SAN DIEGO — The changing retail environment is putting new demands on the supply chain, according to Kantar Retail chief knowledge officer Bryan Gildenberg.
Gildenberg spoke earlier this month at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Supply Chain & Logistics Conference here. His presentation was called “Retail Economics: The Operational Skills Required to Deliver in a Challenging World.”
Kantar Retail argues in a new report that retailers and suppliers need to master new skills to drive growth and gain market share in the next five years.
“The news headlines from 2011 reveal seemingly unrelated developments, from retailers closing stores or closing for business, to retailers expanding into new geographies or seemingly unrelated businesses, and brick-and-mortar retailers becoming increasingly digital,” Gildenberg said.
“Why is all this happening? The simple and quick answers might be ‘It’s the economy’ or ‘Shoppers have changed because of the recession’ or ‘Digital communication is changing everything.’ Kantar Retail believes these dynamics are rooted in a core business issue: Retailers are running out of places to build new stores and are struggling to grow sales in stores they already have.”
Retailers need to think about market share in new ways, Gildenberg said, and many of the resulting new strategies have supply chain implications.
For example, retailers are developing new formats to get their customers to spend more with them, and their supply chains must now accommodate highly variable store types, according to Gildenberg.
The three-day conference also featured panel discussions with such retail participants as Tom McHugh, director of supply chain systems at CVS Caremark Corp.; Ron Ozment, director of forecast and replenishment at H.E. Butt Grocery Co.; Becky Bly, manager for supply chain promo merchandise and lifestyle disposition at Walgreen Co.; and Neil Meischeid, director of distribution support at Rite Aid Corp.
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