• What’s 5 Below?
    As a chain of more than 500 stores in the Eastern U.S., 5 Below is a hit with young people for its eclectic, fast-changing selection of goods, most costing under $5. Roy White reports.

    Roy White
    What’s 5 Below?
    May 2017
     
    Is Five Below a dollar store? Is Five Below a discount store? Is it a party store? A toy store? Well, not really, on all of those counts. The chain gets its name from the vast majority of items it sells for $5 or less. If you have to categorize it, Five Below is a cool store – the coolest ever according to some – wherein lies the key to this format. The inventory and go-to-market theme are in fact different from anything currently operating in mass market retailing today.
     
    Cool as it may be, Five Below is also one of the fastest growing operations in the market. Emerging 15 years ago as the brainchild of two former discount store and alternate retail merchants, it now has 525 stores in the eastern half of the US, does close to $1 billion in annual sales and opens 70-85 units annually. Sales grew over 20% last year, profits 40%. 
     
    Stores average 7,500 square feet, and churn out over $2 million annually, and last year comp store sales rose 2.6%.
     
  • Health as Status Symbol
    Healthy living is developing into a “status” culture and food is a big part of the trend. Dr. Kantha Shelke analyzes the trend.

    Dr. Kantha Shelke
    Health as Status Symbol
    April 2016
     
    The motivation to become fit and healthier is greater than ever before. In fact, wellness is becoming a status symbol.
     
    Consumers know how one lives and how one eats can influence one’s health and quality of life. The result is an unprecedented demand for health and fitness-promoting attributes in practically every CPG sector ranging from foods, supplements, drugs, cosmetics, and personal care to even pet foods.
     
    Coaches, nutritionists, chefs and fitness and medical professionals are engaged to support manufacturers and customers in making their products more appealing to the fitness-conscious. Snacks can go from ‘forbidden’ to ‘recommended’ just with the addition of lentils, beans, purple corn, or any vegetable, for that matter. Snacking is okay if fiber and vitamins and other nutrients are involved, for humans and pets.
     
    Health is becoming table stakes in many categories.
     
  • Is There A Trump Consumer?
    Everyone now knows that there are Trump voters. But are there Trump consumers? Brad Edmondson analyzes the link between the voting booth and the supermarket.

    Brad Edmondson
    Is There A Trump Consumer?
    February 2017
     
    Donald Trump was elected President by winning in Rustbelt states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.  The pundits say that voters in these states were angry. They turned out in big numbers, and that gave him their electoral votes. 
     
    The 63 million Americans who voted for Trump were likely to be white and over the age of 50, but that was not a surprise.  Republican candidates always do well there.  Trump won because of unusually strong support from two other groups: men, and people who do not have a college education.
     
    I am not a political columnist.  I'm a demographics guy. What's interesting to me is that these two groups have something big in common.  They are both getting clobbered by the job market.
     
    Men hold 70 percent of all jobs in manufacturing.  America has lost more than one-quarter of its manufacturing jobs over the last 15 years.
     
  • Store Brands for the Military?
    Atten-tion! Military commissaries may finally get private label for their shoppers. Len Lewis has the details.

    Len Lewis
    Store Brands for the Military?
    January 2017
     
    Military commissaries have been serving officers and enlisted personnel for 150 years. Now, they are facing one of their toughest assignments: bringing in private label.
     
    The modern commissary was established in 1867 when the average outlet carried about 82 items, the same as civilian dry goods stores at the time.
     
    Today, nearly 250 outlets worldwide carry about 38,000 items for the military and their families at five percent above cost.
     
    In 2016, commissary sales were about $5.25 billion, a drop of 4.7 percent from the prior year. Since 2012, dollar sales at these outlets have declined about 14 percent, signaling the need for change.
     

    However, last year Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, enabling DeCA to make operational changes and paving the way for eliminating the agency’s $1.4 billion in federal funding by making commissaries self-sufficient.
     

PLMALive! Archives:
the Best of the Year Past
PLMA's Amsterdam Trade Show Reveals New Products

Retailers and manufacturers from America come to PLMA’s “World of Private Label” International Trade Show in Amsterdam to find new product ideas that have not reached U.S. shelves and this year they got an eyeful. Join news anchor Jodi Daley and PLMA president Brian Sharoff and their team of reporters as they go booth to booth to identify some of the food and home and health ideas which were introduced at the show.

2017 Year-Ahead Panel

2017 Year-Ahead Panel

Preparing for 2017

Preparing for 2017

2016 Chicago Trade Show Preview

2016 Chicago Trade Show Preview

Back to Work

Back to Work

2016 Summer Re-run

2016 Summer Re-run

Direct-From-The-Show in Amsterdam

Direct-From-The-Show in Amsterdam

Hall Of Fame

Hall Of Fame

End of the Mass Market?

End of the Mass Market?

It's All About Delivery

It's All About Delivery

Finding Generation E

Finding Generation E

Doing it Kroger's Way

Doing it Kroger's Way