Instore - June 2018 - 19
will be. From what I heard on the floor, there is not a good enough awareness of digital. You gotta make this thing really convenient."
Jim Donald, who in March was named CEO of grocery retail giant
Albertsons, recounted some of the changes that had taken place since
his first tenure with Albertsons in the 1990s. "Charcuterie was beef
jerky, grab 'n go was a cup of donut holes and a meal kit was a hoagie
and chips," he said.
The most significant change? The fresh perimeter at Albertsons has
grown sixteen-fold since 1991, Donald said, compared to seven-fold for
"The future of fresh is out there
stronger than ever. I see fresh moving
into the center of the arena. The future
of fresh is figuring out the last mile of
Jim Donald, Albertsons
JOHN UNREIN - SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
"The future of fresh is out there stronger than ever," says Donald. "I see
fresh moving into the center of the arena. The future of fresh is figuring
out the last mile of e-commerce."
By the year 2023, Donald predicts bots will be refilling supermarket
shelves and unloading trucks, while the migration of more millennials
into the workforce will bring educated and tech-savvy employees who
strive to "one-up the competition."
Store managers, he says, "will have to be at ease with a team of rivals
- not a team of people who say, 'yes, do this.' They (millennials) want
feedback to drive this business. Executives have to have the maturity
of a boomer but the mindset of a millennial. Being able to understand
all this data is going to move the supermarket industry forward."
Respecting and listening to your "front line employees," Donald said, is
more important to the success of your business than consulting your
fellow managers. "If you think your business is bigger than your front
line, you will fail," he said. "Ask questions and listen - that is the best
form of communication."
Another speaker, Daymond John, founder of FUBU and a "shark" on the
hit show "Shark Tank," was pleased to tell attendees that his top find on
the show was a food company -former NFL player Al "Bubba" Baker's
Bubba's Q Boneless Ribs.
Like Donald, John said that a key to success is admitting that your
co-workers often know more than you do, and to respect them for it. "I
know when I walk into a room that I need to learn," John told a Show
and Sell audience. "I surround myself with people who are smarter than
I am. My biggest skill set is that I go into a room with an open mind."
If you're truly innovating, speaker Jennifer Fleiss told attendees,
you shouldn't be worried about disruptors in your market. In fact,
you should be disrupting yourself. Fleiss, the co-founder of Rent The
Runway, an online designer dress and accessory rental service, said that
nothing should be off limits when it comes to new ideas, even if the new
ideas challenge things with which you've already found success.
Rent The Runway did just that when it rolled out a new service that
offers more casual garments that can be rented four or five pieces at a
time. "We disrupted ourselves," she said.
Ginger Hardage, who recently retired as senior vice president of culture
and communications at Southwest Airlines, detailed how Southwest
burst on the scene with a major disruption: a $26 flight from Dallas to
Houston. When the competition matched it, they cut it in half. When
the competition matched that, Southwest went back to $26 -but gave
customers a free quart of liquor with every flight.
Southwest's success, however, has been built not on gimmicks but on
how well the company treats its customers and its employees, Hardage
said. "All cultures start with hiring," she said. "Hire tough so you can
Seventy-one percent of Southwest employees, Hardage said, say that
working at Southwest is "a calling," not just a way to make a living.
The company builds that kind of loyalty, she said, by encouraging
employees to have fun and to improvise if they see a solution they think
will work. "Don't be too formulaic in the ways you allow employees to
express themselves, do their jobs and connect with customers."
How to find, train and retain the right employees was also one of the
major themes of IDDBA president/CEO Mike Eardley's annual presentation to attendees.
There is no issue more important to the industry, Eardley said, than
getting new people to join it. He cited industry examples, including
efforts by the top two U.S. grocers, Walmart and Kroger, to fund their
employees' educations. Eardley also touted a new IDDBA education
initiative, the Deli & Bakery Rising Stars Manager Certification and
Entry-level Associate Certification programs.
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