Actionable Insights From APT's Retail Practice
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How can retailers optimize their holiday staffing this year?

October 24th, 2014 | Posted by Haley Jackson in Apparel | Retail - (Comments Off)

With the holiday season just around the corner, retailers are already beginning to hire additional employees to prepare for the increased store traffic. However, due to extreme holiday sales patterns, it can be especially difficult to measure the overall financial impact of adding seasonal employees and to ensure that each additional labor hour is profitable.

Since extended hours requiring supplemental labor have become a necessity during the holidays, retailers can benefit from leveraging insights from previous seasonal strategies to identify the optimal labor increase for each store. While it may be too risky to implement designed labor tests during the holidays, the past variation in seasonal labor at each store creates the opportunity to analyze “natural experiments” from last season. By comparing the performance of stores that increased holiday labor force to similar stores that did not, retailers can answer key questions surrounding labor strategy effectiveness, such as: (more…)

With the announcement last month of its Corner Store experiment in Washington D.C., Uber joins a list of prominent companies, including Google and Amazon, that are experimenting with grocery delivery services.

Beyond whether these services are profitable for the delivery companies (i.e. Uber, Google, and Amazon), the proliferation of grocery delivery services raises a number of questions for grocery retailers, including:

  1. Should grocers that don’t currently offer delivery service begin to introduce it? How does delivery’s effectiveness compare to other similar services, such as “Click and Collect”?  Should they do both?
  2. Will impulse purchases and cross-sell decrease as a result of these programs (e.g. merchandise at checkout counters, end caps, etc.)? If so, will transaction frequency increase enough (from both new and existing customers) to offset a potential decrease in basket size? How does this vary by location?
  3. Should grocers build their own delivery service or partner with services like Uber that already have the necessary infrastructure in place? Or both?

These questions are not necessarily new ones—this blog has discussed similar topics before, such as “click and collect” (read more here). However, considering the fact that Google, Amazon, and Uber have all introduced similar programs, these services may gain more traction in the coming years.

As with all new product or service introductions, anticipating the profit impact of delivery for grocers is challenging without first trying it.  Testing the service in a few markets will allow executives to gauge whether these initiatives are profitable, and help inform the optimal rollout strategy.

Retail same-store sales increased 0.3% in August 2014 compared to August 2013, or $1 billion, according to data from the APT Index. The APT Index also showed the states with highest sales performance during Tax Free Weekends. These states included Massachusetts (+63%), Tennessee (+43%), and New Mexico (+34%). Click here to view the top and bottom performing cities in August.

Is It Time To Take Your Space Planning Beyond Average?

September 2nd, 2014 | Posted by CCorman in Space Planning - (Comments Off)

When Isaac Newton famously created his third law – “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” – he may not have known he was also talking about allocating space within a store. Space planning involves a series of trade-offs whereby when one category receives additional space, another category loses space. Newton was only partially right, though. Yes, when one foot is given to Category A, Category B must lose one foot of space. However, the sales impact is not usually equal and opposite. Every category generates different sales per unit of space. Even more importantly, every category generates different marginal sales, that is, the amount of sales it generates for each additional foot of space it receives. (more…)

How Manufacturers Are Making Faster, More Automated Decisions

August 25th, 2014 | Posted by MHarper in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

APT SVP Aaron Fidler discusses APT’s software suite for manufacturers.

Shoppers Spend $3.6 Billion More this July

August 12th, 2014 | Posted by MHarper in APT Index - (Comments Off)

Retail same-store sales increased 1.2% in July 2014 compared to July 2013, or $3.6 billion, according to data from the APT Index. Areas that performed better included those where temperature increased versus last year, where rainfall decreased, and where median income is less than $75K. Click here to view the top and bottom performing cities.

Which Data Types Should Retailers Prioritize?

July 31st, 2014 | Posted by DSchreff in Grocery/Convenience - (Comments Off)

In a recent article from Convenience Store Petroleum Daily News, APT Chairman Jim Manzi commented that if retailers want to understand how each business decision affects the bottom line, they should prioritize data sources, such as:

  • Customer data
  • Transaction log data
  • Weather information
  • Area demographics
  • Competitor fuel pricing

According to Manzi, the most valuable data streams are those that can be used to directly determine the cause-and-effect relationship between any new initiative and key metrics.

Read the article here


Watch APT SVP Aaron Fidler discuss how CPG manufacturers can benefit from using flexible and deeper analytics that bring together multiple data sets to understand which factors are driving performance.

APT Index: Father’s Day Sales Surpass $33 Billion

July 11th, 2014 | Posted by JDouglass in APT Index - (Comments Off)

Data recently released from the APT Index shows that while same-store retail sales were flat year-over-year for U.S. retailers in June, Father’s Day weekend generated sales of over $33 billion, an increase over Father’s Day weekend last year. Top performing cities for Father’s Day weekend included San Antonio, TX [+5.9%], Denver, CO [+4.9%], and Charlotte, NC [+3.5%].

The APT Index provides retailers with a hyper-local benchmark of retail sales data in the areas immediately surrounding their locations. Based on actual sales data from over 65,000 retail locations, the APT Index helps in creating store benchmarks, understanding the impact of national campaigns and major events, and explaining performance to investors.

Please click here to read the full APT Index June results. 

Making Category Management Decisions Faster

July 9th, 2014 | Posted by JDouglass in General Insights | Retail - (Comments Off)

Watch APT SVP Mark D’Agostino discuss the unique analytic needs of a category manager and speak about how APT is addressing those issues with over 40 of the top 100 U.S. retailers.