The Millennial Super Bowl and Grocers

The game nears!

Super Bowl Sunday is around the corner. Fans are itching and media is buzzing; grocers rally for a great weekend in sales. This year’s Super Bowl is expected to be the biggest one yet, a victory over the recession: Wall Street gains are finally percolating into consumer spending and grocers are poised to catch a big slice of the recovery pie. As millennials’ purchasing power matures, this year’s Super Bowl is not only bigger but also more connected!

TRIVIA: 1.25 Billion (yes, with a “B”) chicken wings will be eaten during this year’s Super Bowl, according to the Natl. Chicken Council! (4)

This year, 184,000,000 people will watch the game; that is 75.8% of the population of the United States. Of those watching, 79.3% will purchase food and beverages the highest of all categories (the second-highest category, team apparel or accessories, is just over 10%). The planned spending per person will reaches $77.8 (up 14% from last year) and the total bill will come out to $14.3 billion dollars. (1)

Food and beverages are, clearly, the most popular item on people's minds.

Food and beverages are, clearly, the most popular item on people’s minds. (1)

It is clear that it is bigger, but how is this Super Bowl different than the previous one? The National Retail Foundation has some interesting insights into people’s Super Bowl behavior (or, should we say, rituals?). Most of those surveyed (34%) agree that the game is the most important part of the day; interest in the half-time show, commercials and getting together with friends peaks in the ages of 18-34 (i.e. millenials). The value millenials put in the social aspect of the Super Bowl can be seen when asked if they intended to either host or attend a Super Bowl party where the most eager to partake were, again, the 18-34 age group. Planned spending, as well, increases and peaks at the 24-34 year category. Planned spending on food and drinks will reach historic highs this year! (2).

Grocers can expect, from what these numbers show, healthy sales this Super Bowl weekend. But, beyond that, grocers have an immense opportunity to establish their brand in young costumer’s minds and partake in one of the most social weekends of the year. Great service can get you costumers and and your name out there. While most costumers will be using their mobile devices to compare gear prices, the amount sold during the weekend is on the rise as well. Experts expect that 41% of all people watching will use social media during the game, of which over 55% will go through Facebook(3). Expect your costumers to be partaking on the conversation sharing pictures (some of food) and banter. Don’t get caught in the trash talking, but make sure to stay relevant: hashtags might be crucial for visibility.

This Super Bowl is expected to be the biggest one yet and, as millennials mature into working-age and their purchasing power increases, grocers’ strategies must change with them. This year’s game shows clearly that the bad times are over and, regardless of who wins the Bowl, grocers who step-up their social-media game will come out on top and establish their brand with a new generation of costumers.






Grocers and Organised Retail Theft (ORT)

Organised Retail Theft (ORT) is a $37 Billion problem that affects 96% of retailers(1). Unlike petty thieves, these gangs they are highly organised, entrepreneurial, and technologically savvy. ORT also differs in that it aims to convert the illegally obtained goods into financial gain, not personal use(2). These criminal activities include theft, gift card fraud, receipt fraud, ticket switching and cargo theft(1). Yearly, American retailers spend $27 billion dollars on retail theft prevention(4). Where do grocers fit in the picture and what can they do?

You can compare how are different retailers affected by theft.

You can compare how different retail categories are affected by theft in general.

Compared to most other types of retailers, Grocers’ losses due to theft are near the median. But, considering the small margins prevalent in the grocery retail industry, these numbers gain significance. The size of stores, the complexity in the supply chain and fast employee turnover rate are factors that increase theft and burden grocers’ already small margins. Grocery merchandising is also more vulnerable to theft, specially when compared electronics and jewellery (where everything is locked and tucked away). Are safety and sales pitted against each other? Profit depends on finding the middle point.

Three main factors are identified as contributing to ORT: location, types of goods sold,  retailer’s controls and policies, and store layout and design.

  • Location: stores in malls or near highways are more vulnerable to ORT as they are easier and more efficient target for traveling gangs.
  • Type of good sold: CRAVED goods (Concealable, Removable, Enjoyable and Disposable)
  • Retailer’s controls and policies: a liberal return policy, ratio of part-time to full-time associates, costumer service and sales floor presence, and staffing at entrances and exits.
  • Store layout and design: store layouts can increase visibility and eliminate blind spots, thus maximising the deterrence that employees, electronic systems and other costumers have(2).

These principles were supported by a study in which known retail theft offenders were interviewed about the physical cues that influence their decision to steal. The table summarises the most salient findings(5).

A list of the most influencing factors, as told by interviewed criminals.

A list of the most influencing factors, as told by interviewed criminals.

Together with a preventive strategy, retailers should be prepared for when theft does happen or the offender is caught. At the end, you will find a series of links to interview formats and other resources for retailers to take action and curb ORT.

Together with grocers’ expertise, these insights can inform a strategy to fight ORT. It is important to keep tight inventory control, as this will show the effectivity of measures. A sound strategy will deter potential criminals and reduce shrinkage, thus allowing for bottom-line growth

-The Sutti Team