Should I Write About Kroger and Albertsons?
That wasn’t meant to be the headline, it was simply a mental note. I was asking myself if I should address this topic in the issue. As I thought more about it and read other opinions, it became clear this wasn’t so much a question of whether I should, but a warning to myself, because I didn’t want to write something negative But an opinion page is not the place for the timid, so here goes.
In case you haven’t heard, Kroger is trying to absorb Albertson’s. I’m kidding of course, everyone knows this…everyone is writing about it…and everyone has their own spin.
But in my humble and very opinionated opinion, people attempting to answer, “What are the implications for our industry?”, “How will this effect suppliers and other retailers?”, “Is it good for consumers?” might as well be forecasting the weather for New Year’s Day morning in Pasadena.
I don’t have the slightest clue what the actual implications will be, but if experience has taught me anything…
It will no doubt be a good transaction for shareholders as efficiencies will be found across many departments. And by efficiencies, I mean job loss of course. And there’s nothing Wall Street likes more than companies eliminating jobs.
It’s likely to be good for senior management who will find those efficiencies, increase their bonuses on the promise of increased profits and then go about the business of squeezing even harder the following year to maintain that. Until someone effecincies them out the front door.
It will be happy days for suppliers (if you are the biggest and most efficient in your category that is). Higher volumes and thinner margins mean you’ll have to look at possible mergers yourself. Mean and lean will be the only way to go.
It’s bound to be fabulous for consumers. Afterall, if competition means lower prices and improved quality for consumers, what will the opposite bring? Just think of cable and utility companies and the likes of OPEC, these behemoth’s are notorious for lowering prices and improving customer service, oh, wait…
Many years spent in the media business serving a number of different markets have exposed me to more mergers and acquisitions than I care to remember. Many of them impacted me personally and a majority of them resulted in “unintended consequences”. And please don’t confuse unintended with unknown, as in, “it wasn’t our intention to cut 40% of the back office workforce, but redundancies were found, blah, blah, blah”.
Let’s face it, where there’s an opportunity, there’s an opportunist. I’m not blaming anyone, it’s a dog-eat-dog world.
The rest of this issue is much more upbeat, and we’re thriled to be delivering it, in person, at PLMA’s Chicago Trade Show.
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A creative and workflow expert in the retail landscape, Maria’s 30-year career translates branding experiences into eye-catching design that is unique and distinct for each client. he has created new private brands and redesigned/repositioned existing brands with leading retailers, while also implementing workflow management systems specifically tailored to the clients’ needs. Current clients include The Home Depot, Smart & Final, PetSmart, 7-Eleven, PriceSmart, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Sprouts Farmers Market, WinCo Foods, Natural Grocers and more. With SKU counts from 1,000 to more than 10,000 annually.reinvention and innovative execution.
Christopher Durham is the President of the Velocity Institute Prior to this he founded the groundbreaking site My Private Brand. He is the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He began his retail career building brands at Food Lion and Lowe’s Home Improvement. Durham has worked with retailers around the world, including Albertsons, Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro Canada. Durham has published seven definitive books on private brands, including Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project and Vanguard: Vintage Originals.
Hans Kraak is educated in biology and journalism and wrote three books about nutrition and health. He worked for the Dutch ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food quality and the Netherlands Nutrition Centre. As editor in chief he publishes in the Dutch Magazine for Nutrition and Dietetics, as a food and wine writer he published in Meininger’s Wine Business International and reports for PLMA Live EU and PLMA USA.
LIAN STEVENSON Director, Consulting Europe & APAC-MEA Lian brings 19 years of experience delivering strategic content for a large portfolio of UK blue-chip retail brands. As part of SGK’s Consulting Team, she has delivered initiatives to help CPG clients such as Britvic, J&J, General Mills, and Iceland deliver improved supply chain workflows, increase speed to market, streamline resources, and reduce overall costs. Lian is Lean Six Sigma accredited and is a certified change management practitioner.
Design Manager, MBD Lyndsay has 15+ years in the design industry, with food and beverage packaging as a significant focus. As Design Manager at MBD, she enjoys helping retailers and brands alike find their voice and express it through creative packaging design. She is always looking for ways to connect with, challenge, and lead clients so their design potentials are realized.
President of the Puro Research Group, a market intelligence firm specializing in consumer insights, competitive/market intelligence and analysis. Puro’s services are designed to keep you abreast of the latest trends, make you look smart in presentations and help guide decision-making. The company has provided organizations and companies, ranging from Fortune 100 companies to startups, with aha! insights about competitors, customers and industries in a variety of topics and industries, including consumer products; retail; transportation, travel and hospitality; healthcare and health insurance; financial services and investment banking; traditional marketing, as well as digital and social media marketing.
A retail branding and marketing expert, with a passion for challenging conventional strategy and truths. Perry is the Strategic Partner and Co-founder of Emerge, a strategic marketing consultancy dedicated to helping Retailers, Manufacturers and Services grow exponentially and differentiate with purpose.
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