Friday, June 19, 2015

Marks & Spencer and Tesco Looking for Customer Relevance

The World may be ‘flat’ but in Europe Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food just like in the United States drives sales and customer relevance. Jill Bruce, head of food business development and international at Marks & Spencer during a “retailer roundtable’ noted the importance of keeping up with the consumers as they migrate to digital platforms. 

Bruce, stated “engaging with customers online is just as important as selling online. While M&S does not yet sell food online, other than gifting, within non-food the retailer is pushing the whole agenda of “shopping your way,”  We have to think why the delay in selling food on line?  

Bruce went on “This reaches customers where they are and includes providing click-and-collect services. “That’s driven sales of non-food and it brings people into the smaller [Simply Food] stores where they may pick up something,” … “The customer who shops most channels spends the most with you … You are answering more of their needs.” When the customer moves retailers must move with them and Marks & Spencer is moving into fresh and digital daily. 

Andy Rowlinson, former operating model director at Tesco, said the younger generation was shopping differently and highlighted the importance of listening to what customers were saying and then trying to respond. While Chris Martin, Group CEO at Musgrave, stated “more technology was being used to access retail brands and pointed out that middle-aged consumers (age 55 and over) are the fastest-growing segment of online business at Musgrave, with more and more of them accessing the brand via mobile devices.”

Customer relevance and every food brands relevance needs to include an increase in Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food as well as leveraging new avenues of distribution and communication. 

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