Actionable Insights From APT's Retail Practice
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How to Compete with Fast Casual

August 25th, 2012 | Posted by CCorman in Restaurants - (Comments Off on How to Compete with Fast Casual)

The top 150 fast casual chains grew at 8.4% in 2011 compared to 3.4% for the largest 500 restaurant chains. This rapid growth has not gone unnoticed by executives at both QSRs and casual dining chains, as some players in both segments strategize about how to capture a piece of this potentially lucrative market. As restaurant executives deliberate whether to shift strategies to better compete with fast casual, they should consider some of the following questions: (more…)

Credit Card Fees: The Banker Response

August 19th, 2012 | Posted by Will Weidman in Financial Services | Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Credit Card Fees: The Banker Response)

“While the $6.6 billion lawsuit between the credit card industry and a trade association of merchants has been settled, the battle is far from over. A recent Wall Street Journal article highlights a part of the settlement with far-ranging future consequences: the right for retailers to charge more for customers who use a credit card. Banks need to immediately start preparing for the possible outcomes of this legislation, including retailers’ reactions at the register.”

Click here to check out APT VP Will Weidman’s recent byline in Banking Strategies.

How to Keep this Drought from Drying up your Profits

August 8th, 2012 | Posted by CCorman in Restaurants - (Comments Off on How to Keep this Drought from Drying up your Profits)

The worst drought in decades has affected 88% of America’s corn crop, sending this staple commodity to an all-time high. The skyrocketing price of corn will have direct impacts across the supply chain, as input costs increase for core menu items from sodas to proteins. Before futures contracts expire and prices increase, restaurant executives have an opportunity to avert a margin crunch. Specifically, executives should consider which of their high-cost menu items should be rationalized or substituted and when/where they can raise prices. (more…)

Measuring Back-to-School Promotions

August 8th, 2012 | Posted by JMarek in Retail | Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Measuring Back-to-School Promotions)

George Anderson of Retail Wire recently reported that JC Penney is offering free haircuts as part of its back-to-school campaign. Based on anecdotal evidence, the article says, the promotion appears to be working. But Anderson suggests that the key to the success of this program will be, “how many of those [160,000 haircut appointments] are either new customers to Penney or returning shoppers who increase their spending.

There are many great (i.e. profitable) ideas that are hard to imagine working. And many poor (i.e. unprofitable) ideas that intuitively seem like a lock. Customers are tricky that way. (more…)