingsley, RW CommentatorRetailWire Digest - Fall 2003 page 8 The Power of Collective Thinking
  9. 9. www.retailwire.com The bottom line here seems to be the bottom line. Customers prefer self-checkout because its faster or more convenient or avoids dealing with slow or unpleasant staff. It isnt welcomed BECAUSE it saves the retailer money (which of course it does). Unless those savings are passed on to customers (which is rarely the case), why on earth would they be interested in improving the retailers bottom line? As others have said, there are times when dealing with machines is preferable but, more prefer- able still, would be to help the economy by encouraging retailers to hire and train helpful staff. Customers would spend more and the staff would, in their turn, become customers in other outlets rather than recipients of unemployment benefits (and I use that term very loosely indeed). - Bernice Hurst, RW Commentator When shopping, I prefer to deal with people. You can often learn something. They can make your day with the right comment or suggestion. Ill select one retailer over another based on the people who work there. Ill go out of my way to patronize a retailer with great people and make extra purchases because they deserve the business. Ill select a longer line if the line has a terrific checker. Unfortunately, my odds of having a good retail experience are getting worse. My list of places to avoid due to poor service is much longer and growing faster than my list of stops to visit due to terrific serv- ice. My abandoned cart count is way up due to the inability of a retailer to sell me the items I select- ed in a timely manner and my reluctance to encourage poor service. Ill direct friends to fewer and fewer stores based on the quality of service. I have used self-checkout at retailers where being permitted to buy is the hardest part of the trip. My hope is that self checkout will help weed out poorer quality checkers. I also thought the Cubs had a chance. - John Hennessy, BrainTrust I dont know what to think on this one. On the one hand, I dont even bother with waiting on lines to check in at the airport. I always use the machine to print out my ticket, change seats, etc. I have also had a bad experience using self check out at a Home Depot due to incorrect prices. Unfortunately, I think the machines will win, because too often the check out clerk is not only poorly trained and inefficient, but you have to put up with comments like "Im supposed to be on my break" and "they didnt tell me anything about this sale" and "Ill have to call somebody from that department", while the folks behind you are giving you the evil eye. The bad news for clerks is that just as weve become comfortable with ATMs and Check-In kiosks at the airport and automated Metro card kiosks at Subway stations, the less we will feel we need to interact with humans. And now, with Arnold as Governor of California, is the takeover of machines in our society too close for comfort??? - Zel Bianco, BrainTrust As for any economies or savings to be had, not entirely sure that they exist. At the few stores where Ive used the auto-cashier, there are always 3 or 4 staff right next to the machine keeping a watch- ful eye on all consumers (to help avert temptations of shoplifting and to be there to help when the machine goes afoul), meanwhile the attended cashier lanes are under-staffed with huge lineups. Go figure! The time savings also disappear when you are purchasing non-UPCd products (fruits, veggies, bak- ery, bulk bins, etc) and have to scroll through several screens just to find and select the nearest- equivalent product to what youre trying to buy. A cashier should be able to know through repetition that red peppers are PLU 12345 and can key that in PDQ, whereas the auto cashier wont. - Matt Roher, Category Manager, Rust-Oleum CanadaRetailWire Digest - Fall 2003 page 9 The Power of Collective Thinking
  10. 10. www.retailwire.com Retailers looking to enhance their service levels at all times of the day will be successful when offer- ing the option of self-checkout. They will, however, need highly personable staff to man it. Even though it may take less staff, it does have to be attended to be successful. In this case, its not one over the other, its about options, service levels, and using technology to accomplish that goal. Its not about eliminating people, its about offering the best service level and the widest number of options for your customers. - Scanner The driver behind this is obviously cost, not service. That there is general acceptance will just accel- erate the trend. But the real cost avoidance was taken long ago, and is the root of the problem. Checkout today gen- erally is poorly paid and poorly trained compared to the historical past. In real terms many stores, especially grocers, paid more than twice the wage they pay today - and invested four or five times as much in training and oversight than they do today. Front end management was a valuable skill, today its a dead end job in many firms. Machines are less costly. They will prevail. And like horses today, which appear as unusual and somewhat special (think a Central Park carriage ride) the best most upscale stores will still use high- ly trained, highly motivated and well paid sales help to