What is your legislative/regulatory priority for 2011?
- Estate and corporate tax reform: 12%
- Implementation of the Food Safety Act: 27%
- Implementation of the debit-card interchange fee reform: 16%
- Reining in National Labor Relations Board proposals: 12%
- Revising health care reform: 11%
- Shaping the Farm Bill: 20%
How have you been impacted by this winter's severe snowstorms?
- Overall a positive sales impact from consumers stocking up.: 54%
- Overall a negative sales impact from store closures, out-of-stocks, etc.: 23%
- Little or no impact on buisness.: 21%
To what degree will your company interact with consumers through their mobile phone in 2011?
- Greatly: 8%
- Moderately: 7%
- Slightly: 10%
- Not at all : 73%
Do your POS and other card-processing systems meet the PCI (Payment Card Industry) Data Security Standard?
- Yes: 1%
- No, but they will by midyear: 0%
- No, not this year: 98%
Manufacturers will be able to use the GS1 DataBar bar code exclusively on coupons starting Jan. 1 – and no later than June 30. Will your stores be ready to scan and process it?
- Yes: 31%
- Not yet, but sometime in the first half of 2011: 16%
- Not in the first half of 2011: 52%
What’s your outlook for the supermarket industry in 2011?
- Healthy gains in sales and profits overall as the economy improves: 0%
- Lingering economic weakness will drive lackluster performance overall: 0%
- Supermarkets won’t benefit from an improving economy: 98%
Do you support Sarah Palin's criticism that Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign is too much government interference in private lives?
- 1. Yes, I support anything anti-Obama: 8%
- 2. Yes, Palin has a good point: 26%
- 3. No, the First Lady's initiative is worthwhile: 40%
- 4. No, I am against anything Palin says: 24%
What will become of A&P in 2011?
- It will be acquired by a single strategic buyer: 12%
- It will be split up among multiple buyers: 59%
- It will be revived as a smaller chain: 27%
Should supermarkets use HFC refrigerants, which contribute significantly to global warming?
- Yes, with no limitations.: 41%
- Yes, but with efforts made to reduce leaks and minimize quantity used.: 17%
- No, alternative refrigerants should be used.: 40%
What are you emphasizing most heavily to promote Thanksgiving sales?
- Free or discounted turkeys: 34%
- Complete holiday meal solutions: 21%
- Both of the above: 29%
- None of the above: 14%
What do you think of using carpeting throughout a supermarket?
- Would never use it: 88%
- Would consider using it: 9%
- Plan to use it: 1%
- Currently use it : 1%
Have you tested your reusable bags for lead in the wake of recent news?
- Yes, and we have no problems: 25%
- Yes, and we are making some changes: 5%
- No, but we are planning to test soon: 8%
- No, we have no plans to test: 60%
Will bolder warning labels on cigarette packs and advertising change the way you merchandise the category?
- Yes, we want to be viewed as a health and wellness destination : 18%
- No, we'll continue to sell cigarettes the same way we always have : 62%
- Maybe, it depends on the specific images and warning statements required by the FDA: 18%
Which of the following should be the No. 1 priority for the newly elected Congress?
- Repeal health care reform: 17%
- Preserve Bush-era tax cuts: 9%
- Cut government spending: 24%
- None of the above: 49%
Do you support a ban on using SNAP benefits (food stamps) to buy sugary soft drinks, as proposed in New York City?
- Yes: 76%
- No: 21%
- Not sure: 1%
How has the egg recall affected your business?
- Not at all: 66%
- Increased sales from local or organic producers: 10%
- Decreased egg sales : 23%
How do you feel about emerging product-cost inflation?
- Concerned about pressure on margins in the short term.: 29%
- Cautiously optimistic that it will benefit both top and bottom lines.: 52%
- It's about time!: 17%
Has your company added personnel this year?
- No, we have reduced staffing: 37%
- We have maintained about the same level of staffing: 31%
- We have increased staffing : 30%
How do you think your fourth-quarter sales will compare with a year ago?
