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Nielsen: U.S. grocery shoppers go online to save money

BY Marianne Wilson

Schaumburg, Ill. — Consumers focus on savings when they log in to their digital devices to shop for groceries, according to a new study from Nielsen. The top weekly U.S. activities related to grocery shopping on a connected device, ranging from a mobile phone to tablet, included reading online grocery circulars (62%), looking for coupons online (55%) and browsing a manufacturer’s website for a grocery category (55%).

The Nielsen Global Survey of Digital’s Influence on Grocery Shopping also found top monthly U.S. activities included looking for deals (43%) and coupons (43%), followed by price checking/consumer reviews (37%). The highest ranked daily activities were using digital shopping lists (39%) and looking for deals online (31%).

"Connected consumers and their devices are providing consumer packaged goods makers and retailers with options to differentiate their brands and stay relevant," said Todd Hale, SVP, consumer and shopper insights, Nielsen. "Those who can keep up with what matters most to digital shoppers will be well positioned for the short and long term."

When asked which factors influenced their grocery purchase decisions compared to a year ago, U.S. respondents identified rising food prices (49%), health factors such as heart/cholesterol/weight (28%) and increased transportation costs (28%) as having a “major impact” on their decisions. Food labeling (25%) and retailer loyalty programs (24%) rounded out the top five U.S. “major impact” categories.

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Walmart gets jump on Target in Canada

BY CSA STAFF

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — The first of 39 former Zellers stores Walmart bought from Targetin Canada celebrated its grand opening as a Walmart store earlier this month.

According to Walmart Canada, the 69,000 sq. ft. store located in Newmarket, Ontario, will feature easy-to-navigate aisles with directional signage, and a bright interior color palette todefine the store’s merchandise areas along withlower shelving to improvesightlines. The store will also conain a pharmacy.

"This store has an atypical footprint for a Walmart and is much smaller than most of the stores in our network," said Ken Farrell, vp ofstore development at Walmart Canada. "We worked within the existing footprint to design the store to fit the space and look and feel like a typical Walmart."

The Newmarket East store is one of 73 projects planned for the company’s current fiscal year, which will add 4.6 million square feet of retail space to its operations by January 31, 2013. The 73 projects include building new stores and expanding, remodelling or relocating existing stores and represent an investment of more than $750 million in Canadian communities. Included in these projects are 39 former Zellers stores. The 73 projects are expected to generate more than 14,000 store, trade and construction jobs.

Meanwhile, Target is on track to open 125 stores next year in former Zeller’s location. The company is said to be in the assortment planning process and working to edit the merchandise mix to accommodate the slightly smaller footprint of the Canadian locations.

The first round of openings are due for the March or April time frame in the greater Toronto area.

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Supervalu moves ahead with turnaround plan

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS — Moving ahead with its previously announced turnaround strategy, Supervalu has overhauled its executive leadership team.

Led by chairman, president and CEO Wayne Sales, Supervalu announced that EVP retail operations Kevin Holt would take on an expanded role as president of Supervalu’s retail business. In this role, Holt will drive the overall strategy for the company’s traditional retail and pharmacy divisions, including overseeing the marketing and merchandising functions. Holt also will work closely with sales and his leadership team to clearly develop the company’s strategic platform, the company said.

As part of this change, EVP and chief marketing officer Michael Moore now will report to Holt, as will Tim Lowe, who has been promoted to EVP merchandising. Lowe previously served as SVP of Supervalu’s merchandising organization, a role he has held since May.

In addition, EVP merchandising and logistics Janel Haugarth has accepted the newly created position of EVP business optimization and process improvement at Supervalu. A 35-year company veteran, Haugarth will be responsible for identifying and executing strategies to make Supervalu a more streamlined, effective organization.

The executive moves follow the company’s less-than-favorable first-quarter results, reported in late July. Supervalu announced a number of dramatic measures to stabilize its business — reduction in capital spending, suspension of the company’s dividend, even the exploration of possible strategic alternatives — in conjunction with its declining first-quarter earnings results. One of the measures included the hiring of Wayne Sales to replace leader Craig Herkert.

"We are moving quickly to reinvigorate Supervalu, and that starts with leadership," Sales said. "The changes I have made to my executive team are designed to address two of our most immediate priorities: driving profitable sales in our retail stores and taking costs out of the business. These efforts are critical to our successful turnaround."

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