Monday, 19 December 2011
Thursday, 16 December 2010
Sunday, 21 November 2010
William of Ockham knew what he was talking about nearly 800 years ago but I reckon if he were alive today he could make a living consulting with retailers about consumer promotions.
"Occam's razor" (for which he is best known), states - to paraphrase it somewhat ! - that simpler things are better. Perhaps Morrisons and Tescos could have borne this in mind with their two latest promotions.
Tesco recently had two promotions running simultaneously on their spirits fixture. One was for "two selected spirits for £22" and the other was "two selected spirits for £25" (see pictures above). The two promotions were running at the same time, together on fixture, and with scarce information as to which selected spirits were in which offer. Confused ? I was.
The second is a "breakfast meal deal" from Morrisons - You buy a certain 6 (or is it 7, I couldn't quite work it out from the poster - see above) items and you get them for an all-in price of £4. It's a great promotion, but all the items involved are not together on one "meal deal" fixture, but are scattered the length and breadth of the store, each on its own fixture. How many people, I wonder, got to the till only to find out that they accidentally picked up "the wrong pack of bacon" or the "wrong pack of tomatoes".
Come back William, we need you !
Monday, 16 August 2010
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
So it looks like after all the talking, it's going to happen - the government is to push ahead with plans for a supermarket ombudsman under the Office of Fair Trading.
“We want to make sure large retailers can't abuse their power by transferring excessive risks or unexpected costs onto their suppliers,” said the Consumer Minister Edward Davey (pictured above).
A welcome move ? For suppliers, it would seem so - with the Food and Drink Federation giving the proposal an immediate ringing endorsement. As for the retailers, their response, maybe a little cynically, is predictable :
“An ‘adjudicator’ will just add unnecessary costs,” said Stephen Robertson of the British Retail Consortium.
Maybe the memories of government ministers are still fresh, well, fresher than the milk would be by now, three years on, of the infamous "price fixing" debacle where supermarkets were given hefty fines after an Office of Fare Trading probe into milk prices.
Of course, any move to remove "anti-competitive" practice is welcome. But what about when we start to edge into the margins of the grey area of collaboration between retailer and supplier involved in a close category management partnership.
Can you be "Category Captain" and, at the same time as you draw a salary from your company, engage in a collaborative strategic process with your buyer which is totally "competitive" ? Of course, such a relationship always should be - but is this an area where the ideals and the reality sometimes diverge, and is best dealt with by a bit of hand-waving, embarrassed coughing, and moving the conversation onto another topic ? Thoughts ?