ALA Executive Briefing
Dec. 4, 2009

Grocers Must Now Display Unit Pricing on Products
ABC News
As of Dec. 1, all Queensland grocers are required to display prices per kilogram, or per litre, to give consumers a clearer understanding of grocery costs. The code was introduced in the middle of the year but now becomes compulsory.More

Kroger Offering 'DIY' Mobile Phones Linked to Loyalty Programs
Progressive Grocer
Kroger shoppers can now buy cell phones featuring "do-it-yourself" activation that reduces customer care and supply chain costs for the Cincinnati-based retailer. The grocer is using the Telespree solution from San Francisco-based i-wireless — a national wireless solution provider on the nationwide Sprint PCS network — for the offering, which is also integrated into Kroger's loyalty card program.More

The GREENING of Retail
Tribune Business Weekly
The notion of green retailing takes Robert Bartels back to business school when he learned about key claimants to his industry: Customers. Employees. Owners. Communities. "Mother Earth ain't on the list," he says matter-of-factly.More

Unified Grocers' IGA Market Fresh Stores Launch New, Consumer-Focused Web Site
Fresh member stores launched a new consumer-focused, interactive Web site this month. The site is designed to provide shoppers a broad range of valuable features and personalized consumer content to bring extra value to their online and in-store shopping experiences.More

Study Reveals Significant Impact on Shopping Patterns Among High-income Consumers
Progressive Grocer
A recent HealthFocus International study reveals that cutting costs has expanded into higher-income groups, namely, those with annual incomes upward of $75,000. A significant source of cost-cutting is happening at the grocery store as nearly three-quarters of shoppers indicate a higher level of concern about the cost of groceries, which has resulted in their buying less overall and cutting back on nonessential food and beverage items. More

Analyst Cuts Supervalu To 'Underweight'
The Street
Shares of Supervalu Inc. recently declined after an analyst downgraded the stock and forecast trouble as the grocer turns around its business. Morgan Stanley analyst Mark Wiltamuth cut his rating on the stock to "Underweight" from "Equal Weight."More

Beverage Alcohol: Glass Half Full
Progressive Grocer
While the beverage alcohol industry is sometimes thought to be "recession-proof," its performance over the past year can more accurately be described as recession-resistant. Consumers tend to drink alcoholic beverages in both good and bad economic times, but what and where they drink changes with their confidence in their personal financial situations, and the economy in general. More

Grocers Keep Spending on Sustainability
Retail Week
More than eight in 10 of the major grocers have maintained or stepped up investment in their environmental strategies during the recession according to research from food and grocery specialist IGD.More

Distributing Local Food: An Idea That's Growing
The Day - Connecticut
The stakeholders in the Greater New London Farm to City - a network of more than 40 food producers, restaurants, distributors, grocers, schools, hospitals, nonprofits and government agencies - heard the findings of a six-month study on how to get more locally grown and harvested food into the hands of local businesses and institutions.More

Grocers Set Standard for Online Retailers
Talking Retail
Grocers are setting the standard in customer service for online retailers, according to multichannel logistics specialist iForce. Geoff Taylor, director of Client Services at iForce said, "The standard seems to be set by online grocery retailers whose customers enjoy excellent delivery time window options including evening deliveries."More

Black Friday Effect: Weekend Sees Rise in Shoppers
USA Today
Shoppers took to stores in big numbers over the holiday weekend, but average spending per person fell as they snapped up bargains — trend retail analysts expect to continue through Christmas. The National Retail Federation reported that Americans spent an estimated $41.2 billion over the holiday weekend, an amount on par with last year. Store traffic surpassed expectations despite the weak economy.More

Target in SF: Here Today, Gone in Three Days
The Scavenger
Local media is buzzing about the new Target that's heading San Francisco. But unlike the one proposed for Metreon, this Target will be temporary. While ephemeral establishments have been around for years, the concept is gaining steam, especially in this economy. Retailers see the pop-up as a relatively easy and fast way to make a buck.More

More Shoppers Search for Coupons Online
USA Today
The wobbly economy is contributing to a rush by millions of online shoppers to a decidedly low-tech business: coupons.More

Built to Last
Retail Merchandiser
When it comes to shopping, drugstores know what products consumers need to buy, and consumers know where to go to find what they need. According to Walgreens' Catherine Lindner, vice president of retail marketing, it's not that shoppers are cutting out discretionary spending completely. Rather, it’s that most drugstores keep their discretionary spends in a price range consumers are comfortable with even in the depths of a recession.More

E.P.A. Says It Expects to Raise Amount of Ethanol Allowed in Fuel Blends to 15 Percent
The New York Times
The Environmental Protection Agency said that it would probably increase the amount of ethanol that gasoline retailers could blend into ordinary fuel to 15 percent, if tests established that the blend would not damage cars.More

Energizer is Going, Going, Almost Gone from CVS
CVS Caremark Corp has found a way to stop the Energizer bunny. It will discontinue sales of the company's alkaline batteries early next year.More

More Shoppers Use Smartphones to Study, Find, Buy
USA Today
This holiday shopping season, retailers are trying to capitalize on the still niche, but poised to boom, market of mobile shoppers. Some 19 percent of Americans will use their mobile devices for shopping this holiday season, according to a Deloitte survey.More

Shoppers Showed Up, But Spent on Bargains
The New York Times
More consumers flooded the nation’s stores on Thanksgiving weekend in search of bargains. But with retailers dangling rock-bottom prices and consumers only biting at less expensive merchandise like small appliances and winter clothes, the average amount spent by each shopper declined from last year.More

Early Promotions Fail to Deliver in November
Market Watch
Retailers, hurt by unseasonably warm weather that damped demand for coats and sweaters and consumers holding out and delaying purchases, failed to deliver November same-store-sales improvements, setting the stage for a highly competitive December.More

7-Eleven to Open 150 Stores in Area
The Baltimore Sun
Convenience store chain 7-Eleven said it will open 50 stores annually in the Baltimore/Washington area during the next three years as part of an aggressive expansion in some of its best-performing markets.More

Rutter's Expands Fresh-Food Menu
Convenience Store Decisions
York, Pa.-based Rutter's Farm Stores recently expanded its fresh-food menu to include turkey wings and sliders, which are available in its 36 stores that offer touch-screen ordering.More

Did You Get a Twitter Wake-Up Call?
Cape Cod Today
Black Friday has been a retail shopping phenomenon, probably ever since shopping malls were invented. A few years ago, Cyber Monday joined the retail scene as an important online shopping day, although last year December 9 was actually the heaviest online shopping day of the year. This year, the lines seem to have blurred as the amount of online shopping continues to increase, stimulated by social media.More