- Sales will be up more than 3%: 25%
- Sales growth will be 0% to 3%: 42%
- Sales will decline as much as 3%: 13%
- Sales will decline more than 3%: 18%
Are you using your Smart Phone for business purposes other than email/social media?
- Yes: 39%
- No, but considering some: 10%
- No, and not considering any: 49%
Rate your sales performance expectations for back-to-school this year:
- Up over last year: 46%
- Same as last year: 23%
- Down over last year : 30%
Does your company leverage the Global Data Synchronization Network to ensure that your product data mirror that of your suppliers?
- Yes: 7%
- Under consideration: 11%
- No plans to use it: 80%
How much overall food-cost inflation do you expect in the second half of 2010?
- Expect deflation: 16%
- O% to 2%: 52%
- More than 2%: 31%
After the recent management change, A&P will:
- Be rejuvenated under new management: 31%
- Eventually be acquired as a single asset: 8%
- Both of the above: 10%
- It will be acquired piecemeal: 48%
By this time next year, Tesco's Fresh & Easy:
- Will have expanded throughout much of the U.S.: 8%
- Will be growing slowly but steadily: 32%
- Will have stalled its expansion: 43%
- Will be gone from the U.S. : 15%
Are you more or less optimistic about economic recovery in 2010 than you were at the beginning of the year?
- More optimistic now: 30%
- Less optimistic now: 27%
- About the same: 41%
What is your stance on donating unsold perishables that are still edible?
- Sometimes do it: 16%
- Always do it: 36%
- Would do it but don't because of liability concerns: 37%
- Just prefer not to do it: 9%
Do you think it was fair for supermarkets to hire a firm to conduct clandestine opposition efforts to Wal-Mart development?
- Yes, business is highly competitive: 81%
- No, it's not ethical: 17%
- Not sure: 0%
Do you expect to be able to pass along product cost inflation in the form of retail shelf-price increases?
- Yes, right away: 20%
- Not right away, but before too long: 43%
- We'll try to absorb costs increases as long as possible: 36%
Brand manufacturers have committed to reducing sodium and calories; will you do the same with your private labels?
- Yes, we're already reformulating products: 38%
- Maybe, we're considering reformulations: 19%
- No, we don't have reformulation plans in place: 41%
What concerns do you have about financial reform legislation?
- It could make it more difficult to obtain loans: 8%
- It might not do anything to curb credit-card interchange fees: 2%
- Both of the above: 19%
- None, it is badly needed after this recession : 68%
What signs in your business point to a turnaround in the economy?
- Solid increase in overall sales: 27%
- Increase in discretionary purchases: 16%
- Less need to discount to spur purchases: 9%
- Don’t see significant turnaround: 46%
How will you mark Earth Day, April 22?
- Conduct storewide educational event: 2%
- Introduce new green products: 2%
- Support local farmers: 5%
- Tie into community recycling efforts: 12%
- Do not plan any Earth Day promotions: 77%
How will health care reform impact your business?
- Little or no impact: 5%
- Slightly higher costs and/or taxes: 8%
- Significantly higher costs and/or taxes: 34%
- Don't know/Not sure: 51%
Will price begin to lose its power as a driver of customer loyalty as the economy improves?
- Not at all: 54%
- Maybe a little: 34%
- Yes, definitely: 11%
What do you think of Food Lion’s new test using video technology to record and analyze shoppers’ movements through the store?
- Great idea all-around for studying customer behavior: 13% Interesting idea, but it risks upsetting some customers: 26%
- Too much like Big Brother! : 59%
As Wal-Mart gets more aggressive in its pricing this year, what will it mean for your business?
- Nothing — we know how to deal with the Bentonville Bomber: 50%
- Maybe we'll lose a little business, but it won't sink us: 23%
- We're hoping for the best, but fearing the worst : 26%
How do you feel about the latest version of health care reform legislation?
- Support it completely: 61%
- Support the concept of health care reform, but fear the latest version will increase costs for businesses : 23%
- Oppose the concept of health care reform completely: 6%
Has your company adopted an official policy to take into account a product's environmental and social impact when making sourcing decisions?
