Sunday 30 September 2012

Wipes Retailer Needs

Dan Mack of Mack Elevation Forum stood in for Tony Tobin of Save-a-Lot Food Stores (USA) to point out that retailers feel their suppliers don’t understand them, add little value and tend not to listen to their requirements.

  • ·         An LBS study showed that according to retailers only 7% of meetings with suppliers add value and 93% waste their time.
  • ·         Suppliers prefer optimizing existing products rather than creating new ones.
  • ·         “They’re blind to the way I do business and seem to rigidly work to a script”
  • ·         “we want a new pie, not further slicing of the old one”
  • ·         Overall the research indicated suppliers presentations provide too  much detail, are illogical and unbelievable, given in a distracting style without a theme and with too many objectives.
  • ·         The retailer wants suppliers to be partners who can solve problems and think holistically about the category even if they don’t play in all its parts.
  • ·         “Show me the whitespace and create things I don’t already have”
  • ·         “Find a nugget and create a program around that nugget that helps me win the consumer”
  • ·         “Provide idea ready or 1st to market programs that build my basket while aligning with my core customer” 
  • ·         “understand my private brand goals and help me achieve them”
Retailers feel a supplier blind spot is the use of a key account manager. 
They would like contact with many individuals across many disciplines and to get involved with the suppliers best thinkers, intellectual property and intangibles.  Suppliers should be prepared to try new things frequently and move on quickly if they don’t work.  They also need a deeper understanding of retailers and their boardroom agenda.

Asked how a supplier could overcome the retailers reluctance to share his boardroom agenda, Mr Mack thought if there was a reluctance, the wrong people were at the meeting.

(from a paper given at the INDA WOW Conference, Chicago, June 2012)

No comments: