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Philadelphia and NY City 2017

In March 2017 the Forum visited Philadelphia and New York City.

The economy of the USA is the largest in the world by nominal GDP, the second largest by purchasing power parity (China #1) and is the world's largest developed economy.

GDP per capita $56,116 (UK $43,876) & GDP is $18.036 trillion (UK $2.858 trillion) World Bank, 2015.

NYC’s economy at $1.3 trillion is 10% larger than that of South Korea. World Bank, 2015.

Philadelphia’s economy at $353 billion is 25% larger than that of Singapore. World Bank, 2015.

The 2017 themes

  1. Associate & customer engagement
  2. Using retail technology for competitive advantage: from ‘store efficiency’ through to ‘1:1 customer communication’
  3. Health & Wellbeing: choice, innovation and offer
  4. Anchoring our Customer Value Proposition
  5. Store format development linked to the themes

USA retail trends

  1. Hectic lifestyles are driving sales and growth in retailers who are convenient. C-stores CAGR in 2015-16 was 13.2%. Kantar Worldpanel.
    E-commerce share of value in 2016 was 1.4% versus 6.9% in the UK. Kantar Worldpanel.
  2. Personal experiences that resonate with consumers’ preferences such as food, limitations such as time and their dietary needs.
  3. Curated assortments project retailers’ expertise and help to ease customers’ real or perceived stress & time anxieties.
    The Grocery top up selection is minimal in the majority of C- and D- stores.
  4. Health & wellbeing awareness and demand is growing particularly in the major cities. Culturally the ‘American lifestyle’ positions health & wellbeing and retailers’ delivery and marketing of it in a different place than in the UK.
  5. The end of one size fits all. Customer demand is being matched with associates skills & supply to optimize sales. The right person with the right skills is in the right department. The standard (& still half) of C-stores majoring on ‘Cokes, Smokes & Gas’ in a convenient location is changing.
  6. Technology to strengthen customer relationships & offer a personal experience whilst simplifying store operations.
  7. Mission or ‘famous for’ ownership. Growing store sales, e-sales and margins through owning a category or mission in a location.
  8. Authentic connections. Retailers are engaging shoppers on a personal level with staff interaction and technology.
  9. Food for Now is a strategic category in NACS quartile 1 retailers, Fast Casual eateries and Walgreens.
  10. Store format & mission innovation. Leading examples are Sheetz ‘kicked up convenience’, Fresh & Co & Honeygrow fast casual cafés, Walgreens’ drugstore-convenience hybrid and Fairway Market’s convenient neighbourhood supermarkets.



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