Retail control is increasingly in the hands of consumers as new shopping options and increasing gas prices are forcing retailers to rethink their businesses. That challenging retail situation is here to stay, according to analysis by ACNielsen during the recent Consumer 360 Conference.
Consumer 360 is a marketing information conference for the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. Here, Todd Hale, senior vice president of ACNielsen's Consumer Insights, made his predictions about the face of retail in 2010, including:
RFID will be widely applied to track in-store shopping patterns, stock merchandise and measure consumption. Self-checkout will be greatly simplified as "EZ-Pass"-style devices come into play at the retail level.
Wal-Mart sales will reach the half-trillion-dollar mark, with the chain becoming a leading source for immediate healthcare.
Private label will reach a 20-percent dollar share.
High gas/heating costs will continue to reduce shoppers' disposable income and will drive channel evolution.
"Today's hectic lifestyles have changed the way people shop," said Hale. "What used to be a rather leisurely activity has turned into a rushed, stressful nuisance for some shoppers. Retailers that acknowledge this stay one step ahead of the game. These days, retailers are looking for ways to keep customers is to keep them happy by selling them unique products, getting them in/out of stores quickly, smothering them with good service, and/or saving them money."
Hale encouraged retailers to keep customers satisfied by altering business practices to focus on personalization, value and convenience. He suggested some Survival Tips designed to teach retailers to maximize growth potential in the face of consumers' tightened purse strings. Among these Tips:
Leverage manufacturer expertise to stay ahead of consumer trends.
Be quick to accept and quick to discontinue new products.
Develop premium, exclusive brands: Private Label doesn't always have to be a low-price alternative.
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