Enterprise Marketing & Promotions Management

Independent Grocers Innovate to Win

By / October 2017


At Aptaris, the majority of our clients are independent retailers and we have experience supporting advertising and marketing promotions for more than 7,000 stores. With our successful history working with independent retailers, we know next week’s National Grocers Association (NGA) Fall Leadership Meetings, will be both educational and energizing.

The gathering of independent grocers, October 16-19 in Chicago, also includes the National Association of Convenience & Fuel Retailing (NACS) hosting joint education sessions with NGA. The event will attract 350 grocery executives and 20,000+ convenience and fuel retailers with the theme of Learn. Innovate. Collaborate. Win. We agree those are powerful values to embrace for independent grocers and convenience stores — and all forward-thinking retailers.

Educational sessions at the Fall Leadership Meetings will cover future grocer trends, financial management and data security technology. Major emphasis will be on the shifts in how consumers shop, what they eat, and how changes in society, the economy and technology are disrupting food retailers. We anticipate lively discussions around the blending of online orders and instore pickup, along with curbside and home delivery. There will also be a special focus on competition from meal kits, dollar stores and more.

Perhaps the hottest topic among grocers is the deal of the decade with Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods. Of course click and collect and food delivery will be more seamless. However, the marriage of Amazon and Whole Foods could also create reasons for enticing shoppers into the store that independent grocers can leverage, including these ideas from a recent Forbes article:

  1. Live cooking shows with locally-known chefs live-streaming the event on Facebook
  2. Product discovery allowing brands to test new recipes, product formulations and packaging
  3. Grocery stores as community centers to shop and connect

In addition, some Whole Foods stores will have Amazon Lockers installed, which will allow shoppers to receive and return Amazon orders in-store. This new store traffic is likely to spur impulse purchases and opportunities for sampling food while in-store. Could independent grocers consider a similar alliance with local buyers and sellers who need a safe, convenient meeting place?

Independent grocers have long been considered the reliable neighborhood resources that are here for the community. The commitment of local grocers and food retailers was tested and proven with the recent hurricanes: Harvey, Irma and Maria. During the devastating storms and as we recover, independent, local grocers are serving as a vital support for the communities they serve. With the Aptaris headquarters located in Tampa, we have first-hand experience. In fact, independent grocers maintain leadership positioning in their neighborhoods and regions because of their close ties to people and communities.

The entrepreneurial spirit that launched independent grocers will continue to propel the industry to success. That’s the reason we’re confident independent grocers will innovate to win!

If you’re going to be in Chicago next week, we hope to see you there.

If you’re not attending the NGA event, please contact us to learn about the ways we support more than 7,000 stores with marketing and promotions programs. Find out how we help our clients engage their customers and increase loyalty.

Contributed by Tom O’Reilly, President and CEO, Aptaris

Tom has a deep understanding of the retail business from both the store and vendor perspectives. He brings decades of hands-on experience in advertising and promotions including new media innovations. As an entrepreneur, he has transformed each organization he has worked with. Tom is a forward-thinking leader with a history of driving innovation, growth and profitability. As an avid reader, Tom is always enthusiastically sharing cutting-edge ideas with clients and colleagues.


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