Walmart, Kroger identified as leading retailers in providing opportunity to diversity business owners
SOUTHPORT, Conn. — DiversityBusiness.com earlier this month named the “Top 50 Organizations for Multicultural Business Opportunities." More than 1.3 million diversity business owners participated in an online election to determine the “Top” 50 organizations. Wal-Mart Stores was named the leading retailer and No. 2 overall for providing business opportunities to diverse business owners throughout the United States. Food, drug and mass retailers Kroger (No. 11), Target (No. 18), Supervalu (No. 23), Walgreens (No. 26) and Ahold USA (No. 42) were also identified as leaders in providing business opportunities to diversity owners.
“The diversity practices of the Div50 has changed the course of economic inclusion and thereby the world as we know it," said Kenton Clarke, CEO of DiversityBusiness.com. “The great diversity and vision of our country and our people have made this possible.”
While other awards and “Top” lists crown companies for such metrics as overall economic growth and returns to shareholders, The Div50 is an indicator of which organizations provide the best and the most business for diversity-owned companies. “In a marketplace that is increasingly as sensitive to diversity as it is to revenues, awarding the top buyers of multicultural products and services is becoming a natural part of the new socioeconomic food chain. Organizations that consistently buy the most products and services from diversity businesses, and that sustain the most mutually beneficial business relationships with their multicultural suppliers, should be recognized not only by the business community but also by the general public. That is what we have accomplished in creating The Div50.” Clarke said.
"This recognition means a lot to Kroger because it is a reflection of how we are viewed by diversity business owners in the United States," said Reuben Shaffer, Kroger’s chief diversity officer, in a statement released Wednesday. "We thank the more than 1,000 minority and women-owned businesses that are part of our supplier network for their commitment to our shared goals to continue growing and responding to our customers." Kroger currently spends nearly $2 billion annually with diversity businesses, Kroger reported.
Survey: Consumers prefer personalized offers across channels
NEW YORK — Consumers are increasingly performing omnichannel shopping, and prefer personalized offers across the different channels they shop. According to a new survey of more than 1,000 online consumers from retail personalization technology vendor Synqera, U.S. consumers still prefer promotional content and coupons from traditional print media (magazine, newsletter/flyer, newspaper) (75%), found online (72%), or received after a purchase (62%) for future shopping.
Yet 45% would want to get this content at various locations throughout the brick-and-mortar store, and 85% prefer personalized offers reflecting their past shopping behavior. Ninety-two percent of total respondents who said they would be more likely to return to a store that provided an in-store discount across the holidays.
Other findings within the survey:
• Respondents making between $80,000-$100,000 were most likely to use an omni-channel approach to shopping, using their mobile devices, online and in-store to make purchases.
• Eighty-one percent would not search for promotions and coupons on a retailer or grocer’s mobile app and 73% would not want them sent directly to their mobile device.
• Fifty-seven percent of total respondents said they signed up for a retailer or grocer’s rewards or loyalty program this past year for a discount.
• Two-thirds (67%) of shoppers prefer receiving a coupon for groceries, while only 14% would be interested in cosmetics (bath and body products), toiletries and beauty product coupons.
• Consumers are most interested in promotions and coupons for grocery and clothing, and least interested in ones for pet supplies or furniture.
• Almost five-times more consumers want coupons on groceries than on clothing, and 10-times more interest in groceries than household goods.
• However, they prefer cosmetic promotions and coupons over ones for pet supplies.
• Specifically asked about grocery store shopping, almost half (45%) would have changed their holiday menu(s) if their grocery store promoted holiday-themed recipes or themed meal ideas including items within the store.
• The younger generations are more flexible: two thirds of respondents aged 18-44 would have changed their holiday meal menus, while two-thirds aged 45-70 would not have changed menus
Outside of the promotional disconnect that consumers are feeling with retailers, 63% of price-aware U.S. shoppers within the survey said their in-store holiday shopping experience could have been improved, especially for those shoppers under the age of 45. More than half of those that want improvement said that they’d consider using personalized coupons and more information about products. 86% of respondents said they would have purchased an item that was similar in look and quality (but less expensive) to one that they were originally looking for, if only they had been made aware of it.
"There’s a clear indication within today’s consumer behavior that the current in-store promotional experience isn’t capturing the attention of the omni-channel shopper," said Filipp Shubin, COO of Synqera. "Consumers are asking for more personalized retail experiences that are relevant to their shopping needs, especially across holidays, and they’ll shop at the stores that promote their products accordingly."
Big Heart Pet Brands launches as standalone company
SAN FRANCISCO — Big Heart Pet Brands on Wednesday announced its launch as the largest standalone pet food-and-snack company in North America. The creation of Big Heart Pet Brands comes on the heels of the company’s sale of its consumer products division to Del Monte Pacific Limited, which closed on Feb. 18, 2014.
The new name mirrors the company’s focus on the pet products market. Big Heart Pet Brands will continue to deliver such brands as Milk Bone, Meow Mix, Kibbles ‘n Bits and Nature’s Recipe, among others.
“As a standalone pet products company, Big Heart Pet Brands will be singularly focused on capturing growth opportunities in the expanding $21 billion pet products category,” said Dave West, president and CEO, Big Heart Pet Brands. “We are uniquely positioned with a powerful and broad pet portfolio, strong position in key pet food categories, robust business fundamentals and a commitment to creating a better future for pets by nurturing the bond between pets and the people who love them.”
Big Heart Pet Brands will remain headquartered in San Francisco, with office presences in Pittsburgh and Burbank, Calif. It will also maintain its existing pet food and snack manufacturing plants, distribution centers and sales offices.