Tuesday, May 24, 2016

CVS Invest In Curbside: Relationship Between Retailers & Start Up

It is pretty rare to see the name of a retailer (aside Amazon obviously) hitting the headlines of Techcrunch. But this time, pharmacy retailer CVS has invested in a Silicon Valley startup named Curbside, which allows customer to shop on mobile, and prepare the basket in store for pick up.

Aside of the innovative concept, which provides a better shopping experience, and is capitalizing on the large store network of CVS, I wanted to underline to me another very interesting trend.

Retailing is a business focusing on operations. And it needs to in order to leverage great results. But in our nowadays commerce land that is changing very fast due to Ecommerce, digitalization and mobile devices, using technology both to improve customer experience and to get an edge on competition is key.

We see in a lot of other industries companies acquiring innovative start up to get knowledge and technologies that could not be developped in a large corporation due to its structure and lack of reactivity.

And I believe retailers should really look closely at it. I know Carrefour has participated to a lot of start up events in order to build a bridge. But those investments will really pay off soon.

I believe it is time for start ups to look closely at retailing, and retailers at start up.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Reason Why Walmart Is Raising Employees Salary

Walmart has always had a low salary strategy in order to minimize the operational costs of its store. Indeed, in a discount retail business model, wages are among the largest expenses. But as a matter of fact, it is also one of the best resources. Indeed, without people to manage stores, to put products on shelves, cash in people, keeping the stores clean and appealing, no much business is possible.

What Walmart has figured out is simple:
Walmart understood its ethic image goes through salary raises
For the longest time Walmart had a bad image because of its low salaries. Moreover, a lot of controversy came from how the government subvention Walmart by giving food stamps and health insurance to Walmart employees because they don't have enough revenues to sustain their familly.
Walmart needs to improve its image because obviously Walmart has a deep impact on communities.

The cost of bad employees
Walmart is known to have beyond 50% rate of turnover. This is big. That means they spend a lot of time and money in the recruiting process, but also on training those new employees, that may not last long.

This is the total opposite of Costco policy, which implies to pay more its employees to make sure of their loyalty and implication on the business growth.

Walmart's move is a big one. It will count for $1,5 billions next year. And in a difficult economy, it is always difficult to make such a move.

Category Management: Comments On End of the Aisle Displays

I got this picture from the Twitter feed of POSInsight. You can see a point of sales marketing display of a brand of milk. But I have several thoughts crossing my mind as I watch this end of the aisle display:

  • First of all, obviously, the display is great. The milk category is for sure one of commodities. It is therefore difficult to create difference between product, as the product is basic, and the way to create added value is difficult.
  • It emphasizes the fact that point of sales marketing is indeed a powerful medium. It could leverage sales at least as much as a TV advertizing campaign. Therefore it is important not to forget about it. It is always powerful to communicate while the customer is shopping. Thus you maximize your chance to be taken into account during the decision making process.
  • Nevertheless, I have a negative comment. I have been the category manager of the milk section. It is a large volume market, especially while you have commercials. This POS marketing has been designed for brand equity building. But end of the aisle display are great sales tool, and you need to generate as much sales as possible. And when I see the few products available on the display, I am sure that they would go fast out of stock.

So just to sum up what makes a great end of aisle display:
  • Theatralization: to be seen from the customer
  • Product availability, which is lacking in this example.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Cérémonie SCOPS 2016 du master Distribution et Relation Client de Paris Dauphine

Traditionnellement je me rends chaque année à la remise des trophées SCOPS 2016. Cette cérémonie est organisée par le master Distribution et Relation Client de Paris Dauphine, Master II spécialisé en distribution que j'ai eu la chance de réalisé. C'est l'occasion de voir plusieurs choses:

L'évolution du master
Que de chemin parcouru... Aujourd'hui le master possède des partenariats avec la plupart des enseignes et des industriels les plus prestigieux, intègre des voyages d'études, séminaire-neige, missions en entreprise, afin de pouvoir 1 - ouvrir leurs yeux sur la réalité du monde des affaires et des innovations, mais également 2- être le plus proche possible de la réalité des problématiques du commerce moderne.

On voit également le niveau de présentation à l'oral qui est juste bluffant...

Les innovations 2016
C'est le concept: voir les innovations de l'année, sur différents aspects, commerciaux, promotions, relations clients, etc... Cela permet de voir les tests, les tendances. Parmis elles, certaines feront l'objet de notes plus longues, notamment l' AfterClick 3.0, le mini dressing Pimkie, ou bien Oups Café au sujet du pricing. Comme quoi il y a toujours de l'innovation dans le commerce.

Revoir tout le monde
Le pot d'après la cérémonie est toujours aussi intéressant, car il permet de rencontrer et discuté les anciens, les étudiants, et les spécialistes du retail, dans un cadre sympathique. C'est bien de sentir toute cette énergie positive, loin du tumulte de la vie quotidienne.