- Yes, we have such a policy in place: 38%
- Maybe, we are exploring the option: 12%
- No, but we do this informally now: 12%
- No, we don't consider an item's environmental impact and we don't plan to: 36%
What do you think of the efforts by President Obama and the first lady to curb childhood obesity?
- Another example of too much government interference in our private lives : 31%
- A worthy effort that the food industry should rally behind: 62%
- Indifferent: 5%
How often do you audit the food safety conditions in your stores?
- Annually: 3%
- Twice per year: 3%
- Three times per year: 5%
- Four times per year: 10%
- Five or more times per year: 52%
- Not at all: 25%
Which of the following recently hired CEOs will achieve the most success this year?
- Craig Herkert, Supervalu: 26%
- Michael Teel, Raley's: 55%
- Ron Marshall, A&P: 17%
Should U.S. food retailers make a greater effort to open stores in underserved urban neighborhoods?
- Yes: 63%
- No: 36%
What is the biggest legislative concern you have in 2010?
- Tax increases, including the return of estate taxes : 19%
- Employee Free Choice Act will be revived : 36%
- Credit-card fees will go unregulated: 13%
- Health care reform will be too costly: 31%
Do you think private label will continue to gain share in supermarkets in 2010?
- Yes, even more aggressively than in 2009: 57%
- Yes, but growth will not be as aggressive as last year : 36%
- No, private labels will lose share to branded items in 2010: 6%
How have your sales been this holiday season, compared with a year ago?
- Up 2% or less: 13%
- Up more than 2%: 30%
- About flat: 23%
- Down 2% or less: 9%
- Down more than 2%: 22%
When it comes to global warming, which category do you fall under?
- Denier: Global warming is not caused by man-made emissions: 25%
- Skeptic: Climate science in regard to global warming has contradictions and shortcomings: 22%
- Warner: Climate trends are headed toward significant planetary problems unless human production of greenhouse gases is reduced: 32%
- Calamatist: Industrial civilization has put the environment on the verge of disaster unless major action is immediately taken: 20%
If Tiger Woods was your company's celebrity spokesman, would you keep him?
- Yes, without reservations: 35%
- Maybe, but we would wait and see how the rest of the scandal unfolds: 17%
- No, his image is too tainted : 46%
How would you describe your approach to digital couponing:
- Accept coupons printed from the Internet: 29%
- Accept coupons or offers sent to a mobile phone : 2%
- Accept coupons downloaded from the Internet or mobile phone onto a loyalty card: 8%
- Two or more of the above : 42%
- None of the above: 16%
How many times a day do you tweet?
- Less than once a day.: 22%
- One to five times per day.: 3%
- Six to 10 times per day.: 1%
- No time to answer, too busy tweeting.: 6%
- What's a tweet?: 64%
Which of the following do you think will happen with the UPC bar code over the next decade?
- It will remain the same: 11%
- It will be replaced by the GS1 DataBar, which is smaller and holds more information: 34%
- It will be replaced by the 2-D bar code, which holds more information: 8%
- It will be replaced by a new technology such as RFID: 45%
This year saw several regional chains file bankruptcy, including Bashas’, Bruno’s and Bi-Lo. Do you expect that trend to continue in 2010?
- There will be more supermarket bankruptcies in 2010 than in 2009.: 42%
- There will be fewer supermarket bankruptcies in 2010 than 2009.: 19%
- The pace will remain about the same in 2010 as 2009.: 37%
Will industry merger and acquisition activity pick up in 2010?
- Yes, there will be more activity in 2010 : 79%
- It will be about the same as 2009 : 15%
- There will be less M&A activity next year: 4%
Which of the following would you consider the most important application to invest in this year, for either a first-time implementation or upgrade?
- Price Optimization: 21% * Business Intelligence: 33%
- Customer Relationship Management: 24%
- Labor Management: 12%
- Loss Prevention: 8%
How will the new rule that requires food companies to notify the FDA within 24 hours of finding food that could cause serious health consequences affect the food safety burden borne by your company?