serve their customers - because the margins support it, the customer expects and will pay for it, and the stores positioning requires it. No self- check out at Tiffanys, you betcha! - RetailSeer Id rather stew than be stewed. Even the mildest-mannered among us has a small reservoir of impatience that we privately vent on cashiers (no matter how friendly) and other shoppers while standing in line consulting the Enquirer on Rosies latest idiocy. Id rather not be the target of that impatience. Tell me, please tell me if Im the only one who avoids self checkouts because of the disapproving looks and foot-tapping of those in line behind me! Am I too slow? Did I miss something? Is my pay- ment method acceptable? Too much pressure! On the other hand, while purchasing the usual ingredients for the “Doc banks Chilidog Diet” – copies available upon request – a "friendly" checker felt compelled to ask, "Are the kids having a sleepover?" My reply was, "Are you trained to comment on customers purchases, or did you come up with that on your own?" I got the glare and had to bag my own stuff. Its a coin-toss. Sometimes I feel like a nut. Sometimes I dont. (Hold your tongue, Bernice.) - Michael Banks, Ph.D., BrainTrust _______RetailWire Digest - Fall 2003 page 10 The Power of Collective Thinking
  11. 11. digest www.retailwire.comInnovation DiscussionsNot Your Mothers Department StoreBy George AndersonThe man who brought naked shoppers and Bollywood to his British department store thinks American stores are suf-fering from a chronic case of sameness.Peter Williams, chief executive officer, Selfridges told the New York Times, "Part of the problem with the U.S. depart-ment stores is that you can be inside them and youre not too sure which one youre in."Mr. Williams says U.S. stores need to broaden their appeal to attract younger shoppers if they want to grow.He said younger consumers in the U.S. might shop in a department store if theyre "with their mums, but would theygo in there on their own? And what is actually in there for them, you know, when they get there? And I think this is tomy point about the fact that in the large-space stores, youve got the space to be able to appeal to a wider age range."Another problem with U.S. department stores, says Mr. Williams, is they are department stores in name only."Take someone like Saks, " he said. "Its not really a department store anymore. I mean, its a large fashion store, real-ly. Its fashion and cosmetics. It doesnt do food, doesnt do home - or, if it does, its a very tiny department."Moderator’s Comment:Is there merit in Peter Williams critique of American department stores?Mr. Williams commented to the Times that his stores focus on younger consumers not only brings in those shoppers,it adds a vitality to the total store environment. - George Anderson - Moderator Comments: This is so true! I rarely shop department stores because they overwhelm me and you find the same merchandise in most of them. Shopping at Harrods in London was a real eye opener. Beautiful store with unique products and everything you could want including food. But, it was easy to get lost. Shopping at American department stores is akin to eating corn bread mush....it all tastes the same. - Joanne Fritz, BrainTrust All these points are well taken. If I can air a pet peeve: insufficient signage. Being a typical guy, I do not enjoy shopping. I want to get in and get out. Department stores, especially when on several floors, can drive you crazy trying to find what you need. You have to trudge over to the escalators, where there might or might not be a store directory. How about color-coding the darn departments some- how, or put little sequential letters/numbers on the posts, or hanging from the ceiling, like in parking lots where you want to find your car. If I knew that mens ties were at 2C, for example, theyd be on the second floor by the C post. If I were at 2E, Id be able to find them better, especially if suddenly I was in 2F, and realized I was going the wrong way. Or some such system. The aisles have gotten narrower, and as an impatient ex-New Yorker, I always get stuck behind two dawdlers who block my way better than a football teams defensive backs, only to find myself in the wrong department. Okay, enough. - Warren Thayer, RW Commentator Whether you call it sameness, vanilla, shades of gray or just plain dull, a rose by any other name is still a commodity. The inability of most U.S. retailers (department stores or supermarkets) to create a shopping experience based on their "unique and compelling selling proposition" has transformed points of distinction into "how can I be more of the same, because Im afraid to be different?" This opinion, of course, is a gross generalization. There are many U.S. retail organizations that have worked hard to find and market their niche, but theyre mostly at the high and low ends of the foodRetailWire Digest - Fall 2003 page 11 The Power of Collective Thinking
