Last month SN presented its inaugural list of 25 “Disruptors” — people transforming food retailing in an era of unprecedented change.
So how do we classify everyone else in the industry who didn’t make the list?
They all fall into one of two groups: 1) those who have already been disrupted, and 2) those about to be.
There’s no escaping the change wave, and one way to keep score is the latest version of SN’s annual ranking called Top 75 Retailers and Wholesalers.
The new roster reflects the impact of an unprecedented string of mergers and extreme industry competition. A number of companies are no longer listed because of mergers, including Safeway (acquired by Albertsons), Family Dollar (now part of Dollar Tree) and Roundy’s (which is becoming part of Kroger). Another operator gone from the list is A&P, which liquidated its assets toward the end of 2015.
Further driving home the point about change is another feature in this issue. SN profiles its annual Marketer of the Year, which for 2016 is Donna Tweeten, Hy-Vee’s SVP and chief marketing officer. She has been willing to take risks to update how the retailer communicates with today’s consumers, who are changing how they shop and interact with media.
Against this backdrop of transformation, SN magazine this year unveils a refreshed look and new content to help prepare the industry for emerging trends. You’ll see this in the current issue, and here’s a quick tour:
• It starts on the cover with an updated SN logo, which is more contemporary while retaining the authority of the 60-plus-year-old brand.
• A new up-front section called The SN Buzz offers a quick and lively read on trends and data, which this month includes some new directions that Whole Foods is taking.
• A section called The New Consumer relays insights about shifting shopper behaviors, especially those driven by younger customers. This month’s stories look at digital marketing to Millennials, online shopping trip missions, and multicultural trends, among others.
• Four new perishables sections tell the stories of how this surging food segment is advancing. The new sections are called Produce, Deli/Prepared Foods, Meat/Seafood and Bakery. January’s pieces touch on everything from visual displays to equipment needs, and even explain why turnips, beets and rutabagas are all the rage.
• The new magazine content will be available to online readers via the SN website, the daily newsletter, and a series of topic-specific newsletters. That’s part of SN’s promise to be a multi-platform brand for an audience with diverse needs.
Meanwhile, because understanding consumer shifts is so important, SN will present a first-time conference this fall. Called The New Consumer, this innovative event will combine education, awards, networking and other elements to focus attendees on how to best meet the needs of radically changing customers. Look for more information shortly.
I’ll wrap up by encouraging your feedback about SN’s new directions. Are they on target for your needs? Anything else you’d like to see?
Don’t worry about being critical. We’re not scared of being disrupted.
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