HAS PRODUCE LOST ITS PULSE?
What is the diver to your retail produce sales? Impulse sales is by far the greatest contributor to your sales. Now this can be achieved in a variety of ways. It can be brought on by price, displays, smell taste and education to name a few. There is no doubt a bargain will increase sales, the main reason we see retail ads every week in the newspapers. Unfortunately, from my perspective real bargains are far and few between and are often just less than inflated retail prices. Great displays have always produced impulse sales. We read many times about retail contest participants building massive beautiful displays to push a particular item and win the prize, which also usually includes a 100% to 500% increased sales for that item. Then when the contest is over, they go back to their 3 box RPC displays and lethargic sales. Next we move on to smell, taste and education to increase impulse sales, which can be generated by knowledgeable and informed retail produce professionals in your departments. Sir, smell this melon doesn’t it smell delicious? Mam taste these grapes, sweeter than candy. Have you ever tried this item; it has great nutritional value?
When I started in this business, I sold Fruits and vegetables on street corners of NYC and we had a stand that took up 2 parking spaces in a parking garage. In the summer there was 2 staple items, seedless grapes and cherries. We sold about 8 to 10 other items which consisted of whatever ate great or was a bargain. Our whole business was based on an impulse sale. We didn’t have every item; we often didn’t have the same items 2 days in a row but we did sell two eighteen foot trucks full of produce out every day. No ads, no twitter, no metrics just some old fashion produce selling.
Walmart, Amazon, Target, and all the rest are investing heavily in technology to move the retail revolution forward. Many but not all large retailers, and definitely the three I mentioned have terrible displays and don’t use smell, taste and education in their retail stores to drive impulse sales. They depend on price and traffic to sell produce; it seems like almost an afterthought. I believe strongly to gain consumer confidence to buy produce online they MUST have confidence in your in-store experience first, they go hand in hand. Which leads us to what I see is the same problem with putting all your eggs in the technology basket, you only have price for an impulse sale, no display, no eye appeal is buy appeal, no smell no taste, no produce professional helping you sell more produce. I have said many times, technology in retail is an important factor but not the most important factor. When it comes to produce there is no doubt in my mind that if they spent 10% of what they spent in technology updating their displays, merchandising, purchasing, pricing, educating and training, their ROI would have been far greater.
As I have said before they are trying to reinvent the wheel and all that was necessary is to change the tire.
Our organic Rapini is 2 weeks away from shipping it to you. We are shipping our Crenshaw melons, which eat like candy every day. We are waiting for our first load of papaya to cross so we can do QC and then we will be ready to support your retail programs. GET READY!
Thank you and have a great day!