Here’s What Will Shape Power 50 List in 2020


Supermarket News launched its power rankings in 2003 with a bit of trepidation. We were concerned about how “The Power 50” would be perceived in an industry whose top executives typically don’t have a reputation for flaunting their influence. 

The reception was excellent, however, and now it’s a highly anticipated roster each year. 

 Which brings me to the 10th anniversary edition (see "Enduring Influence") and my related column (which you’re reading).  I wanted to mark the anniversary by imagining how the list might look in the future, say by 2020. So I tapped three top consultants who provided excellent insights, which I’ve selectively pulled from. Here’s a first look at what will shape the roster in 2020: 

  •  Companies to Watch: Neil Stern, senior partner, McMillan Doolittle, said Amazon (not yet on our list) and the Internet will have “a giant impact.” Ethnic grocers, from Hispanic to Asian chains, will gain more influence, “whether it be Sedando’s, Northgate Market, H Mart, or someone we haven’t even heard of,” he observed.  Meanwhile, global operators will build influence here, as will smaller fresh foods markets. He said Sprouts Farmers Market “looks like a consolidator today.”
  • Leadership Traits: Jim Hertel, managing partner, Willard Bishop, said leaders of the future will need “extraordinary analytic skills combined with the ability to ‘see’ shopper behavior in the numbers” to improve shopping experiences.  More of these leaders will have CPG marketing experience, which will be a great background for dealing effectively with many retail challenges, he added.  
  • Changing Assumptions: Leon Nicholas, senior vice president, Kantar Retail, said a big challenge will be dealing with change in this fundamental assumption: that shoppers will always come to big stores. “Stores will be getting smaller,” he said, “and increasingly, shoppers will want products to come to them.” That means more of everything from home delivery to more convenient store or item-pickup locations, “and it turns the focus back to the shopper, which will be a bigger story over the next decade.”

 Many other new elements will shape the industry’s future, but one factor won’t change. Top leaders will need a real vision of where things are headed nationally and locally, and how to align their organizations with those dynamics. 

In the meantime, save this column, and let’s check back with each other in eight years.

Discuss this Blog Entry 1

Oscar L. Nunez, M.A.S. Grocery Busi (not verified)
on Aug 1, 2012

Today, I wrote & addressed under the "Lempert" Article a few of the challenges faced by our Super Markets' Chains ( What's wrong with our Supermarkets & the 15 point loss in 11 years of market share ).

I agree with your experts.
Stores will be getting smaller. Actually, we will go back to 30,000 sq. ft.
Reinventing freshness & how to sell it.
Customer Loyalty & how to get it.
"Destination" Store as opposed to "Stopover" Stores.
"Destination" being like Trader Joe's where one may buy everything you need to feed your family tonight, or office, or event, with the freshness the customer expects, and the "customer loyalty" that we all aspire to have.

Stopover Stores like 7 Eleven & Circle K may get bigger as Wal Mart competes with their 10,000 sq. ft. "Express" Format.

& last but not least, you'll see our Industry go back to the basics of training better & matching better, talent with assignment.
You can't make a soloist into a team player, anymore than you can make a team player a soloist.
Price Integrity Clerk can be a soloist.
Security needs to be a soloist.
Janitor needs to be a soloist.
Driver needs to be a soloist.

At Ralphs ( Kroger ) in '66 / '67 box boys were entry level, & from there "our 3rd man" matched talent & personality with positions. Nothing like it.

& finally, in going back to the basics, also, at Ralphs, we only hired college material, even if still in high school, as to guarantee ourselves the wonderful clean & healthy employee turnover.

Oscar Nunez, C.P.A.
Management Advisory Services to Our Grocery Industry.
Served Northgate Gonzalez Markets for 21 years, 3/86 to 6/2007.
Currently, a Hialeah, Miami, Florida Resident after 48 years in L.A.

Going forward I would like to serve the likes of Wal Mart, Wal Mart Latin America, Target, Tesco, okey dokey, Costco, & the Aldi Group.

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Julie Gallagher

Julie Gallagher’s delicious foray into coverage of the food industry was purely accidental. With a background in technology, she joined Supermarket News as associate editor of its Technology...

Liz Webber

Liz Webber is Senior Digital Manager at Supermarket News. She covers fresh foods for the magazine and creates multimedia, blog posts and other content for the website. She joined SN in August 2012.
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