Post Categories: October 2016

Expert Viewpoints: Retail’s New Reality Requires Nimble, Responsive Merchandising

President SAS Retail Services

Michael Bellman
President SAS Retail Services

By Michael Bellman, President SAS Retail Services

It’s no secret that the retail industry is undergoing a major period of change. Over the past year, we’ve seen an unprecedented number of mergers, consolidations and acquisitions in the grocery arena, as well as increasing pressure from online retailers. Consumers are also changing the way they shop—making more frequent, yet smaller trips to multiple stores instead of one or two big weekly buys. They also want more assortment and a better shopping experience. To stay competitive, retailers have to react and adapt to the changing landscape. And that means merchandising also has to be quick, nimble and responsive.

The fast and furious year we’ve been having at SAS Retail Services is prime evidence of this shift. In addition to executing launches of several new dedicated merchandising programs, we’ve jumped in to help several of our retailer partners with new projects—from refreshing store layouts to updating categories to remodeling acquired stores. This work often has to be completed on short deadlines, and sometimes calls for hundreds of new hires in just a few weeks.

Fortunately, given our broad network across the country and the way we’re ingrained with many of our partners, we’ve been able to respond to their changing needs just as quickly as they need to adapt the new retail reality. That’s one of the key benefits of a dedicated merchandising model. It allows us to get to know a retailer, understand their market and how they operate, and then more quickly react and expand. Our position within the Daymon Worldwide suite of companies also gives us the knowledge to support private brands, which is one of retailers’ key pillars of growth and success today.

Ultimately, though, versatility and agility comes down to the people who make up your business. People are the core of SAS Retail Services. The quality of our associates, the way we train, educate and onboard them—it all makes the difference. It’s what gives us the advantage in delivering the best merchandising services for our retail partners, no matter what their needs are or how quickly they change.