  12. 12. www.retailwire.com chain (excuse the pun). The vast middle tends to be vastly the same because they forget to ask their target shoppers what "they want to buy and what theyd like the experience to be", rather than the predominant practice of "if I look the same and try to compete only on price, maybe shoppers will continue to come here by location or by accident". I believe Mr. Williams is somewhat correct in his assessment. Selfridges has not uncovered rocket science, but they have recognized that different market segments have different needs and, logical- ly, respond to different stimuli. Segmenting by demographics or psychographics at least affords retailers with a marketing path to create a unique and meaningful experience to specific audiences, rather than continuing to try and be all things to all people. - Michael Aarons, BrainTrust Last week, I was again in Selfridges in London. Outside it was gray and raining, inside it was bright- ly lit, jammed packed, eclectic and vibrant. The displays were contemporary, personalized and focused, not only on "younger" customers, but also featuring mostly top quality and higher-priced merchandise. The food department offered a wide variety of imaginative foods, ethnic fare, and Belvedere Vodka was being sampled. Peter Williams has an exciting store that appeals to the vast and diverse audiences that shop on Oxford Street; not as unique as Harrods, but its appeal is obvi- ously geared to profitably. It was another fun experience, even after 100+ visits to one-of-a-kind Harrods, and the vodka was quite delicious. Bloomingdales, Macys, Marshall Fields, Famous-Barr, etc., as good as they are, dont enthuse me like a shopping experience at Harrods and Selfridges ... and as for Marks & Spencer, it was nearly impossible to maneuver through it. I think Peter Williams has a valid point about the differences in department stores. - Gene Hoffman, BrainTrust When you shop in European stores, you realize how true Mr. Williams assessment is. The first thing I always think is, "why isnt it this way in the U.S.? It would work." Im encouraged by the contrarian approach of some specialty retailers, such as Anthropologie, who arent afraid to work with smaller niche suppliers in order to differentiate product (and drive up retails). They also arent afraid to mark product down the first week in order to make room for something more exciting. Lastly, their buyers are encouraged to step out and actually "buy" (what a concept!), rather than implement corporate mandates. U.S. department stores could learn from European retailers and successful specialty chains (instead of looking over their shoulders at Wal-Mart and one another). As it is, grocery stores (of all places), are attempting to fill the gap with "store within a store" concepts that take advantage of their high traffic. Surely department stores can get more creative as well! - Carol Spieckerman, BrainTrust Drat. Even Nordstroms doesnt approach the Selfridges experience. I feel deprived. Do you suppose its cultural, somehow, this shared blandness in American department stores? Did we shoppers, at some point, send retailers a strong signal that we liked it that way? I seem to recall part of the ration- ale, which is to let the goods be the star of the show rather than all the hoo-haw going on around them. But is that what we have now in our department stores? There is ample evidence that event marketing works for department stores, especially to attract younger shoppers. I suspect, though, that the effort to maintain that kind of retail "high" 52 weeks a year would be exhausting for a single store, let alone a chain. And Selfridges and Harrods can hard- ly be called chains. So, its all quite well and good for Mr. Williams to sneer at our colonial efforts to compete in the department store business, given the wonderful show Selfridges puts on every day. But try doing that in multiple locations, without huge tourist business, and while competing on price, Mr. Williams. Well see what youre made of then. - Michael Banks, Ph.D., BrainTrust _________RetailWire Digest - Fall 2003 page 12 The Power of Collective Thinking
  13. 13. digest www.retailwire.com Innovation Discussions Creating the Innovative Business By George Anderson Jordan Ayan, futurist, consultant and author of Aha! 10 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas (Crown Publishing, 1997), once told us, "The average lifetime of a new idea is about 10-seconds before a killer phrase is used to throw a no at it." "No new idea comes into the world fully formed," he said. "It needs time to be polished. But, ideas are routinely reject- ed because someone in a group finds a flaw and therefore the idea is not fully explored. After a while, this happens often enough and people stop bringing ideas to you." For the last 25-plus years, the role that managers have in fostering or negating creativity and innovation within business organizations has been the work of Teresa M. Amabile, the Edsel Bryant Ford professor of business administration and head of the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at Harvard Business School and author of works including Creativity in Context: Update to the Social Psychology of Creativity (Westview Press, 1996). In the late nineties, writing in the Harvard Business Review, Dr, Amabile offered companies looking to stimulate inno- vative thinking within their ranks six steps to achieve their goal. 1. Match workers to assignments that will challenge them but not set them up for failure. 