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THE CURRENT EDITORIAL COMMENT

 

Not Drinking the ‘Kool-Aid’ ...

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Highlights of the December 2015 Issue

 

DISTRIBUTION/McLANE:
DCs and Trucks, Category Consulting and Merchandising, Too

 

Evolving from a small retail grocer in 1894, to a leading grocery wholesaler and distributor in the 1960s and 1970s, to a worldwide logistics powerhouse in the 1990s, and to a supply chain services leader today, McLane Company, Inc. delivers more than 10 billion pounds of merchandise to customers every year, and has become a dominant player in the convenience and small-store distribution arena, which today includes many of the military exchanges.

In the last decade and beyond, Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) PatriotStores and the Coast Guard Exchange (CGX) have signed on with McLane to help streamline parts of their convenience and small-store edibles programs, followed by the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) and the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX). ...

According to Market Director—Military Van Parrish, McLane’s category managers and buyers can bring a great deal of cross-channel merchandise and product trend insights to bear on assortments to complement those of military resale category managers. “We have category managers and product directors at our corporate office that help the sales team with recommendations, and they are in constant dialog with the vendors,” says Parrish.

“We can see across a lot of different retail formats — whether it’s the drug stores, mass, dollar stores or supermarkets, and so on,” he said. “We service all those classes of trade and we can pick up on new and different items pretty quickly that are being sold in one class of trade but which are not being sold in military.

“With our broad customer base, we have the ability to see that information, so it really helps us with providing good recommendations to the military because their store footprints cross over a lot of different sizes of stores,” he explained. ...

 

Read more DCS AND TRUCKS, CATEGORY CONSULTING AND MERCHANDISING, TOO ...


DISTRIBUTION:
'Bringing Added Value to the Table'

Ed Brunot, SpartanNash Executive Vice President and President, MDV

 

Almost everybody in military resale understands just how sophisticated today’s state-of-the-art grocery supply chains have become, but maybe not quite as obvious is just how committed so many of the people working behind the scenes are to doing their best to ensure the products military patrons need or want arrive at their intended destinations in a timely manner, and in the most efficient way possible.

According to Ed Brunot, SpartanNash executive vice president and president of MDV, SpartanNash is the fifth largest food distributor in the country, serving 2,100 independent retailers, and “the company brings added value to the table,” when it comes to tailoring services and support in a cost-effective and efficient manner to fit the unique needs of the military resale system.

Brunot, a former Army captain, said the transformational Nash Finch/Spartan Stores merger in November 2013 has created an approximately $8-billion business. “We have the size, scope, and scale to drive efficiencies and reinvest across all our distribution channels,” he said. “As the industry leader in food distribution to U.S. military commissaries and exchanges, MDV SpartanNash distinguishes itself with its complete, transparent and proven distribution network, which is specifically designed to service the military resale community.” ...

 

Read More 'BRINGING ADDED VALUE TO THE TABLE' ...


AAFES BEVERAGE DEPARTMENT/ENERGY DRINKS
Energy Drinks Power Category Sales

 

Big Red One Express, Fort Riley, Kan.

The availability of nonalcoholic beverages continues to be an allimportant part of the assortment at the Big Red One Express, Fort Riley, Kan. With more than $1.5 million in sales of light refreshments registered thus far during fiscal 2015, the store is an important stop for thirsty customers.

Express Manager Nenty Anjain reported that year-to- date fiscal 2015 beverage sales at the store through October 2015 were $1.51 million, a 12.9-percent increase. Beverage activity was right ahead of food, which produced sales of $1.15 million, and behind tobacco, with sales of $1.60 million. Snacks were also an important store category, generating $627,326.

During fiscal 2014, non-alcoholic beverages totaled $1.70 million in sales.

Other important store sales producers in the Express’ 1,143-square-foot footprint during fiscal 2014 included baked goods ($138,187); meat snacks ($134,554); cookies and crackers ($75,116); and chips and dips ($21,796). ...

Both established and newer non-alcoholic beverages are received by the Big Red One Express on a daily basis. Anjain explained that “Vendors know what their best sellers are, and make sure they increase their basic stock to coincide with military paydays and weekends. If merchandise is sold before the vendor returns to stock it, our associates stock the products to maintain inventory for our customers during peak periods. It all comes down to teamwork.” ...

 

Read more ENERGY DRINKS POWER CATEGORY SALES ...

MCX SNACKS:
'Healthy' Snacking Success

 

Support for healthy lifestyles has risen in profile among Department of Defense (DoD) entities that serve or sell edibles to personnel and their families and is reflected in the offerings available at Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) installations.

Ashley Davis, exchange food, candy and gourmet buyer, told E and C News that the emphasis on healthy eating has increased as the snacks category has become a “new dominant eating occasion” for MCX patrons. “We are starting to offer more portable snack items, and more and more of the consumers’ favorite brands are becoming available in re-sealable pouches.”

Various programs are in place in MCX venues to support balanced nutrition, including those supporting the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution’s “Project on Nutrition and Wellness” (PNW), which, according to that organization, focuses on “leveraging the knowledge, influence and resources of the public interest and private sectors to improve the nutritional health of the nation.

On the food side of the MCX, its snacking and candy assortments “may be influenced through co-displays of healthful items with similar items, in an attempt to disrupt the typical c-store aisle by inserting healthy items next to items they might be substitutes for,” Davis noted.

“Functional messaging will be placed on healthy items in order to promote the benefits of the items,” she explained. “MCX will also maximize the cooler space with the intent to use the coolers as selling space and a primary display area. Co-merchandising items such as fruit with yogurt or whole-grain crackers next to cheese for healthy snack ideas will be done in each location.” ...

 

Read more 'HEALTHY' SNACKING SUCCESS ...

AAFES CONSUMER ELECTRONICS-POWERZONE I:
'Evolving With the Market'

 

Consumer electronics has had somewhat of a rough ride in recent years, through the coincidental storms of price erosion and device convergence that has let the air out of margins and caused entire categories to become almost completely irrelevant seemingly between shipments. The Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s (AAFES) PowerZone, however, must deliver goods and services in alignment with its mission and is adapting accordingly, while updating its sales and demonstration environments to anticipate patron needs.

Constantly-increasing television HD resolution standards are among the trends transforming Exchange electronics departments across the service. Ultra High Definition (UHD) “4K” is the dominating breakout TV standard that is generating a strong buzz in Exchange PowerZones, as are wearable devices that promise sales strength during the holidays and New Year’s resolutions shopping periods. ...

 

Read more 'EVOLVING WITH THE MARKET' ...

EXTRA:
Defense Commissary Agency Fiscal 2015 Sales Statistics Snapshot

 

DeCA sales during fiscal 2015 are analyzed by a number of criteria, including by area; transaction; and store segment, and the agency's top stores are also listed.

 

Read more DEFENSE COMMISSARY AGENCY FISCAL 2015 SALES STATISTICS SNAPSHOT ...

Snapshot
RESALE SNAPSHOT — SEPTEMBER 2015

 

Click Here for “RESALE SNAPSHOT” Totals