Macy's, which in 2006 announced plans to wean consumers fromfrequent sales, is not doing so now. Sales and promotions abound,and, according to published reports, the initial plan has beenpushed back until consumer spending begins to pick up.

|

When it comes to aggressive marketing, "retailers that havesharply defined who they are are way ahead of those that appeal tothe great masses," says Bill Bishop, chairman of Willard BishopLLC, a Barrington, IL-based retail research and consulting firm."When they have already differentiated themselves, they can usemarketing effectively to reinforce their strengths."

|

He cites the Wawa, PA-based Wawa convenience store chain as oneexample of a retailer that can benefit by ramping up its marketingnow, pointing out additional benefits, such as a savings of time.Trader Joe's also has an opportunity to build on its establishedvalue proposition, according to Bishop, who also mentions Aldi. TheGermany- based giant grocery chain known for deep discounts now hasabout 850 units in the US.

|

"Aldi has a clear identity," Bishop points out. "Alerting peopleto the fact that they are rock bottom in price probably justifiessome advertising." Aldi, incidentally, goes beyond groceries withweekly special purchases, which the chain touts, "can be anything."Anything during Easter week included a wood breakfast nook for$149.

|

"If you have not differentiated, advertising dollars work lesswell," Bishop tells GlobeSt.com. "Any sales generated from ads haveto be offset by the prices the retailer needs in order to get(those sales). Stores need to be very clear-eyed about what theycan do to drive incremental sales."

|

If the foundation for an effective marketing program has notalready been built, Bishop suggests, "it's probably better totighten up, control costs and batten down the hatches. Companieswill be exploring lower cost ways to serve customers."

|

He points to a time when pumping your own gas would have beenunthinkable. So would banking without ever talking to a person."There will be a lot of shifting in the delivery of goods andservices to a lower cost proposition," he predicts, stressing thatthe cost reduction cannot sacrifice the product or experience.

|

Bishop also sees opportunities in an increased bundling ofservices between brick and click. Citing Famous Footwear, he notes,"a lot of people order online. Order three pair; take back two."The retailer gets another shot, "while taking the two back to astore, the customer may buy something else," he reasons.

|

As gas prices head toward $4 a gallon, he points to anotherstrategy on retailers' minds. "A store's adjacency and relationshipto other retailers becomes increasingly important," he points out.On the belief that gas prices are unlikely to go down, he saysretail chains and shopping center owners will be looking to provideconsumers with a "more efficient driving loop."

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.