Mais cette année, plus que tout, ce fut l'occasion, totalement légitime de rendre hommage à Michel Choukroun, décédé en début d'année, qui fut très clairement l'un des principaux protagoniste du succès de cet événement.

Ci dessous, vous retrouverez une vidéo de l'événement, que vous pourrez retrouver sur le site Carrefour un combat pour la liberté, ainsi que le live tweet que j'ai réalisé.

Practive Your Emotional Hygiene

We all encounter difficult time in life that affects our emotional state. We actually don't exactly know how to react at it, and the effects could be disastrous. You should watch this video I find very interesting, on how to train your emotional hygiene to prevent those stages.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Le discount joyeux: "pas assez cher mon fils"

Je voulais revenir sur un excellent article que j'ai lu sur le blog de DIA MART. Il discute des profondes mutations du commerce du discount. En effet, le discount, historiquement est associé à des concepts austères, la plupart de temps renforçant l'idée de bas prix auprès des consommateurs.

Le concept développé dans l'article est qu’aujourd’hui les gens ne veulent plus être complexés d'aller chez un discounter. Il veut pouvoir avoir des concepts joyeux, car ils affirment leurs droits à payer moins cher.

Cela m'a fait penser à une publicité, qui je pense à marquer beaucoup de gens: La publicité clio (Ci dessous). En effet, la publicité illustre bien l'idée. On peut avoir de l'argent, on a aussi le droit de choisir où dépenser l'argent, et donc d'acheter des produits discounts. "Pas assez cher mon fils".

C'est un peu la même chose que le concept de "everyone loves Walmart". Le client à le choix, est de mieux en mieux informé de la répartition de la chaine de valeur, et donc a besoin de plaisir également lorsqu'il achète peu cher.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Thoughts On Victoria's Secret Opening In France And Its Consequences On The Market

US retail chain Victoria's secret has opened its first store in France, at the Orly airport. It had already launched its retail chain in Europe, I believe it was in Belgium, and I remember to have seen one in a Hungrarian Airport.

Actually, Victoria's Secret don't communicate much about its International expansion, leaving commentators wondering what is next.

I actually believe that Victoria's Secret is simply executing a strategy implying a travel retail expansion, which ultimately means they need to open in several big airports to grow their network. Which would mean very few ambitions abroad.

But let's imagine Victoria's Secret open really in France. I believe it could be a big game changer. I have bee, a fan of the concept since I have visited my first store in the US: 
  • Focusing on the shopping experience
  • A great marketing with its events mixing great music superstars and top models
  • A large product range
  • With low prices
If Victoria's Secret would really like to come to France, it could be compared to the development of Kiko on the make up market.

The French market is a high price market, with actually very few changes. When Kiko came in, it proposed new innovative products, with a cool concept and low prices. Exactly the offer of Victoria's Secret.

It would therefore be interesting to see how it would grow because the historical actors would need to adapt to keep their market shares.

I will definitely cover for you the story if it unfolds.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Le marché des cosmétiques face à la révolution digitale

Article intéressant sur le site Les Echos. Il met en perspective tous les bouleversements que le développement des réseaux sociaux a imposé au secteur de la beauté. Aujourd'hui, effectivement, les acteurs historiques de la distribution de ce type de produit se retrouvent en face de challenges très important à relever.
C'est la raison pour laquelle j'aime le secteur des cosmétiques: il est en pleine transformation.

Néanmoins, je pense qu'on peut mettre un bémol sur ce constat:
-10% de part de marché pour le online (au UK)), certainement 15% à moyen terme, cela reste dans la moyenne des parts de marché du Ecommerce dans le marché global. Donc on n'est pas forcément sur un marché si propice au E-commerce.

- Par contre, ce qui a profondément changé, c'est la prescription, qui est un enjeu fondamental de la beauté: Avant les médias, et les conseillères sur le point de vente. Aujourd'hui, clairement, les blogs, Youtubeuse, avis conso en ligne. Et cela change profondément les raisons d'aller en magasin et l'experience shopper.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Kohl's Digital Strategy To Be Followed Up

I wish the best of luck to Sona Chawla, the new chief operating officer of Kohl's. She has been hired from her former Walgreen's E commerce chief position.

Why is it a great move from Kohl's?
  • First I always like woman to have executive positions as they bring a new vision to the business
  • Obviously, Kohl's is eager to move on with its digital strategy. Therefore, they are not affraid to hire someone who has accomplished most of her career in the Ecommerce business
But today, especially if you are Kohl which competition comes from both the brick & mortar  and the Ecommerce business, you need to be able to provide a true shopping experience blending the online and offline world. 

It will therefore be interesting to see what Sona Chawla is able to bring to Kohl in terms of digital strategy execution.