While many intuitively hypothesize that weather impacts brick-and-mortar sales, today the APT Index truly showed the drastic effects that weather can have on retail performance. Data from the Index shows that nationwide retail sales in the US shrank by 10% during the Polar Vortex (Jan 5-7). The effect was especially notable in cities that were hit hardest by the Vortex, including Detroit, MI (45% decrease in year-over-year sales), Chicago, IL (-41%), and New York, NY (-15%). The decreases were also driven by average age, as retailers in areas with a higher median age fared worse during the Vortex. Click here to learn more.
APT CEO Anthony Bruce recently spoke on Bloomberg TV about the importance of making data-driven decisions in business.
Bruce commented, “Ultimately, Big Data provides a huge opportunity, but some risks. We as humans are conditioned to see patterns, sometimes when they don’t exist…The way to really understand as a retailer or a restaurateur – does a new approach work – is to experiment in some stores, not others…Experimentation is really the way to leverage Big Data.”
Nation’s Restaurant News recently published an article by APT SVP Jonathan Marek about the five often overlooked facts about restaurant pricing. Jonathan discusses the following about pricing strategies:
- “You can’t understand the impact of changing prices without a test versus control analysis.”
- “Cross-elasticity rules restaurant economics.”
- “Price elasticity varies by store — a lot.”
- “If you have a franchised concept, your franchisees are likely testing prices for you.”
- “Pricing analysis should not be outsourced.”
Here is the link to the full article: http://nrn.com/opinions/5-overlooked-facets-restaurant-menu-pricing
Convenience stores, pharmacy chains, and grocery retailers are all trying to take a bite out of restaurant sales by ramping up their fresh food offerings. According to Convenience Store News, prepared food offerings in c-stores exceeded $27 billion in sales in the US in 2012, a 7.6% increase over the previous year – in fact, convenience chain Casey’s General Stores is even offering pizza delivery in a select number of locations. (more…)
APT CEO Anthony Bruce was recently featured on Bloomberg TV. Click here to watch as Anthony discusses Big Data and why experimentation is the best way to determine whether a new approach or strategy really works.
APT President Patrick O’Reilly recently announced that Wawa, a convenience store chain with over 600 locations, will expand its relationship with APT by licensing APT’s Merchandise Optimization software. “Licensing APT’s Merchandise Optimization has enabled us to drive significant margin increases by reallocating our space in numerous categories, and to rapidly transition from analysis into implementation,” said David Prevost, director of space planning & merchandising at Wawa. “By rolling out the optimal merchandising strategy on a store-by-store basis, we are able to capture significant additional value across our network.” Click here to read the full release.
In a move to make it easier for consumers to switch banks and to increase competition in the banking industry, the Payments Council of the UK has rolled out a “current account switch service” to speed up the process. The service will switch a consumer’s current account to a new bank within 7 days by transferring funds between banks, moving all standing direct debits to the new bank, and automatically redirecting any payments accidentally made from the old account to the new account for 13 months. While participating in the service is not mandated by law, 33 institutions have already enrolled.
Many banks have been using the service as an opportunity to increase their current account market share. This is creating an incentive war among UK banks, both large and small: for example, First Direct is offering £100 to customers who switch from another bank and another £100 if they aren’t satisfied within the first 12 months. Nationwide is offering 5% interest on their FlexDirect account for the first 12 months, and Santander is offering 4 free months of Arranged Overdraft for switching customers. (more…)
Data released today from the APT Index shows that 2013 year-over-year holiday season retail sales decreased -1.7% in the US. The Index shows that colder areas, where temperatures were less than 40°F on average, fared worse, with a -2.6% drop in comp sales, while areas that were warmer than 60°F on average experienced an increase of 0.8% in sales. Median income in a location’s trade area was also a major driver of sales performance. Click here to read more about 2013 holiday sales in the US.