- Very significantly: 28%
- Significantly: 23%
- Fairly Significantly: 10%
- Not Significantly: 38%
In the past year, has the amount of local produce obtained from growers within 250 miles of your stores:
- Increased by 25% or more?: 40%
- Increased by less than 25%?: 18%
- Stayed the same: 31%
- Decreased: 9%
Did John Mackey make a mistake by writing an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal that was critical of the health care reform effort?
- No, he was right on target: 37%
- Yes, he should have given his customers' views more consideration: 18%
- Maybe it's time for him to retire: 43%
How have sales of back-to-school items performed at your stores so far this summer?
- Down significantly from a year ago: 26%
- Down slightly from a year ago: 26%
- About flat compared with last year: 30%
- Up slightly from a year ago: 12%
- Up significantly from a year ago: 4%
In general, how much have CPG vendors increased their promotional spending in lieu of making price cuts?
- Not at all: 51%
- Just a little: 30%
- A lot: 18%
The Power 50's new category breakdowns include "turnaround artists" - which of the following is most likely to succeed in remaking their organizations?
- Rick Dreiling, Dollar General: 9%
- Peter Lynch, Winn-Dixie Stores: 48%
- John Rishton, Ahold: 33%
- Gary Rodkin, ConAgra Foods: 3%
- David J. West, The Hershey Co.: 5%
Which technology system is the most helpful in dealing with the recession?
- Labor scheduling: 15%
- Inventory management: 30%
- Price management/optimization: 53%
SN’s Power 50 includes new category breakdowns, including “recession busters” — which of the following is doing the best job keeping prices low during the downturn?
- Ed Crenshaw, Publix Super Markets: 2%
- David Dillon, Kroger Co.: 4%
- Mike Duke, Wal-Mart Stores: 3%
- John Rishton, Ahold: 46%
- Charles Youngstrom, Aldi U.S. : 43%
In the past 12 months, has the number of organized retail crime (ORC) incidents in your stores:
- Increased: 34%
- Decreased: 50%
- Remained the same: 4%
- Not affected by ORC: 4%
- Unsure: 4%
Wal-Mart supports an "employer mandate" requiring all companies to provide health insurance for their workers, in exchange for guarantees that costs will be minimized. Is that the right approach?
- Yes: 31%
- No: 48%
- Not sure: 19%
What lighting technology do you plan to use in frozen-food cases?
- Fluorescent: 17%
- LED: 67%
- Fiber Optics: 14%
Which of the following strategies do you think would best help supermarkets capture a larger share of spending by consumers who are shunning restaurants?
- Emphasize low-cost prepared entrees like rotisserie chicken and lasagna.: 31%
- Offer bundled prepared family meals that include sides and starches.: 27%
- Offer more recipe suggestions for preparing low-cost meals at home.: 41%
Which of the following online grocery services will be generating the most sales volume five years from now?
- Peapod: 17%
- FreshDirect: 29%
- AmazonFresh: 52%
What are your expectations for consumer spending trends at supermarkets in the second half?
- No improvement at all. Unemployment and other pressures will still be too high.: 27%
- Spending may increase a bit, but consumers overall will remain cautious until 2010.: 64%
- Discretionary spending will rebound, boosting sales noticeably by year-end.: 7%
How would you describe your in-store ordering process?
- Employees use handheld terminals to replenish products on shelves.: 42%
- Employees use handhelds to replenish products but are assisted with sales forecasts.: 22%
- Computers generate orders but employees need to sign off on each order.: 16%
- Computers generate orders with little or no input from employees.: 20%
Do you agree with FMI's decision to postpone its FutureConnect and Marketechnics conferences because of concerns over the flu?
- Yes: 21%
- No: 78%
In which of the following legislative areas should the food retailing industry focus the most lobbying efforts for the remainder of 2009?
- Employee Free Choice Act: 59%
- Food Safety Reform: 20%
- Credit Card Interchange Fees: 13%
- Tax Reform: 6%
Retailers oppose the Employee Free Choice Act, which was written to facilitate union organizing. Would you support a compromise?
- Yes, if secret ballot elections are guaranteed.: 29%
- Maybe, if other significant changes are made.: 10%
- Not under any circumstances.: 59%
Which of the following publicly traded companies do you think will have the biggest gain in stock price this year?
