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Survey: Amazon tops with consumers

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Costco, Lowe’s and the Apple Store ranked tops with consumers in a survey by the global strategy firm OC&C Strategy Consultants.

The study, the OC&C Proposition Strength Index (the “Index”), surveyed over 2,700 U.S. consumers in an effort to understand consumer sentiment toward 50 of the country’s leading retailers. The survey rates how consumers view core elements of a retailer’s value proposition — such as Value for Money, Customer Service, Product Selection and Product Quality.

Amazon.com ranked first in the Index overall and dominated most of the proposition dimensions rated by each consumer. The online retailer scored No. 1 in the following categories: Product Breadth, “Products That Are Suited To Me,” Value for Money, and Trust. In all other categories relevant to non-fashion online retail, namely Price, Product Quality and Service, Amazon placed in the top three.

But while Amazon topped the overall survey, other retailers emerged stronger in specific areas. For example, the Apple Store placed first for Product Quality, Service and Store Look & Feel — indicating that current customers recognize and appreciate Apple’s unique approach to brick and mortar retailing. In terms of price perception, Dollar Tree ranked first in the category of Low Price, edging out the country’s largest discount retailer, Walmart.

“The economy has had varying degrees of impact on the top performers in our survey,” said Keri Aivazis, partner, OC&C Strategy Consultants. “Broadly speaking, the retailers at the top of our Index maintain a strong competitive position and are poised to reap the benefits as discretionary spending behaviors return.

A presentation containing a more detailed overview of the data and survey methodology is available by e-mailing [email protected].

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Deloitte: Store brands retain a strong presence in retail

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK (Oct. 1)- Deloitte released a report last week that reaffirmed the latest shopping trend among consumers: private-label purchases.

In Deloitte’s new “The Battle for Brands in a World of Private Labels” study, 77% of consumer packaged goods executives and 90% of retail executives surveyed said the market share of store brands will increase significantly by 2012 in the United States, as many consumers find that store brands are manufactured just as well as national brands and find little to no reason to switch back to national brands, Deloitte said.

“Though conventional wisdom has co-branding between retailers and CPG companies as a win-lose proposition, the results of our study indicate that nearly half of retail and CPG executives agree that working together may be the best way to win the wallets of the ‘new consumer,’” said Pat Conroy, vice chairman and Deloitte’s U.S. consumer products practice leader. “What they need to consider are variations on current brands and what new innovations should be brought to market so as not to overwhelm an already substantial marketplace.”

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Walmart, Humana unveil new Medicare Part D prescription drug offering

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart and Humana on Friday unveiled a new Medicare Part D prescription drug offering designed to help both companies gain market share and save money for those enrolled in the program. Co-branded as the Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan, the program involves a $14.80 monthly premium that is less than half the weighted 2010 national average, generic drug co-payments as low as $2 at Walmart pharmacies and no co-payments for select generics filled via Humana’s RightSource home-delivery service. Humana and Walmart said the program has the potential to save Medicare Part D enrollees as much as $450 annually.

“People are more likely to take the medications prescribed for them when they can afford those medications,” said William Fleming, PharmD, VP Humana Pharmacy Solutions. “And adhering to prescription-drug regimens can enable people to be healthier and prevent future illness. At Humana, we believe that this prevention helps people live healthier lives and achieve lifelong well-being.”

John Agwunobi, M.D., president of Walmart’s Health and Wellness division said Walmart is uniquely qualified to help lower the cost of prescriptions because it is the world’s largest retailer.

“We know every dollar counts, especially when you live on a fixed income. We believe no one should have to choose between buying their groceries or their medications,” Agwunobi said.

He called the program an example of Walmart’s commitment to help people save money so they can live better.

It is also an example of how Walmart can bring more shoppers to its store. There are an estimated 18 million people enrolled in the Medicare Part D program, but that figure is forecast to grow to 26 million by 2015. Open enrollment in the program begins Nov. 15 and continues through the end of the year, and Humana and Walmart are undertaking an extensive media relations and marketing campaign to drive awareness and education. A key element involves kiosks in some 3,000 stores which will occasionally be staffed by Humana representatives.

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