June 11, 2012: Retailers Drive Center Store With Innovation, Cross-Merchandising

Food retailers see new-product innovation and cross-merchandising in the perimeter as keys to revitalizing Center Store sales, according to SN’s Survey of Center Store Performance 2012. More than half of retail respondents — 56.8% — cited product innovation as a tactic for driving growth in grocery categories. While respondents continue to see Wal-Mart as the most significant threat, the threat to Center Store categories posed by dollar stores and other alternative channels increased in this year’s survey, relative to a year ago. One respondent noted that dollar stores are capturing paper products and cleaning products away from supermarkets, especially in small markets. One finding of this year’s survey was a difference between the shopper-marketing efforts of manufacturers vs. those of retailers. While suppliers indicated a stronger focus on women, retailers were much more likely to cite Gen-Xers as a target of these efforts.

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