Actionable Insights From APT's Retail Practice

Why Is This Ad in My Train Station?

November 29th, 2010 | Posted by JMarek in Marketing & Media - (Comments Off on Why Is This Ad in My Train Station?)

McDonald's Ad at Lafayette BART (with apologies for picture quality)

I live in an upper middle-class suburb of San Francisco, where 99% of the population speaks outstanding English.  This train station is on the BART line that commuters take from that suburb into San Francisco or Oakland.  My best guess is that thousands of people pass under this ad each weekday, and maybe a dozen or so per month read Chinese but not English.

So, why is it there?  I really don’t know, but perhaps:

  1. Their media targeting model is producing terrible results
  2. They’ve designed a very poor Chinese-language media heavy-up test
  3. Someone thinks this ad might work for non-Chinese speakers.  After all, I don’t speak Chinese, but I completely understand the price point and product.  Had it been in English, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it.

If it’s the first two (or the third, for that matter), give me a call.  APT can help. 

If it’s #3, color me impressed!

How One Retailer Is Taking On Wal-Mart: The Story of Winn-Dixie

November 14th, 2010 | Posted by Marek Polonski in Retail - (Comments Off on How One Retailer Is Taking On Wal-Mart: The Story of Winn-Dixie)
Battle of the Florida grocers: vs. vs.

Washington D.C. – Winn-Dixie’s CEO, Peter Lynch, is on a mission. As reported in the St. Petersburg Times, Mr. Lynch is fighting hard to regain the lost market share in Florida. So much so that Winn-Dixie is spending north of $2M per store on remodels. In Tampa alone this is projected to cost more than $70M. Moreover, Winn-Dixie is also poised to spend $4M on new store concept openings (more than 10 are planned for 2011). Will this be enough to resuscitate a struggling brand?

Today Publix and a distant second Walmart, control almost 2/3 of the Florida grocery market. With its strong emphasis on serving the customer and the constant pursuit of excellence, Publix continues to innovate its offerings and appeal to a wide spectrum of shoppers, but most agree it dominates the affluent customer segment. As in other states, Walmart has effectively squeezed the low-price competition in Florida. At the same time, newcomers such as ALDI are aggressively expanding their store base in the state. Shoppers find comparable products at EDLP prices at ALDI. It is not hard to understand why they prefer to shop at clean, streamlined ALDI stores rather than going to an old Winn-Dixie. (more…)

Survive the Net Interest Margin Squeeze

November 10th, 2010 | Posted by retailblogadmin in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Survive the Net Interest Margin Squeeze)

A recent article in American Banker highlights how net interest margin will likely decrease going forward and has already started to decline for some banks.  It will be important to address this, but “banks are quickly running out of opportunities to reduce deposit costs and improve their own funding costs.”

With limited options on the deposit side, banks need to start findings ways to improve net interest margin on the loan side.  However, since loan demand has been weak, rock bottom rates have been necessary to remain competitive.


The Check is in the Mail

November 6th, 2010 | Posted by Pallavi Naresh in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on The Check is in the Mail)

Recently, I had a great experience shopping for a wedding present at a large department store chain. Unfortunately, I was on a budget and feeling a little guilty about it. When the sales associate, Mark, asked if I needed help, I was thrilled to have him help me navigate through the sea of china, crystal, and cooking devices.

As we reviewed the registry, we found that the best option for me was to finish off their towel request. While towels were certainly not the most glamorous of gifts, they were definitely the most wallet friendly. As Mark led me to the rainbow colored wall of Egyptian cotton, I began to balk at the price of the bath towels. Just as I was about to admit defeat and get them an impersonal gift card, he explained that the towels were going to be 20% off in a few days. Of course, I was shopping last minute and needed to purchase the towels right way.

Then he said the most wonderful thing: (more…)

A Cult Following: The Most Coveted Accessory in Retail

November 3rd, 2010 | Posted by Guru Raj in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on A Cult Following: The Most Coveted Accessory in Retail)

Lululemon Athletica, purveyor of $100 yoga pants and $60 tank tops, is a great example of how successfully engaging your customers can drive bottom line results.  Retail locations hold regular yoga lessons before store hours and reward diligent yogis with 15% off coupons.  They also enlist the help of local yoga instructors, who are given free apparel with the understanding that they wear it during their yoga classes.  The 400 women who attended Lululemon’s Barefoot in the Park event at Bryant Park in Manhattan certainly appear invested (both physically and financially) in the brand.  Is this grassroots branding campaign driving in store sales?  Stocks are up 80% in the last 12 months.


Data, data, data everywhere!

November 2nd, 2010 | Posted by Marek Polonski in Retail - (Comments Off on Data, data, data everywhere!)

Washington D.C. – In case you missed it, Harvard Business Review has an interesting article on how large volumes of data will transform the way businesses do things.

The Real Future of Free Checking

November 1st, 2010 | Posted by Will Weidman in Financial Services | Uncategorized - (Comments Off on The Real Future of Free Checking)

The future of free checking is being debated on the wrong terms.  The question being asked now is whether we’ve seen the end of free checking.  Free checking will undoubtedly decline, but it will not, and should not, go away completely.  The real question is which accounts should still be eligible for free checking and how to maximize fee income in the newly regulated environment.