Actionable Insights From APT's Retail Practice

Unique Challenges Facing European Retailers

July 2nd, 2014 | Posted by JDouglass in General Insights - (Comments Off)

APT SVP and Head of Europe Luca Zuccoli recently discussed some unique challenges facing European retailers today, and what they can do to address these challenges.

APT announced today that May retail sales increased 0.9% overall and Memorial Day Weekend sales were up 3.9%, according to data from the APT Index. Over Memorial Day Weekend, shoppers spent $1.9 billion more in 2014 than in 2013. The APT Index also showed that the holiday weekend sales increased more in areas that had fewer rainy days. Click here to read the full May report.

Click here to download the report.

Gut feeling and intuition have always been key parts of executive decision-making. But, as data collection becomes easier and data analysis becomes faster, how should executives blend intuition with data analytics?

This morning, the Economist Intelligence Unit and APT released the findings of an authoritative study that analyzes how decision-making is changing across industries and geographies. Direct findings from the report include:

• 57% executives reanalyze the data if it contradicts their gut feeling
• 42% of executives are “data-driven”
• 45% of respondents who agree that their company is growing faster than the competition also say they can predict decision outcomes by analyzing tests and trials
• 19% say decision-makers are not held accountable in their organizations

Click here to see all the actionable findings from this Economist Intelligence Unit study.

To “decide” can be interpreted as “picking one option and killing off all others.” In business, doing this right has large rewards, and getting it wrong has severe consequences. While executives have always made decisions, increasing amounts of data, sophisticated consumers, rapidly evolving technology, and disruptive competitors, are fundamentally changing the art and science of decision-making.

APT partnered with the Economist Intelligence Unit to study how decision-making is rapidly evolving across various industries and geographies. The resulting report addresses tough and important questions, such as:

(1) How do executives blend intuition with data? Are companies allowing executives to trust intuition?

(2) How are executives using data in decision-making when the data is counter-intuitive to their beliefs?

(3) With so much data available, which data should executives consider? And, how should they best incorporate it in decision-making?

The report will be released on June 5th in London. Please email info[at] to be the first to get a complimentary copy of this actionable report written by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Grocers are increasingly seeking to transform their stores into one-stop shopping destinations for consumers. To this end, numerous grocery retailers are adding health services to their in-store offerings.  Stop & Shop recently announced the introduction of a partnership with an area hospital to bring health clinics into its stores in Connecticut.  Additionally, Wegmans has installed health stations throughout its store network in an effort to encourage customers to monitor vitals like their blood pressure. (more…)

APT VP Rupert Naylor Featured in Financial Times

April 23rd, 2014 | Posted by JDouglass in General Insights - (Comments Off)

Commentary from APT Vice President Rupert Naylor was recently featured in the Financial Times in response to Sir Tim Harford’s article, “Big Mistake.” In the article, Harford argues that too many Big Data advocates care about “correlation rather than causation.” Naylor agrees this issue is problematic and offers a solution, suggesting that test and learn analytics can bridge this disconnect by driving to cause-and-effect relationships. Click here to read the full commentary.

Retail Sales Warm Up In Second Half of February

March 9th, 2014 | Posted by JDouglass in APT Index - (Comments Off)

APT announced today that retail sales comps in February 2014 fell [-1.1%] over 2013, according to data from the APT Index. Interestingly, while sales were down in February overall, the APT Index indicated a “Polar Thaw” in the second half of the month, as sales comps increased. In the first two weeks of February, when average temperature was 35°F, sales comps were down [-3.4%]. However, when the average temperature climbed to 43°F in the last two weeks, sales comps grew [+1.4%]. Click here to read more about February sales comps and the APT Index.

Remodels Without The Risk

February 14th, 2014 | Posted by DSchreff in Grocery/Convenience | Retail - (Comments Off)

In a recent interview featured in Retail Leader, APT VP Jeff Campbell explains that retailers should test store remodels in a small subset of locations prior to broad rollout in order to to understand which remodel elements work best.  “While customer surveys, focus groups and observational studies may provide some hypotheses about the effect of a remodel, ultimately consumers will vote with their wallets,” Campbell says. Click here to read the full article.

January Retail Sales Comps Fall -1.6%

February 13th, 2014 | Posted by JDouglass in Retail - (Comments Off)

APT today announced an analysis of retail sales across the United States for the month of January using data from the APT Index. The APT Index shows a -1.6% decrease in nationwide retail sales during January 2014, compared to the same month last year. The decrease was driven by fewer transactions, as fewer people went shopping in the cold and snowy weather. Click here to read more about which cities were impacted most, and how weather differences changed retail outcomes.

APT Hires Jeff Babka as CFO

February 11th, 2014 | Posted by DSchreff in General Insights - (Comments Off)

APT is featured in a recent Washington Post article, which highlights our recent hiring of Jeff Babka as CFO. Click here to read the article.