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Five Emerging Trends for Supermarket Retailers in 2016

In a recent article for Chain Store Age, I shared insights around five trends facing the supermarket retail industry in 2016. Below are the highlights.

As 2016 begins, supermarket retailers continue to adapt to changing consumer demands, industry issues and regulations affecting their businesses. Some grocers are expanding their footprints, others are narrowing to specialty formats, and some seem to be doing both. All are facing increased competition and high expectations around freshness, convenience and transparency.

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We see the emerging trends below critical for retail businesses in 2016 and beyond:

  1. Authenticating the fresh foods story: Fresh is at the forefront. We’re seeing an increase in the overall offering of fresh as retailers aim to meet the expectations of today’s consumer. What is needed now is to prove “fresh.”
  2. Convergence of concepts driven by convenience: Driven by the consumer’s demand for convenience, food retail concepts, formats and locations are converging. Today’s shoppers are pushing retail businesses to expand, invest in fresh foods and provide a consistent brand experience.
  3. Impact of changing regulations: Two regulatory issues, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and refrigerant regulation changes, will be top of mind for food retailers in 2016.
  4. Turning workforce concerns into opportunities: There is an increasing difficulty in maintaining a skilled technical workforce. As the current workforce ages, technical experts are harder to find, and concerns arise around workforce costs.
  5. Consolidation propels operational improvements: As large format stores get even bigger and small format stores become more specialized, retailers are reinvesting in new and/or consolidated infrastructures. With this comes a greater need for improved equipment operation and maintenance.

Read the full article on Chain Store Age here.

And for industry insights on 2016 equipment, design and operations trends, read this recent Grocery Headquarters article.

Mark Dunson
President, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies

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