Confectioner’s Retail Channel Handbook

Lisbeth Echeandia
Direct Line: (903) 965-9300

I hope you found our first Retail Channel Handbook a useful and interesting read. I’d appreciate your comments and thoughts as we do plan to offer these channel insights in 2007 and would like to do an even better job to meet your needs and interests.
Editor Mary Ellen already has some great ideas to build on our first version of this Handbook and I look forward to responding to some of your thoughts and suggestions too.
It is interesting how those of us involved in some aspect of the retail industry divide up our retail shopping channels quite definitively. The ‘regular’ consumer clearly does not — particularly those under 25! That became clear when young adults were asked about their ‘convenience’ shopping habits and product preferences at the recent NACS (Convenience) Show.
Clearly for this age group ‘convenience’ has nothing to do with the type of store but rather with the type of shopping experience. They all quickly took supermarkets out of the equation of ‘convenience’ — because it’s a hassle to park and you have to walk a long way to get to the store — but drug stores were very high on their list as a stop for a drink or snack.
Of course the locations of many of the chain drug stores are in highly-populated areas and it’s easy to find one in your neighborhood. Drug stores have also done a great job in meeting the needs of the convenience customer with product selection and the placement within the store of the types of products often sought on a quick trip.
Traditional convenience stores were of course still very much on their radar but rather than think of them as a type of store the brand was mentioned and that counted as a ‘type’ of store.
The frequency of their shopping was also a real eye-opener. Some ‘convenience shopped’ as often as two or three times a day — treating the store like their refrigerator or kitchen it seemed — and three or four times a week was normal.
Here’s Hoping it was a Great Halloween!
Sales were looking good in many of the stores I visited and yet in other areas there were definitely products destined for markdowns.
It certainly is important to know the demographics of your customer and hopefully be able to gauge their buying intent during the candy holidays. No easy task.
Football is all about the quarterback and success in the candy category is all about retail. The quickest way to sell more candy is to get more retail locations and more locations within the store. But you already knew that. Less focus on the candy aisle and more alternative primary locations within each outlet is definitely a goal worth aiming for.