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Boston and Chicago 2015

Retail Leaders Forum -Boston & Chicago 2015

We expanded the reach of the forum in 2015 to bring in important retailers on the ‘frame’ of Convenience: Walgreens, Walmart and WholeFoods Market. The big themes from the visit were:

1. Sector blurring. Market leaders Walgreens & Walmart are moving from the periphery of Convenience to the mainstream:
• Walgreens with fresh food service & high end grocery
• Walmart with smaller Neighbourhood & Express stores +
opening in ‘challenged’ neighbourhoods with community support
• WholeFoods Market leading on Fresh Grab ‘n’ Go and Dinner Tonight
2. Drug. Major urban trend to Wellness (from illness) driving retail strategy change
3. Foodservice. Convergence of Convenience & Food Service. Fresh food service destination strategies in 7-Eleven & Walgreens to build credibility. A principal destination in Walmart small stores & Wholefoods
4. Proprietary brands. Growth in Fresh Food, Beverages & Snacks. Also fuelled by national DSD vendors (Coca Cola, Frito-Lay, PepsiCo … ) refusal to deliver to retailers’ DCs.
5. Click & collect. Fully integrated at Walgreens, Walmart & Wholefoods stores
Amazon + e-retailers order collection at all 7-Eleven stores
6. Credit card fees. #1 NACS action programme. Cumberland Farms SmartPay gas loyalty program circumvents credit card swipe (interchange) fees
7. Technology. Each retailer leveraging customer data for ‘next phase’ marketing, loyalty and reward programs
8. Fuel. 80% motor fuels sold through C-stores. Traffic driver for Food Service strategy
9. Tobacco. Walgreens in review. #2 CVS & smaller chains delisted
10. Franchising. 7-Eleven (& #2 Circle K (Couche Tard) uses Japanese full compliance business model

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