- Weis Markets partnered with consumer science firm dunhummby and software provider Aptaris on a system that will model the retailer’s promotions and forecast their sales impact, according to a press release.
- Aptaris’ software will log and manage product submissions from vendors, while dunhummby’s algorithms will model the retailer’s trade promotions and predict their impact on sales, profit and consumer behavior.
- “We see this as a critical component to help bring our customer’s voice into the entire promotional process, from our initial interaction with our suppliers, to the finished weekly circular,” said Richard Gunn, senior vice president of merchandising and marketing at Weis Markets.
In deciding on what promotions to run and when, many retailers rely on a combination of store research, institutional knowledge, and instinct. However, at a time when grocers need to squeeze every cent they can out of their coupons, price reductions and store circulars, more are turning to the granular science of consumer analytics and predictive software.
London-based dunhummby has become a well-known entity in the retail industry of late. The customer science company began working with Kroger in 2003 to refine the retailer’s pricing and promotional assortment, and analysts credit dunhummby’s influence with fueling the Cincinnati-based retailer’s stellar financial performance in the years that followed. Kroger liked dunhummby so much that it took out a 50% stake in the firm’s U.S. operations, then ended up buying most of its assets in 2015, brought it in-house and renamed it.
Whole Foods recently signed on with remainder of the company again known as dunhummby, hoping the firm’s analytics-based approach to retailing will help it boost sales and get the most out of its promotions. Its ability to deliver higher sales and profit will be crucial for Whole Foods as the retailer seeks to quell unrest with its investors.
Weis Markets is no doubt hoping to see a sales lift from its deal with dunhummby, as well. With Aptaris added to the mix, Weis gets software that manages its products and promotions, while dunhummby provides modeling and forecasting for these activities. Like Kroger, Weis is a conventional grocer that’s felt the squeeze from alternative formats and shifting consumer preferences, and would like to gain some incremental advantages over the competition.
No doubt, Weis is focused on evolving its operations. Earlier this year, the 207-store chain unveiled an upscale concept store in Enola, Pa. that features a yogurt bar, juice bar and an ice cream parlor. Weis also is spending $90 million to remodel many of its stores with an eye toward fresh products and prepared foods. In addition, it's growing its store count at a time when doing so is exceedingly difficult. Last year, Weis purchased 44 stores from Ahold-Delhaize and was able to convert them to the company’s branding and layout in just 96 days.