2. Establish goals while allowing employees to determine how to achieve them. 3. Provide adequate resources (time, money, manpower) to get the job done. 4. Create teams made up of individuals with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. 5. Praise creativity and attempts to innovate on the part of employees even if it doesnt work. 6. Be sure that top management is engaged; supporting and participating in the process the entire way. Moderator’s Comment: Do most retail and CPG businesses have a culture that fosters creativity and innovation? What companies excel in this area? Dr. Amibiles Creativity in Context is considered a breakthrough in thinking in many circles. It is generally acknowledged for being one of the first to take a systematic look at the role other people play on an individuals creativity. Its not easy beach reading, but it is a serious work about improving performance on the individual and group level. We recently read the updated version and found it well worth the time and effort. - George Anderson - Moderator Comments: No, most companies do not have cultures that foster innovation and creativity. The research and discovery components have been severely downsized through the last couple of rounds of M&As. P&G seems to be developing a renewed innovation culture based on the premise that its "Okay to take ideas from the outside". Having said that, the innovation and creativity in com- panies really exists in various departments and teams in the organizations. These groups do follow the 6 steps, which are not, by the way, breakthrough thinking - ratherRetailWire Digest - Fall 2003 page 13 The Power of Collective Thinking
  14. 14. www.retailwire.com they are good common sense principles which are not followed in most large organizations. Just take a look at new growth in these organizations - it is mostly coming from acquisition of small companies and entrepreneurial technologies. The big opportunity and problem is all about fos- tering innovation internally. The deviants bring new opportunity but management wants them out, research brings new ideas but they are overhead and cut first, and so the vicious spiral goes. Given that, the best way to get innovation into the organization is from the outside. But you now have the internal protectors who will protect their positions and make sure not invented here (NIH) does not let in new innovation. So the winners will be the ones that look outside and bring in new ideas and innovations willingly and are focused on company growth, not job protection. - Michael Richmond, BrainTrust The secret to successful innovation in a large business venue is to control where it happens. It must be driven and implemented at a senior enough level to be both listened to and controlled. Lots of pundits talk about "harnessing the creativity of the individual worker or store manager" and there are no doubt creative people in those roles. But there is a much higher probability of chaos than of success if each store manager is encouraged to do things their own way. Who manages this process effectively? Why, Wal-Mart of course. - Ben Ball, BrainTrust The fact is that many large CG companies and retailers are too departmentalized. One may come up with a good idea only to be told that its in someone elses area of responsibility, or even worse - straddles both. There is no structure set up for working these projects if it does not fall in your direct line of responsibility. Smaller companies, where people have a greater range of responsi- bilities, go much further to foster ideas and carry them through. - Al Kenney, BrainTrust I think there is still one missing principle which Dr. Amabile barely touches on in point 6. Its not enough for top management to be supportive; they must breed and nurture a creative spirit that becomes culturally environmental throughout the organization. In large corporations, where developmental funds ought to be available for something other than line extensions, the phrases "entrepreneurial thinking" and "shareholder return" are diametrical- ly opposed. For that reason, internal petri dishes die before they have a chance to create life. It is also for that reason, that true idea incubators need to be kept at arms length from the short- sighted ROI predators. If you truly want innovation, you have to protect the innovators. The most creative environment I ever worked in preached and practiced the philosophy that "birds cant sing in caves". Most large corporations, today, have created dark functional caves in which only the blind and tone deaf survive. - Michael Aarons, BrainTrust From reading the daily comments in RetailWire (and - perhaps - with tongue in cheek and with an apology to that great innovator, Sam Walton), the most innovative company of people related to the food and retail industries today, and those who foster the most creative thinking, are the people who submit comments to RetailWire, write books on creativity for profit, and consult from the outside the action loop. Nonetheless the book is a very good read. - Gene Hoffman, BrainTrust Its really much more simple than all this -- the enemy is culture, in this case a culture that says (as corporate cultures almost always do) that innovators burn assets while negators conserve them. We train people from the start of their business careers to avoid true innovation at all costs -- which explains why we end up with so many incremental "innovations". Cokes fridge pack, for example, is a breakthrough application of that dynamic new principle -- gravity. - Ryan Mathews - BrainTrustRetailWire Digest - Fall 2003 page 14 The Power of Collective Thinking
