News Feature | October 17, 2013

Grocery And Convenience Store IT News For VARs —October 17, 2013

By Anna Rose Welch, associate editor

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In this week’s news, your convenience stores clients could see ROI from mobile payments, e-tobacco products are moving to brick and mortar stores, and grocery prices are on the rise.

C-Store Mobile Payments Have ROI

According to Convenience Store News, a roundtable event was held that featured chief information officers of convenience store retailers who discussed the future of mobile payments. Joe Randozza, CEO and President of the National Payment Card Association, claims, “Merchants are looking for the lowest form of payment. They’re looking for decoupled mobile debit.” In addition to serving as a loyalty program platform, presenters claim mobile payments would eliminate credit card swipe fees and replace them with a lower cost per transaction.

E-Tobacco Products: Not Just For Online Merchants

Convenience Store Decisions features insights from experts on the growing e-cigarette industry. According to Bonnie Herzog, a tobacco analyst at Wells Fargo, retailers are turning to electronic tobacco products because retailers achieve more growth and better margins from these products. While a majority of these sales happen online, the e-tobacco industry is moving into brick and mortar stores, and these retail sales could overcome the total of e-tobacco online sales.

Grocery Prices On The Rise

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s latest Semi-Annual Marketbasket Survey, higher retail prices for meat and dairy products are causing consumers to spend more in grocery stores. This survey revealed that the total cost of 16 food items used to prepare one or more meals was up 3 percent from six months ago. Items showing increases included boneless chicken, whole milk, vegetable oil, and toasted oats cereal, among other items. Items such as eggs, apples, and various other types of meat showed modest decreases in price.

Grocery and Convenience Store IT Talking Points

Philip Atchinson for Birdsong Gregory addresses the growing threat that other retail channels like drug stores and dollar stores are posing for supermarket center stores. Atchinson argues that grocers should focus on the “demand landscape” which focuses more closely on what leads shoppers to the store. He claims that, “fulfilling a mission-based demand requires a shift from product-centric, category management approach to one focused on consumer-centric shopping management.” He also elaborates upon several shopper-centric opportunities that will help revitalize center store sales.

Supermarket News features a new infographic revealing the results of The Multi-Cultural Latino Study from the Hartman Group and MLSGroup. The infographic includes statistics about acculturation and eating and cooking habits.

The Hartman Group has found that sustainable packaging is a primary draw for brands looking to make a good impression on consumers. According to the Hartman Group, minimal packaging/packaging that is recyclable, reusable or compostable also appeals to consumers’ desires for fresh/less-processed foods and is a primary purchase motivator. If a package is sustainable, the Group’s studies have found, customers are more likely to view the product as high quality and healthy.

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