- Kroger: 27%
- Costco: 14%
- Safeway: 22%
- Supervalu: 10%
- Wal-Mart: 26%
Which technology applications did you launch in 2008?
- Kiosks: 20%
- Price optimization: 43%
- Online sales: 36%
To what extent are you in compliance with the FDA's record-keeping requirement for food retailers to have phone and address records of all food suppliers one step back in the supply chain?
- Not at all: 26%
- 1%-33%: 4%
- 34%-67%: 5%
- 68%-99%: 12%
- Completely: 51%
Which of the following do you think should buy the Wild Oats trademarks that Whole Foods is seeking to sell?
- A traditional supermarket retailer like Kroger or Safeway: 30%
- A natural or specialty retailer like Sunflower Farmers Market or Earth Fare: 22%
- A wholesaler or cooperative like C&S, Supervalu or AWG: 28%
- An online retailer like Amazon.com or FreshDirect: 3%
- A manufacturer like Kellogg or General Mills: 15%
How much confidence do you have in the ability of third-party auditors to accurately assess the food safety practices of your private-label suppliers?
- Very Little: 55%
- Some: 26%
- A Great Deal: 15%
- Absolute: 2%
How often would you estimate that your in-store promotions, resets and other merchandising activities are completely and accurately implemented?
- All the time: 4%
- 75%-99% of the time: 24%
- 50% to 74% of the time: 32%
- Less than half the time: 38%
How have your business spending plans changed this year relative to 2008? Capital expenditures will be:
- Up 5% or more: 14%
- Up less than 5%: 5%
- Unchanged from 2008: 12%
- Down less than 5%: 12%
- Down 5% or more: 55%
How would you describe the monetary losses your company has experienced as a result of the peanut-product recall?
- Very significant: 33%
- Fairly significant: 17%
- Not at all significant: 48%
Whole Foods is seeking to settle its antitrust case with the FTC concerning the Wild Oats acquisition. Is that the right move?
- Yes, they should have settled it a long time ago.: 40%
- Yes, they fought it as hard as they could, now it's time to settle.: 19%
- No, they should have fought it to the end, and let the courts decide. : 40%
How is the weak economy impacting your business this holiday season?
- Overall, a negative impact.: 77%
- It is having little or no impact.: 14%
- The impact is primarily positive.: 8%
Which "green" in-store technology are you most likely to invest in next year?
- Solar panels: 8%
- LED lighting: 56%
- Skylights: 35%
Which of the following is the most important legislative concern for your business under the Obama administration?
- Health care reform: 36%
- Labor reform: 15%
- Tax reform: 48%
Small grocery store formats are all the rage. Which of these entries do you believe ultimately will be the most successful?
- Tesco's Fresh & Easy: 22%
- Wal-Mart's Marketside: 27%
- Safeway's The Market: 49%
Which costs are you trying the hardest to contain?
- Labor: 58%
- Energy: 15%
- Inventory: 25%
How will the economy impact your company's attendance at trade shows and conferences this year, compared with 2008?
- Less travel to trade shows in 2009: 79%
- More travel to trade shows in 2009: 4%
- No change in trade show attendance in 2009: 15%
What best describes how the various controversies over products made in China have impacted sales?
- More consumers are looking for products not made in China: 27%
- Consumers are seeking more products made in the U.S.: 35%
- Concern about Chinese manufacture varies by category: 15%
- No impact: 21%
Which of the following is most likely to happen by the end of 2009?
- Whole Foods gets acquired: 26%
- Tesco pulls out of the U.S.: 39%
- A&P goes private: 34%
Which Presidential candidate’s proposals are more likely to benefit the food retail business?
- John McCain: 39%
- Barack Obama: 60%
What is your outlook for your business in 2009?
- Strong growth : 7%
- Moderate growth : 28%
- Little or no growth: 64%
Which features did you add to your website in 2008?
- Targeted offers: 13%
- Online coupons: 38%
- Online sales: 47%
Do you think consumers will maintain the private-label buying habits that they adopted during the economic downturn once their financial situation improves?
- Yes: 64%
- No: 36%