  15. 15. www.retailwire.com In creativity, the "how" is less important than the "why." If you think you might like to go on a safari in Africa someday, this really fits into the realm of a possibly vague wish. If your kid falls out of a tree and breaks their arm, you will get immediate medical attention, without hesitation, because this is a NEED. To make creativity living, we focus on the crescendo: wish > want > need > got! When you need something, you get it. So if a business doesnt need creativity, they never have it. The question isnt how to get creativi- ty. The question is how to move the vague wish for creativity into a definite corporate want for creativity. And from there to the absolute need for it. If there isnt a burning need in the hearts of those at the top, forget it - you aint a gonna get it! - Herb Sorensen, Ph.D., BrainTrust I find it fascinating to see "new" products coming on with supposedly new and innovative packaging, or offer- ing new concepts that actually have been tried before. For example, the upside down ketchup bottle that made such a big splash a few years ago or the squeeze mayonnaise package. Other products tried before include his and her diapers, baby bibs, active (effervescent) tablets of detergent or toilet bowl cleaners, etc. In previous times, when product development people heard that there was a collection of past winners and losers to study, they couldnt be persuaded to make a trip to look these over and see what had been done before. And study why they might have not been successful when first tried. Sometimes the "new products" now are successful, and its success was due to timing this time around. In too many other cases, there remains lack of knowledge behind the first attempt, and the second (and even third) attempt, dont make it either. - Robert McMath, Founder & Director, NewProductWorks The food industry has been lean on creativity because the dominant strategy focus has been on operational efficiency as opposed to value innovation. Most companies striving for lowering costs engage in thinking that emphasizes short term focus and immediate ROI. In contrast, bold innovation is not a zero defect process. The bolder the innovation (not a product line extension), the more likely mistakes and costs will accrue. Wal-Mart is an exception as they participate in the forefront of introducing new process innovations aimed at operational efficiency (e.g., EDI, DSD, RFID, advanced data mining). As a result of the preoccupation in oper- ational efficiency, most strategy processes used by retailers and manufacturers are designed for continuous improvement, not innovation. And the senior management teams dont know how to redesign the strategies to inject more innovation. As for leaders in innovation... P&G has been innovative with whitestrips and Oil of Olay. They are one of the first CPG players to shift strategy to emphasize the anti-aging trend. HEBs Central Market is a revolutionary retail format that doesnt sell most national brand products, preferring to emphasize highest quality perish- ables and grocery products in an entertaining shopping experience. In interviewing the founders of this for- mat, they were given "Amnesty from mistakes" by HEB senior managers. The original Central Market was seen as an R&D site and managers were not subject to the same evaluation standards as their peers in con- ventional stores. Finally, Ukrops stands out as an innovator, being about 8 years ahead of the industry in meal solutions (i.e. they had a commissary for such products in 1989) and they offer significant square footage for meal solutions, including a restaurant. Ukrops senior management paid attention to trends of two paycheck families, and mobile families, and had the courage to invest in this emerging trend ahead of competitors. Today, they are a pioneer in the whole health trend. - Art Turock, BrainTrust I agree with the comment, "At Fortune 100 companies, people get rewarded for not failing, versus for trying to remake the market". Sad, but true. I ask the big company folks - how many people have you interviewed - let alone hired - that had a pony-tail or green hair, or wore jeans to the interview? Big companies seek diver- sity in race but conformity in thought! Does that sound like the progressive thing to do? The corp culture has to embrace change and risk and that starts at the top - it is just too damn hard - mostly impossible - for a product director to break through the layers and get someone to pay attention and get approval for a risky or potentially market-making idea. So, brand managers just fall into the "follow the follower" trap and copy their predecessor. Finally, brand managers are rewarded and promoted based on time in position and responsi- bilities held. Very seldom is the requirement for promotion - remaking the market, so why even try. - Mike Concannon, VP Marketing, InterCure ________RetailWire Digest - Fall 2003 page 15 The Power of Collective Thinking
