Welcome to the May issue of The Grocery Trader. Whoever forms the next government in a few days’ time, we’ll still need to know about the subjects of our features – the (relatively) new phenomenon of Omnichannel Retailing and those seasoned topics, Barbecue Time and the Back of Store, taking in warehousing and logistics for multiple grocers.
In 2011, ten years after the dot-com revolution, Darrell Rigby from Bain & Co. wrote in the Harvard Business Review that many traditional retailers “lagged in their embrace of digital technologies.” He argued that to survive, they must “pursue an omnichannel retailing strategy, which he defined as “an integrated sales experience melding the advantages of physical stores with the information-rich experience of online shopping.”
Four years on, it seems our retailers could do a lot better on the ‘Omnichannel’ front, according to our front cover main story courtesy of Honeywell. Unhappy consumers are voting for change by the simple expedient of not buying. With almost half (48%) of UK shoppers admitting to abandoning online shopping baskets due to poor delivery choices, companies unwilling to adhere to consumers’ demands will have to face the consequences. More and more consumers shop on-line, and expect retailers to provide more convenient delivery options to fit their schedules. Three-hour delivery windows have become a standard expectation among most shoppers. For orders needing collection, consumers expect short travel distances. Only one in ten said they would be willing to go five miles to pick up an item; whilst four in ten (39%) will only go as far as their nearest shop.
It’s always good to feature a new contender on our front cover, especially in a big brand-dominated market like soft drinks.
Dream Drinks has secured sole UK distribution rights for Surprise Drinks Drink & Play products. Drink & Play is a patented fruit juice playtime concept for kids themed around much loved popular licensed characters, with a novel and collectable toy built in. Embedded in the front of each bottle is a ‘surprise container’ enclosing collectable SCS-certified items such as stickers, tattoos and pendants or figures. The 300ml fruit juice drinks are certified to the highest food production standards and contain natural vitamins, minerals and at least 30 per cent fruit juice, with no preservatives. Dream Drinks’ MD came across the drink on a family holiday in Cyprus, where it was an immediate hit with his kids. With previous experience in food and drink, they quickly saw the product’s potential and hope to make Drink & Play fruit juices available to more families in the UK.