Retailers, consumers and prices
It is one of the oldest tricks in the book and a big problem for retailers. So big, in fact, that some estimates suggest that “sweethearting” and other types of employee theft account for almost half of all annual retail theft, or $19.5 billion out of $41.6 billion overall.
Massachusetts-based StopLift Inc. says the answer is just waiting to be liberated from all of the security camera tape that retailers typically don’t monitor until something goes really, really wrong.
We’ve all seen the video of outrageous things that can happen in grocery stores, convenience shops, and retail outlets, but the reality is that watching the security feeds from cameras mounted above every register is time-consuming — so most of that video information goes unused.
Last month, in a poll conducted by SheSpeaks, a women’s insights marketing firm, almost 50 percent of respondents said they would spend less this holiday. That was up from nearly 30 percent who answered the same way last year.
In a new poll, SheSpeaks asks where shoppers intend to spend fewer dollars. Here are the results from the updated poll:
We know many consumers are dining out less often. Just look at the weak results at chains like Red Lobster and Olive Garden. Still, some people aren’t making home-cooked meals either. They need a place to buy pre-made meals and some groceries. Enter the latest new twist on quick grocery shopping — Supervalu’s test store, Urban Fresh by Jewel, in Chicago. About half of the products in the new store are prepared.
We wonder, though, if some parts of the store launch were rushed a bit. Supervalu’s Jewel-Osco chain, which is running the store, took out a two-page ad in the local, free Red Eye newspaper on Thursday (including the back page where commuters get their daily scoop of celebrity news).
In a bid to stretch shrinking grocery dollars, U.S. consumers are shunning restaurants for home-cooked meals, clipping coupons, scouring grocery store flyers for deals and consolidating trips to save gas.The U.S. Agriculture Department has warned that 2008 could bring the biggest increase in food prices in nearly 20 years. If shoppers’ words match their actions, it seems that frugal will become the new fashion.
Roughly 80 percent of respondents to a recent survey said they planned to continue those penny-pinching ways even after the economy turns up and they have more coins jingling in their pockets, according to retail consulting firm Precima, which commissioned the online survey that polled more than 2,000 U.S. consumers.
Check out why Heinz didn’t suffer like Hormel did in the past quarter.
Food companies have found it tough going as commodity costs shoot up, but Hormel was particularly hard hit. The reason? It raises the turkeys that it eventually sells — meaning spiking corn feed costs hurt its results.
Supervalu, whose chains include Albertsons and Save-A-Lot, didn’t see any increase in its total quarterly sales. Its food sales were actually down 0.7 percent, but the company saved itself in part with lower expenses, and reported a higher quarterly profit.
“Kroger continues to help customers stretch their budgets in a number of ways, including lower prices and our expanded generic drug and gas discount programs,” chief executive David Dillon said in a statement.
Food safety officials in the United States are still searching for the cause of a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened 167 people in 17 states and is believed to be linked to raw round, plum and Roma tomatoes.
If you want to see whether your state has reported a case, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a site that shows the state-by-state breakdown.
This year, that tax refund check likely means another sobering trip to the grocery store or gas station.