  16. 16. digest www.retailwire.com Innovation Discussions Why CRM Doesnt Work Book Review by George Anderson Why CRM Doesnt Work, How to Win By Letting Customers Manage the Relationship by Frederick Newell (Bloomberg Press, 2003) provides a concisely written, easy-to-follow analysis of the missteps and opportunities available for com- panies in search of the Holy Grail of customer loyalty and retention. Mr. Newell, who previously authored loyalty.com, Wireless Rules, and The New Rules of Marketing, places his greatest emphasis on the need for organizations to move from customer relationship management (CRM) to customer managed relationships (CMR). In many cases, the author claims, members within a company do not even share the same definition of what CRM means. This basic discrepancy added to internal politicking, fear of change, technological challenges and other factors has doomed CRM initiatives to an alarmingly high rate of failure. CMR, conversely, is a business philosophy supported by all aspects of the organization that personalizes interactions with the customer as determined by the customer. Because CMR forces companies to think of customers as individu- als, Mr. Newell maintains, it offers the greatest opportunity for creating long-lasting, loyal and, ultimately, more profitable relationships with customers. Mr. Newell, in sentiments echoed by Seth Godin, author of Permission Marketing, who contributed the forward to Why CRM Doesnt Work, writes, "Customers have shown they dont want to be hunted like prey. They dont want to be man- aged; they just want companies to make their lives easier and less stressful. Theyre not removing their names from mailing lists for defensive reasons. Rather its an offensive lifestyle management tactic aimed at reconfiguring and improving -- not severing -- their connection with marketers." The author identifies Lands Ends use of instant messaging to enable shoppers to communicate to online service rep- resentatives as an example where letting the customer manage the relationship works to the benefit of the retailer. By empowering the consumer with the means to push the dialogue, the retailer has found that customers who make use of its "Lands End Live" spend eight percent more than those who do not, and these same shoppers are nearly 70 per- cent more likely to make a purchase than the average visitor to the web site. Why CRM Doesnt Work does not represent a giant leap forward in the understanding of consumers or the creation of customer-responsive organizations. It does, however, provide a coherent analysis of the obstacles to creating such an organization while providing recommendations for creating customer-managed businesses. Its worth a read. Moderator’s Comment: Do you agree that customer relationship management (CRM) doesnt work? Do you agree with Fred Newell that it is time for business to transition to customer managed relationships (CMR)? - George Anderson - Moderator Comments: As with most initiatives, CRM is evolving. This sounds like a reasonable, smart and practical evo- lution to me. I have read Seths Permission Marketing and feel hes right on. The more power we are able to give consumers, and the more we can manage relationships with them in con- cert, the better off everyone will be. I am not surprised by Lands Ends results. It is not a stretch to imagine most consumers would rather give business to a company that enables them to con- tact them how and when they wish. And get a response! - Karen Kingsley, RW CommentatorRetailWire Digest - Fall 2003 page 16 The Power of Collective Thinking
  17. 17. www.retailwire.com While I agree that giving shoppers the ability to manage their relationships is essential, CRM practices also have value. Polarizing the two is unproductive. Much of shopping is impulsive. Once the impulse dies, so does the chance to close the deal. Theres nothing that kills an impulse better than waiting days for an email response to a simple question. On the other hand, theres lots of value in using what you know about shoppers to thoughtfully select and recommend subsequent purchases. What you know should include not just positive actions, such as purchases made, but rejection of prior offers or inaction on prior messages. These important data points are too often left out. Theres no question a lot of messaging is not relevant to shopper preferences. Thats bad exe- cution of a good concept, not an indictment of CRM. Some combination of CRM and CMR is the right answer. The right objective - shopper satisfaction - will help guide effective execution. Anything you can do to push the needle toward hearing and using all of what shoppers are telling you, or finding new ways for shoppers to communicate with you, can only improve your effec- tiveness. - John Hennessy, BrainTrust A rose by any other name is not always a rose. I think Mr. Newell is right on target. For years, my associates and I have been proponents of "consumer-centric", or "customer-focused" relationship management. Mr. Newells play on words...CRM vs. CMR...is incidental to the issue. The central point is that CRM became an over- used buzz word driven, in part, by database software that allowed marketers (I use the term loosely) to aggregate and segment their customer base, based on similar economic attributes, e.g., revenue contribution, profit potential, number of employees, SIC codes, etc. The