Progressive Grocer

SEP 2015

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a localized price and promotional strategy, then execute against it," says Alan Lipson, global retail and CPG marketing manager for SAS, a Cary, N.C.-based provider of business ana- lytics software and service. "Best prac- tices start with data-driven customer insights. Grocers who take their data seriously and exploit it with analyt- ics are in a strong position to identify trends, focus activities and seize oppor- tunities to improve performance." Karen Dutch, of Revionics, agrees. "Pricing needs to be strategically driven and technology-enabled. Demand-based optimiza- tion provides a granular view of shopper and competi- tor behavior, blended with business and fnancial strategy and rules, enabling grocers to surgically execute competitive positions while maximizing proft opportunities," says the SVP of marketing for the Austin, Texas-based provider of price optimization solutions. Jim Sills, president and CEO of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Clear Demand, stresses that getting pricing right — and avoiding the "gut feel" — requires advanced demand science that analyzes sales data and produces "fact-based" insights so that retailers can operate practically and proftably. "Emerging best practices in pricing technology lever- age rigorous rules engines that achieve the goals for price image and competitive position without losing margin," he says. Not to be overlooked in this focus on technology-enabled solutions are consumers who shop in diferent ways and in diferent places. Some scour weekly circulars and plan their stock-up trips to the grocery store accordingly. For these shoppers, ad placement becomes key. Others have made the digital leap to shopping online and having their grocer- ies delivered or ready for curbside pickup. Regardless of shopping preferences, Todd Michaud, of Chicago-based NCR, says consumers expect supermarkets to have the right prices and the right promotions in place, regardless of whether those consumers shop online, on a mobile device or in the store. "Price and promotion execution at the point of sale must be consistent and logical," adds the global VP and general manager of NCR global enterprise, merchandising and supply chain solutions. Lessons in Optimization One grocery retailer that has validated its approach to price optimization is Milwaukee-based Roundy's Supermarkets, the $4 billion operator of 150 stores in Wisconsin and Illinois under four banners: Mariano's, Metro Market, Copps and Pick 'n Save. "At Roundy's, we're looking to increase sales and margins, while improv- a

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