As we enter 2019, IGA is creating strategies to help you prepare for continued success. In his year-end video message, IGA CEO John Ross talks about how the close of each year brings a time for both reflection and looking to the challenges and opportunities ahead.
“As we think about 2020, what do we have to look forward to, and what are some of the barriers we would face?” Ross asked.
Ross points to the large amounts of change taking place in many different parts of our business:
Consolidation of wholesalers.
Changes in shoppers’ demographic makeup and behaviors.
Rapid adoption of technology in grocery shopping habits, such as e-commerce and “click and connect” pick up.
Increased competition at local levels from dollar stores and discount grocery stores like Aldi and Lidl.
While all of this may seem frustrating to deal with, and perhaps be tough to adjust to, Ross sees these changes as big, landscape opportunities that will lead to big rewards. Some of those opportunities include:
Across the board, people are more interested in healthy eating--especially “Generation Z,” who is coming into adulthood as a new wave of people passionate about food and wellness.
People are more willing to try new foods and flavors, which can result in increased spending on items such as craft beer, wine, higher-end foods, ethnic foods, etc.
The hybridization of grocery stores serving as “meal solution centers” much like restaurants, with an increase in convenience-driven foods.
Keeping all of this in mind, Ross’s vision of the next few years is one where consumers look to their local, independent retailers more than ever before. In this year ahead, IGA is rolling out new ways for you to better connect with shoppers, such as the upcoming “Fresh equals Local” campaign. This visual merchandising kit will be unveiled at the 2019 IGA Global Rally in February. Also to come are new digital technologies for communicating with shoppers.
“All of these things are coming together not to change the way IGA goes to market but to modernize our connection to shoppers so we increasingly serve them in the way they want to be served,” he said.
As 2018 wraps up, it’s one of the largest growth years IGA has seen in the last 12 years, with more stores coming on board and more brands than ever before.