intent was to identify customer groups that offered "like opportunities" from the providers point of view. Customers were, in fact, reduced to being one-dimensional statistics. Never was there an intent to "let the customer manage the relationship" based on their satisfaction level, or their needs. Never was there a marketing initiative to truly act as the customers advocate...ask, listen, learn, develop, implement, listen again, refine, ad infinitum. Call it what you will, successful companies in any industry (but rarely in retail and even more rarely in the supermarket industry) have recognized that management doesnt pay the overhead, customers pay the overhead. Customers pay the shareholders. Customers are the only reason "marketers" exist. Why then, is it so hard for so many companies to realize that, by and large, their product and services have become commodities. The unique and compelling selling propositions (UCSP) must be based on the "experience", i.e., customer service from the customers point of view...selling the promise and delivering it consistently on the customers terms, not the mar- keters. To further the point, it is this experiential distinction that is the backbone of creating a corporate identity; uniquely positioning the company from a competitive perspective; creating a brand; and building brand equity. Customers dont buy products, they buy brands. Companies earn consumer loyalty based on consistent delivery of the brand experience, but only when it adds value to the customers life. Companies win when they let the consumer manage the relationship, not visa versa. - Michael Aarons, BrainTrustRetailWire Digest - Fall 2003 page 17 The Power of Collective Thinking
  18. 18. www.retailwire.com Ive long believed that companies need to balance the push of demand creation efforts with the pull of demand information from customers. All of the successful CPG/retail CRM implementa- tions Im aware of (and there are many) are based on both ensuring store level execution of pro- motion and marketing plans and pulling store level data back to headquarters for fast action. A good example is a major food manufacturer that uses its sales force automation system to rou- tinely optimize new product and promotion launches. In one case, this company used the tech- nology to determine the best placement for a shipper within a supermarket by testing it in three locations. After a week, the company concluded that one of the locations was selling far better than the other two, and not only switched the shippers to the better locations, but expanded the promotion throughout the chain. By not waiting for syndicated data to come, they were able to more quickly improve sales and profits on the shipper while reducing opportunity costs. - Ron Margulis, RW Commentator I endorse CMR because it has been working for our clients since we coined the phrase and the concept over four years ago. Too bad we didnt write a book about it way back then, but I guess thats what people like Frederick Newell are for. (Nope, I also havent read the book, either.) For CRM or CMR or any other alphabet-soup concept to work, someone must actually put in some real work. Its not enough just to install a loyalty program or customer feedback device and sit back and watch it. A savvy, aggressive, innovative team needs to work with the system 24-7. New concepts, tests, database analysis, defining and meeting changing sales objectives, etc. All and more are needed. So I’ve got to take exception to Ryan’s comment that CRM didn’t work and CMR probably won’t. I’ve seen both succeed when the retailer does the work required. By the way, in our business universe, CMR has to do with consumers controlling the portals through which they wish to be contacted, the frequency and detail of those contacts, and the nature of the messages they wish to receive. In our written material we have always character- ized CMR participants as becoming predators instead of prey, the hunter instead of the hunted. Interestingly, from the introductory remarks on this topic, Mr. Newell seems to have adopted the same sort of imagery. - Michael Banks, Ph.D. - BrainTrust Great discussion! I think two fundamental problems have plagued most CRM and loyalty mar- keting projects to date. 1. Technology-centric solutions >> Most of the “big ideas” in CRM are built around technological capabilities (sophisticated databases, data mining, the Internet, computer software, electronic messaging, wireless, etc.). In pursuing these ideas, marketers sometimes forget to assess whether the customer is ready for the new technology and also whether or not the solution is really of benefit to them. Its also easy to get caught up in what “can” be done and over-engineer the offering to the point where it is too confusing for the customer and too expensive for the retailer. 2. Retailer-centric objectives >> Too often, programs are created that attempt to achieve the retailers goals, without really considering what the customer wants. Sure, any CRM program has to positively impact customer behavior and help the retailer generate a return for the investment, but if you start with your own objectives, youll end up with poor customer response and therefore no return on investment. The key is to start with the customer and ignore what the technology “can” do. Once you know what it is that your customers want and what they will respond to, THEN you can use the avail- able technology to create a program built to address the specific customer need youve identi- fied. - Ken Wyker, BrainTrust ____________RetailWire Digest - Fall 2003 page 18 The Power of Collective Thinking
