OPERATIONS

Report: Restaurant visits to slip as prepared foods gain traction

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Chicago — Home meal replacements or prepared foods from supermarkets, drug stores and other retail outlets will continue to capture share of the meal/snacks market by stealing visits from restaurants, according to a recent study by The NPD Group.

Its recent foodservice forecast through 2022 indicated that instances of prepared food purchased at retailers for at-home consumption will increase by 10% over the next decade compared to a 4% increase forecast for commercial foodservice traffic.

While there is no one age group that takes greater advantage of the prepared food offerings from retail outlets than another, the needs being met do differ by age group. Adults 35 years and older are more likely than 18-34 year olds to use prepared foods from retail to meet their in-home supper needs. Lunch-at-home interests are also met by these retailers, especially for seniors (65+). Consumers 18-24 are more inclined than others to make purchases from these retail outlets to satisfy their interest in afternoon or evening snacks.

Acknowledging the growth in the number of Baby Boomers moving into their senior years, the larger share of home meal replacement purchases from retailers will source to those 65+ years over the next 10 years, reported NPD. Prepared foods retailers are also expected to benefit from increased visiting from those in their 30s.

“Capturing visits from direct competition, like prepared foods retailers, has been the primary source for a restaurant operator’s growth over the past 10 years and this will continue to be the case,” said Bonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant industry analyst. “Efforts to pull consumers out of their homes and back into restaurants will require touting the benefits of eating out vs. staying at home and cooking or eating meals offered by home meal replacement retailers.”

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French lingerie retailer teams for Centric for PLM

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Los Gatos, Calif. — French manufacturer, distributor and retailer of high-end women’s lingerie and ready-to-wear apparel Aubade has selected Centric Software as its product lifecycle management (PLM) software provider.

The company will implement the Calendar Management, Cost Scenario, Materials Management, Product Specification and Product Sourcing modules of the Centric 8 PLM software for retail, apparel, footwear, luxury and consumer goods companies. Users will include product managers, designers, and members of product development, industrialization, quality control, research and development, and technical development staff around the world.

Until recently, Aubade handled all product design, development and manufacturing, while selling only through channels. Now, the business is expanding rapidly into the retail sector, according to Annie Bureau, Aubade’s operations director, and already operates more than 55 stores. This expansion created a need to accelerate product development, and that led the company to select Centric 8 PLM, said Bureau.

To date, Aubade has relied on spreadsheets to manage product development. “As Aubade continues to open new retail outlets and increase the number of collections each year, it is more important than ever to implement a system to help assure reliability and accuracy,” said Bureau.

Aubade will use the Centric PLM suite to accommodate two separate operational models. For its lingerie products, Aubade directly handles product design, development and manufacturing. For day and night ready-to-wear apparel lines, Aubade outsources the manufacturing.

By working with “one version of the truth” about each product, Bureau explained, staff can better track development progress, improve data reliability and increase productivity across all product lines, all departments and all locations.

Aubade also will use the PLM software to improve collaboration with remote suppliers through better progress monitoring and visibility into the product development process that takes place at different sites. “By clearly defining and tracking all product development actions, Aubade will be able to more precisely calculate lead times and costs, and control margins throughout the process,” said Bureau.

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Kenneth Cole leverages Instagram for Kinky Boots promo

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Fashion designer and retailer Kenneth Cole is partnering with the Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots on the launch of a limited-edition capsule shoe collection arriving in stores for the holiday season.

To promote the launch, a designated area in front of the Al Hirschfeld Theatre (302 West 45th Street in Manhattan) will encourage passersby to try and win a pair of Kinky Boots tickets by following @kennethcoleprd and @kinkybootsbway and Instagraming a photo of their "kinky" shoes using #KCKinkyboots.

Additionally, a 20% shopping discount will be extended to any customer presenting a Kinky Boots ticket stub at Kenneth Cole stores nationwide. And the brand will dedicate its West Side Highway billboard during the month of October to the Kinky Boots collaboration.

All of the net profits from the sale of the shoes – which feature a "Kinky Boots by Kenneth Cole" logo embossed on the sole – will be donated to AWEARNESS, The Kenneth Cole Foundation in support of the Human Rights Campaign.

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