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    Grocers Highlight ‘Power Retailers’

    Kroger, Publix, Aldi continue strong showings; Amazon gaining on Walmart, Target

    Amazon is challenging Walmart as a “Power Retailer” of the future, according to America’s leading manufacturers who have ranked the top movers in the next 15 years in Kantar Retail’s 2012 US PoweRanking report.

    Walmart is still predicted to be the No. 1 Power Retailer in the next 15 years, but other retailers are challenging its lead; Amazon saw an increase of 9.3 points, placing it fifth as a future Power Retailer.

    The gap is narrowing between the top four Power Retailers – Walmart, Target, Kroger and Costco – showing how significantly retailing is changing with consumers moving towards multi-channel and discount retailers.

    “Amazon has made significant progress in this year’s PoweRanking report, although it still has some way to go before it breaks into the top 10 of manufacturers’ ‘Best of the Best” retailers,’” said Virginia Valkenburgh, senior VP at Kantar Retail. “But Amazon’s performance indicates how manufacturers view the future. Brick-and-mortar retailers are going to find it increasingly harder to compete with Amazon’s combination of convenience, value and understanding of shoppers."

     These retailers are projected to be the Power Retailers in the next 15 years:

    1. Walmart – 71.3% (- 9.5 points versus a year ago)
    2. Target – 44.6% (+0.2)
    3. Kroger – 38.2% (-8.8)
    4. Costco – 32.9% (-2.0)
    5. Amazon.com – 16.2% (+9.3)
    6. Dollar General – 13.2% (+2.5)
    7. Walgreens – 10% (-2.2)
    8. Publix – 7% (+0.4)
    9. CVS – 5.9% (-3.8)
    10. Aldi – 4.3% (-0.7)

    The 16th annual PoweRanking study included input from 600 U.S. retailer and manufacturer respondents to benchmark how they view each other in the most important areas of the manufacturer/retailer relationship. Metric scores are reported as the percentage of respondents ranking a trading partner among the top three.

    The overall lesson to be drawn from the study is the importance of customer centricity to both partners. Those companies that ranked as best in class had strategies that aligned with those of their partners and placed customers at the heart.

    Among other report highlights:

    - Walmart also retained its top spot in the overall composite, scoring 51.9%, only 2.3 points down on its score last year.

    - Discount retailers saw significant improvement in the overall composite, reinforcing that the value chain is where the most dramatic growth has been in a difficult economic environment.

    - Amazon climbed into the top 10 in the “strategic composite” – a combination of retailer strategy, branding of stores and likelihood to be a Power Retailer in 15 years.

    - Walmart, Target and Kroger were voted the top three retailers, with only a narrow gap between them all.

    - Target was out in front when it came to most “Innovative Marketing and Merchandising,” proving they understand more than most how to reach shoppers. The retailer easily beat Walmart in this measure despite Walmart gaining 1.4 points since last year.

    - Walmart reigns as leader of the Supply Chain Management metric (92%), with Costco in second place (28.3%) a move up from fourth place last year.

    The report also revealed the top manufacturers as ranked by retailers. P&G and Unilever took leading positions in this side of the report with some large gains from Nestle and Kellogg’s.

    Overall, the results showed that companies reward partners who place the customer at the center of their strategies and who have actionable ideas based on a compelling insight into shopper behavior.

    Kantar sponsored the first annual PoweRanking study in 1997. The PoweRanking Study identifies those retailers andmanufacturers who set the standard of performance as ranked by their trading partners. This provides benchmarks for retailers and manufacturers across trade channels.

    Kantar Retail works with leading branded manufacturers and retailers to help them transform the purchase behavior of shoppers through the use of retail insights, consulting, analytics and organizational development services.

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