By Mario Toneguzzi
Small independent grocery stores now have a new tool at their disposal to battle the big chains in a very competitive marketplace.
Toronto-based Execulytics Consulting has launched new store services for these independent retailers which include fresh operational support and an extensive list of retail analytics products.
Mike Mauti, an industry veteran and senior vice-president of client services with Execulytics Consulting, says “the goal with this service is to provide independent retailers with the types of tools that large grocery companies have been using for years.”
“With the help of Execulytics, our hope is that independent retailers can compete with chain stores,” he says.
Mauti, also managing partner of the consulting firm, has been operating for almost two years focusing primarily on the food industry particularly on produce suppliers and now he is branching out into grocery retail services.
“As a long-time veteran of the grocery industry I played many roles over the years developing processes and tools to help the stores manage their business better. That included processes to improve fresh foods operations, as well as retail analytics tools to improve pricing, assortment and labour expenditures,” he says.
“As I was working in those areas, it became my belief that this is what separated chain stores from independent retailers - the fact that they have strong central services to rely on, allowing them to focus solely on servicing their customer and selling groceries.”
If that was a huge strength of the chain store, then it stood to reason that there was a significant opportunity to offer those types of services and that type of support to an independent retailer.
Labourlytics crunches sales data and labour requirements for managers, allowing them to build a schedule to suit the needs of the customer.
Assortalytics is an assortment optimizer to help select customer centric assortments. It provides custom metrics to rank products and maximize shelf space efficiency.
Priceulytics is a price analyzer and index generator. It indexes price competitiveness relative to a store’s general competition.
Execulytics also offers a Specialist-for-Hire option. It mimics what the large retailers would have used for years which is a team of real department experts that help a store maintain their standards, train their staff and essentially just merchandise in a way that will sell products to customers.
“We have assembled a bonafide Dream Team of fresh specialists, including experts from across the country that have a combined 100 plus years of experience in fresh execution and retail management,” says Mauti.
These analytics are what allow big companies with deep pockets to manage their costs, manage their customer facing attributes such as their price and their assortment, and it allows them to do it simply “so they can get on the business of servicing customers and selling product whereas an independent retailer has to guess at a lot of those things. And a lot of time guesswork doesn’t yield the best results,” he says.
The services being offered by Execulytics will really help level the playing field between an independent retailer and their larger competitors, adds Mauti.
The services are available across Canada.
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.