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Investing in multichannel strategies will help retailers in long run

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Perception feeds reality. That is as true today as it was when the economy first started its rollercoaster plunge back in 2008. The perception is that the consumer is on her way back. And while that is fast becoming reality, today’s retailer will be looking to commit its capital expenditures to more than just the traditional new Main-and-Main locations.

(THE NEWS: Survey: Retail industry capital spending to rise 16% in 2011. For the full story, click here)

Retailers today are making significant investments into their multichannel strategies, including online and social media, and that’s because new stores aren’t necessarily the most economical way to generate that wow factor and positive shopping experience. Consumers only are cautiously optimistic about the immediate future of the economy, which means many of the value-driven shopping habits that were learned over the course of this latest recession are here to stay.

And two of the things consumers learned were how to comparison shop at the shelf with their smartphones and how to identify deal opportunities through such sites as Facebook and a myriad of extreme coupon-driven blogs.

Shoppers no longer are expressing their preferences by driving across the lot in favor of one retailer over another. Along with their community of “friends,” they’re “liking” their favorite retailers long before that key goes into the ignition, and likely have done their comparison-shopping long before they’ve walked into the store. And, they post the really good deals on their Facebook pages so that all of their friends can take advantage, too.

Investing in new multichannel avenues more completely satisfies the needs of today’s shoppe r— giving the consumer what they want, when they want it and where they want to get it. That multichannel consumer is worth three times the value of the shopper who only visits Main-and-Main, according to Walgreens.

Editor’s Note: For more on what Walgreens and other retailers are doing to own the multichannel consumer, see “Think. Click. Buy,” the cover story of the current issue of DSN, here.

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Report: Sam’s Club to roll out private-label brands

BY Allison Cerra

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Sam’s Club is expanding its foray into the private-label business by focusing on consumables.

According to an Associated Press report, the retailer is launching a private-label baked goods line called Artisan Fresh, Simply Right, a personal care collection, and Daily Chef, which includes groceries.

The brands, which will roll out this fall, will replace Sam’s Club store brand Members Mark, AP said.

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Waldbaum’s, Pathmark stores host Salute to Local Heroes events

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTVALE, N.J. — A&P will kick off on June 4 the first in a summer-long series of "Salute to Local Heroes" events in all Waldbaum’s and Pathmark stores.

Customers will receive 5% off one shopping order of $30 or more if they, or a member of their family, belong to a police department, fire department, school staff, hospital staff, military or military reserves, or if they are a veteran or civil servant. To receive the discount, customers must present the Salute to Local Heroes coupon from a Waldbaum’s or Pathmark circular along with a Club Card.

"A&P is proud to honor and reward the dedicated service of everyday local heroes who make our communities better and safer places to live," stated John Moritz, A&P’s SVP marketing. "Waldbaum’s and Pathmark share in the spirit of our local heroes through our commitment to providing the best service to the residents of our local communities."

Salute to Local Heroes events will take place on the first Saturday of every month throughout the summer: June 4, July 2 and Aug. 6.

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