OPERATIONS

NRF: Retailers will collaborate with law enforcement against terror

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – The National Retail Federation told a congressional committee holding an Oct. 9 hearing on the terrorist attack at a Kenyan shopping mall that the safety of employees and customers is retailers’ top concern.

“Retailers face many threats; yet through a mix of technology, partnerships, preparation and training, retailers are able to ensure that they are able to respond to any threat,” said NRF VP Richard Mellor. “Retailers are committed to continuously improving their vigilance in order to stay ahead of those who wish to do harm to their businesses, their employees and their customers."

NRF works with local, state and federal agencies on a series of loss prevention priorities, from developing “active shooter” guidelines with the Department of Homeland Security to responding to both man-made and natural emergencies. NRF has also advocated for legislation in Congress to make organized retail crime, which has been linked to funding of criminal and terrorist organizations overseas, a federal offense.

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OPERATIONS

Home Depot receives EPA water award

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized The Home Depot with a 2013 WaterSense Retail Partner of the Year award. The Home Depot was honored during the WaterSmart Innovations Conference for its commitment to water efficiency and outstanding efforts to support the WaterSense program during 2012.

“The Home Depot is committed to conducting business in an environmentally responsible manner through its stores and suppliers,” said Ron Jarvis, VP environmental, The Home Depot. “We are honored to win the WaterSense Partner of the Year Award for 2013. The Home Depot was the first major retailer to sell only WaterSense-labeled lavatory faucets, and we now sell WaterSense-labeled products in our nearly 2,000 retail locations across the United States."

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

College kids snack in the afternoon, to replace meals

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boston – College students most frequently eat snack foods in the afternoon and are frequently replacing meals with snacks. A new study from marketing agency Fluent shows that 75% of college students replace meals with snacks and afternoon snacking is three times more popular than morning or late night snacking.

Other notable findings of the survey college students age 18-25 include:

  • While convenience and price are clearly important in driving snack choices, the single most important factors are satisfying a craving (25% of responses) followed by nutritional information (20%).
  • The top go-to snack food of choice is a granola/energy bar (25%), followed by chips (22%), fruit (14%) and baked goods (12%).
  • In terms of beverages, water is tops (62%), while coffee and tea are the primary caffeinated beverages (13%), chosen far more often than soft drinks (7%); juice (5%) and milk (4%) did better overall than sports (3%) and energy drinks (2%).
  • Most students (44%) rely on debit cards to pay for snacks, followed by ID card and cash (21% each).
  • More than 80% report spending less than $5 per day, and 48% spend less than $3.
  • Familiar tastes and brands (43%), free samples (35%) and coupons (10%) are the most popular influencers on collegiate snack choices. Peer recommendations come in fourth.

“Many of the results of our snacking survey contradict what most people would imagine to be true about college kids and snacking; the peak of college snacking actually occurs during the day as opposed to late night, and students are making relatively healthy choices,” said Michael Carey, executive VP of Fluent. "Knowing that winter is indeed the top snacking season, according to this first-hand insight from students on campus, gives brands an opportunity to hone their marketing efforts to better meet Millennial snacking and buying preferences."

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