Exciting! This past September TNG completed its 50th Ripley’s Aquarium live fish delivery.
Being part mind-reader, part strategist, helps
So much is in the news about how retail is stumbling, sinking, closing and shuttering. It is true. There are many dying retailers. As times change and customer demands evolve, retailers must keep up or stay ahead. Actually, the successful retailers are the ones that anticipate what their customers want before the customers know themselves – part mind reader, part strategist all wrapped in the most enticing of packaging.
Every retailer knows that times are tough right now. It can seem unrelenting with an onslaught of new issues every day. With one part of the puzzle in hand, another seems to falter in a constant battle to remain relevant and thriving. The pinch is real.
A recent article outlines the wildcard nature of the supply chain as the integral link for retail success. It starts the discussion with: “…as much as grocers continue to invest in building a better shopping experience, consumers still think of a trip to the grocery store as a chore”1. If that is the case, then consumers will continue to look for alternatives to cut out just one more ‘chore’ in their already busy lives. If we look at retailers that are doing “better than” some of the others, are there patterns? Does the excitement of discovery and treasure hunt in a Costco make the shopping experience better for the shopper? If so, how does grocery incorporate more of that element into their stores? It could be that they customize more, experiment more with different products or try to localize products. It could be how they present that product to shoppers. The store within a store is gaining ground. Retailer operations along with limited distribution space often don’t make this an easy task, however.
In June, TNG attended the GMDC Conference. Here’s what we learned…
It was no surprise to us or anyone that traditional retail is certainly challenged. Retailers that have not responded to this ‘new world’ have definitely felt the sting, if not utter decimation (think Toys R Us). Manufacturers are also under pressure as consumer tastes have and are changing at a rapid pace. The move to health, wellness, minimal ingredient, natural and less processed foods have left some reeling. The center store is under attack; the front-end is under attack! There are stressors everywhere.
At about 4am on a cold, rainy November morning, TNG driver Tina Alva rolled into Gatlinburg, Tennessee, a small family-focused town nestled in the Smokey Mountains. Gatlinburg is home to several outdoor activities like whitewater rafting, zip-lining and golf, a few ski resorts, and now, 2 new sawfish that will reside at the Ripley’s Aquarium – thanks to Tina.