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Has the supercenter format seen its day?

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Meijer runs great stores and is a market leader in the areas its serves. Meijer customers love Meijer. But, numbers don’t lie.

(THE NEWS: Meijer celebrates 50th anniversary of supercenter concept. For the full story, click here)

Trips to supercenters are down as consumers afraid to plunk down large sums of cash at once to do big pantry fill shopping trips are trading those trips for more quick trips, and those trips — at least, according to the numbers — are going to drug and dollar stores, and (to a lesser extent) club stores, where the people who aren’t afraid to spend a lot at once are sure they are at least getting the sharpest value.

To underscore this point, SymphonyIRI Group released a report in the second half of 2011, which indicated that cross-channel shopping is alive and well. The report found that, across CPG channels, purchase frequency increased 2% during the past year, with grocery, dollar and club channel trends closely mirroring industry average. Across other channels, though, trends significantly vary. For example, frequency within the drug channel accelerated sharply within the last year, increasing by 6.7%. This growth is being driven by a number of factors, including shifting trip mission trends.

Quick trips, small “need-it-now” excursions with an average basket size of less than $40, have become more common as consumers look to minimize large one-time outlays of cash, reported SymphonyIRI SVP marketing John McIndoe.

Meanwhile, the big-box retailers are experimenting with smaller formats — including Meijer. Target, for example, has developed CityTarget and Walmart has several variations of smaller formats in play, ranging from its Walmart.com test sites in California — which showcase its online merchandise in small stores — to Walmart Express, which is a further downsizing of the supercenter and Neighborhood Market formats.

So, what do you think? Has the supercenter format seen its day? Do retailers need to think small? Post your comments below.

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Target unveils new goals with release of 2011 corporate responsibility report

BY DSN STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS — Target has released its 2011 corporate responsibility report, and while the company was happy to offer insight into its past performance, its focus is on the future. In that vein, the company has introduced new corporate responsibility goals:

  • To increase its sustainable seafood selection by ennsuring its fresh and frozen seafood offerings are 100% sustainable and traceable by the end of fiscal year 2015;

  • Make at least 50% of its own-brand packaging designs more sustainable by 2016;

  • Increase the percentage of team members and their families enrolled in a Target health plan completing diabetes HbA1C testing to 87% by the end of fiscal year 2015; and

  • Improve reading proficiency in the United States by completing school library makeovers, providing grants to past makeover recipients and implementing innovative literacy pilots in two additional school districts.

When Target launched its corporate responsibility goals in 2011, we reinforced our longstanding commitment to creating a brighter future for our team members, our communities, and the world we live in,” Target EVP, general counsel and corporate secretary Tim Baer said. "Target’s corporate responsibility goals foster greater transparency and accountability on initiatives that help put more U.S. children on the path to graduation, reduce our impact on the environment, and help Target team members and their families live healthy, balanced lives."

Click here to read the full report.

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Huggies taps Poncho de Anda for Spanish-language marketing campaign

BY Allison Cerra

DALLAS — Huggies has tapped a U.S. Spanish-language television personality to provide Hispanic parents with tips, advice and a new webisode series on parenthood.

Poncho de Anda, along with his wife Lina Amashta, will star in the webisodes, which show how the couple deals with the challenges that come with being a parent. The series will be hosted on the Huggies Latino Facebook page. In addition to the webisode series, Huggies also is launching a full Spanish-language marketing campaign, including television, print and online advertising.

"By documenting Poncho and Lina’s parenting experiences and giving others the opportunity to watch, relate to and learn from them, we hope to give Hispanic parents a sense of empowerment and connectedness," said Erik Seidel VP of Huggies marketing. "Poncho and Lina have unique insights to offer on keeping up with busy careers and still making time for their family, and they can also show others how some of our new and improved products can help make their lives a little easier."

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