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Seeking More of Center Store's Big C: Collaboration

Retailers are seeking more collaboration with suppliers to put Center Store on a growth track that doesn’t only focus on promotional selling.

That was a key message from a panel this morning.

“Consumers are buying on sale, but not responding as much to our baseline business,” Sharon Sever, director of grocery sales planning, Kroger Co, said during a Tuesday panel discussion. “So how do we drive our baseline sales, and not just event selling,” she said. “We need to work together on this.”

Sever said the challenges are compounded by swings in consumer spending during different times of the month. “Consumers are changing, and we need to figure out how to merchandise to them,” she said. “There’s great business in the beginning of the month, but not at the end of the month. We need to put together plans to drive business all month.”

Angelo Cannistraci, vice president of Grocery, Price Chopper Supermarkets, agreed trading partner collaboration can help retailers steer more growth in baseline business. “You and us should come to the same conclusions on what’s important in a category,” he told a supplier-heavy audience. “If we can get to that point, we’ll have a better relationship.”