  19. 19. www.retailwire.comThe RetailWire BrainTrust PanelWe thank our BrainTrust panelists who have graciously volunteered to lend their estimable viewpoints to our news dis-cussions. They also, from time to time, advise us on our programs and policies. BrainTrust: Michael Aarons, RLR/Jarrin Advertising & Marketing Brad Mitchell, ChainDrugStore.net Ben Ball, Dechert-Hampe Anna Murray, e*media, inc. Janet Barker, DraftWorldwide David ONeil, Delta Associates, Inc. Mark Baum, Grocery Manufacturers of America Sean ONeill, IBM Carey Berger, BSR Romina Paciarotti, Comunicacion e Imagen Zel Bianco, Interactive Edge, Inc. Dan Raftery, Raftery Resource Network Inc. Bill Bishop, Willard Bishop Consulting Marilyn Raymond, NewProductWorks Kevin Blackwell, Bristol Technology Inc. Karen Ribler, KJR Consulting Ira Blumenthal, CO-OPPORTUNITIES Michael Richmond, Packaging & Technology Integrated Marc Bodner, National Cable Communications Solutions Mark Boyer, PMG, LLC Michael Schall, Strategic Marketing LLC Wayne Childers, AH HA! David Shanker, Information Resources, Inc. Carol Christison, IDDBA Stuart Silverman, Retail Technology Milestones Lee Dale, Global Horizons Limited Catherine Sleep, just-food.com Warren Dawson, Maverick Retail Technologies Herb Sorensen, Ph.D., Sorensen Associates J. Peter Deeb, Deeb MacDonald Associates Carol Spieckerman, newmarketbuilders Frank Dell, Dellmart & Company Kevin Sterneckert, DemandTec Sonny Dickinson, The Dickinson Corporation Phillip T. Straniero, Western Michigan University Haworth College of Business Frank DiPasquale, National Grocers Association James Tenser, VSN Strategies Dan Ellison, CATEGORYsolutions Robert Thomas, International F1 Steve French, The Natural Marketing Institute Joan Toth, The Network of Executive Women Joanne Fritz, Ph.D., Second50Years Marketing Bruce Tulgan, Rainmaker Thinking Jay Gordon, The Convenience Group Art Turock, Art Turock & Associates Brian Harris, The Partnering Group Jerry Tutunjian, Canadian Grocer magazine John Hennessy, Concept Shopping Garrett Van Siclen, Trade Dimensions Gene Hoffman, Corporate Strategies International Dave Wendland, Hamacher Resource Group Chris Hoyt, Hoyt & Company LLC Art Williams, Retail Marketing Consultant/Analyst Mark Hunter, MJH & Associates Ken Wyker, Wyker Marketing Marv Imus, Paw Paw Shopping Center David Zahn, Clow Zahn Associates, LLC Ralph Jacobson, IBM Thomas Zaucha, National Grocers Association Al Kenny, Best Practices Research and Consulting Stephan Kouzomis, Entrepreneurial Consulting Inc. Michael Kurowski, Catalina Marketing Corporation RW Commentators: Nils Michael Langenborg, Natural Planograms George Anderson, RetailWire Peter Leech, Littlewoods Limited Bernice Hurst, Fine Food Network Phil Lempert, Consumer Insight, Inc. Karen Kingsley, Kingsley Business Advantage Len Lewis, Lewis Communications Ron Margulis, RAM Communications David Livingston, DJL Research Warren Thayer, Private Label Buyer Ryan Mathews, Black Monk Consulting Al McClain, RetailWire Craig MacDonald, Deeb MacDonald Associates Rick Moss, RetailWire Seth Mendelson, Grocery Headquarters Santi Briglia, RetailWire RetailWire Digest - Fall 2003 page 19 The Power of Collective Thinking
  20. 20. www.retailwire.com About RetailWire RetailWire is a unique online news analysis and discussion forum, which launched in February 2002. RetailWire goes beyond conventional headline news reporting. Each business morning, RetailWire editors pick news topics worthy of commentary by its "BrainTrust" panel of industry experts, and the general RetailWire membership. The results are virtual round tables of industry opinion and advice covering key dynamics and issues affecting the retailing industry. Membership to RetailWire is free to all qualified retail industry professionals. Over two- thirds of members are in top executive or senior management positions, representing a broad cross section of retail channels and the companies that supply them. RetailWire is supported via sponsorships by leading retail suppliers and service organ- izations. Sponsorship packages take the form of information-rich "In-Sites"...mini-web- sites within the RetailWire domain...and frequently updated "Business TIPS" and "Category TIPS". Current sponsors include Campbell Soup, ACNielsen, Georgia- Pacific, Procter & Gamble, Interactive Edge, and Sara Lee. For RetailWire.com sponsorship information, contact: Al McClain 203-609-0557 amcclain@retailwire.com For other business inquiries, contact: Rick Moss 845-353-5586 moss@retailwire.com For editorial inquiries, contact: George Anderson 908-709-1690 geoanderson@comcast.net © 2003 RetailWire LLC. All rights reserved. This document may be copied and redistributed only in its entirety. No part of these contents may be excerpted and reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means except as may be expressly permitted in writing by the copyright owner.RetailWire Digest - Fall 2003 page 20 The Power of Collective Thinking