BOSTON — Even seafood departments with well-trained associates should ensure that customers can easily find reliable cooking and preparation tips on packages and signs, said Tom Demott, chief operations officer for Encore Associates, at a Retail Showcase Seminar presented as part of the International Boston Seafood Show. “It’s actually easier to communicate good information to customers on a self-service package.” he said. “Training of associates is much easier and focused. Customers will recognize a good-quality product in a package of seafood, and I think this offers most retailers the best chance of success with customers and the best chance of overall financial success.” Demott added that while full-service seafood departments can generate great sales and profits, they can also be a cash drain, a money-loser and create a negative halo effect if they aren’t run well. Lee French, director of seafood merchandising, for Schenectady, N.Y.-based Price Chopper added that retailers with full-service seafood departments can become better marketers by leveraging the vast amount of category data now available, through ACNielsen, internal scanning, loyalty card programs, MarketTrack and other tools.
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