What are successful retailers doing to stay alive and even prosper? What could they being doing more of? A new survey from Karabus Management and Willard Bishop answers just those questions. To get the results, they interviewed 15 leading grocery retailers. Here are some of their findings:

  • Shoppers take precedence over product—half of retailers interviewed are fine-tuning how they reach out and connect with shoppers, many using targeted e-mail and website offers.
  • Emphasis on private label—More than three-quarters of the retailers highlight private label as a good choice in tough economic times.
  • Focus—the grocers who limited their priorities, focusing on one or two things—quality, promotion, store format or price, instead of trying to be the best in everything, experienced greater success.
  • Space tools underused—Less than half of those surveyed used space optimization tools to help plan their store layout and displays to increase sales.
  • Price tools—Price optimization technology is also underused although two-thirds acknowledged it as important.

"In the battle to get ahead and compete in today's highly competitive industry, many grocery retailers are not making the tough decisions to differentiate themselves from the pack," said Marty Weintraub, managing director of Karabus Management, in a release. "Those succeeding are focused on effectively and efficiently using technology and sound strategies to tailor assortment and pricing practices to address the specific dynamics of the markets they serve. The opportunity is significant for those grocers who implement leading practices—at least a 5 percent sales opportunity which, in today's competitive marketplace, represents the difference between success and mere survival."