LAS VEGAS — Even with all the investments the grocery industry has made in recent years to enhance their ability to process and interpret data, Ahold Delhaize USA JJ Fleeman thinks it’s not enough.
“I think all of us could come on stage here and talk about all the great work that we’ve done around data governance or data integration or the work that we’ve done around hyper-personalization or our ability to kind of integrate customer data into our digital tools,” Fleeman said Tuesday during a keynote session at Groceryshop. “But to be honest, I think that when we sit here 10 years from now, we’ll look back and say we weren’t that good at it today, by comparison of where we are relative to where we need to go.”
Retailers are using the customer data they collect through in-store as well as online shopping to fuel everything from product assortments to store circulars. Transaction data is also driving the retail media ventures that companies like Ahold Delhaize are scaling as they look to boost their bottom lines.
Fleeman, who took over the top job at Ahold Delhaize’s U.S. division earlier this year, noted that while the company has made success in developing its retail media offering, he believes it needs to refine its ability to draw insights from information it collects.
Ahold Delhaize USA, which oversees banners including Giant Food, Food Lion, Hannaford, The Giant Company and Stop & Shop, has seen its digital media income increase about 70% year over year, according to Fleeman.
“We’re really maximizing that opportunity to partner with our CPGs, allowing them to work with our local brands, but also being able to leverage the full size and scale of Ahold Delhaize,” said Fleeman. “I think as we look to the future, of course, standardization of measurement is going to be a really important topic for us all.”
Fleeman also said during the session that Ahold Delhaize USA is working with CPGs in an effort to develop strategies to reduce shrink. The company, which recently announced that it would remove certain name brand products from a Giant Food store in Washington, D.C., that has been hit particularly hard by theft, is running tests with suppliers to see if measures like moving products to different parts of stores or altering pack sizes will make a difference, Fleeman said.