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Tools for Retention and Management Effectiveness

Early arrivals at Food Marketing Institute’s Future Connect conference here Monday heard a recap of two reports from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council — one on employee retention and another on measuring store management effectiveness.

Although the results of both studies had been released before, they served as a good primer for Future Connect, which focuses on leadership and employee development and gets fully underway on Tuesday.

Tres Lund, chief executive officer of Minneapolis-based Lund Food Holdings, described how his company was able to reduce Lunds and Byerly’s annual employee turnover rate from 79% to 24% by applying the findings of the CCRRC report on employees retention.

“We followed this retention study, and had profound results,” he told an audience of about 100 attendees.

Lund said the company calculated the annual cost of employee turnover at the 21-store company before the results were applied at $980,000.

In presenting the results of the report, longtime industry consultant and former CCRRC Chairman Bill Bishop said the costs associated with employee turnover amount to about 140% of a supermarket’s profits.

In the other report, the CCRRC found that some stores “overachieve,” or perform better than should be expected given external conditions like demographics and competition, which others underachieve. The difference in results can be attributed to the quality of the store management, according to Michael Sansolo, the current CCRRC chairman.

The full reports, along with dozens of others compiled by the Council, can be found on CCRRC's website.