PALM DESERT, Calif. -- The General Merchandise Distributors Council outlined a competitive strategy for its members by unveiling its latest Educational Foundation study, "Seasonal Best Practices," during the GM Marketing Conference held here Sept. 6 to 11.
The year-long project resulted in the production of a seasonal best practices implementation tool kit that includes a "How to" manual, an executive report summarizing the study's goals and findings, and a video that presents an overview of the study. Kits are currently being shipped to its members by Colorado Springs, Colo.-based GMDC.
A goal of the project, which documents best practices and benchmarks for 16 seasonal events, is to "enhance the supermarket industry's competitive advantage," said Michael LaFortune, vice president of supermarket sales at American Greetings, Cleveland. "Seasonal promotional merchandising is an effective competitive weapon," he added.
"Other classes of trade continue to threaten our industry market share," said Bill Clarke, vice president of nonperishables market at Finast, Maple Heights, Ohio. "Seasonal promotional merchandising offers supermarkets the best opportunity to meet these challenges by providing new sales and profit," he said.
According to the report, which was produced with the Allan Levis Organization, Chicago, best practice combination stores deliver 5% of total store operating income while conventional stores deliver 2.5%.