[LMB] M/F LMB Readership

Paula Lieberman paal at filker.org
Sat Sep 26 14:24:28 BST 2015

That business strategy around here gets -clobbered- by Market Basket!

The longer/larger and more complicated the 
supply/demand/consumption/supply-management tree is, the the less 
"responsive" it is.

Hiring cheap clueless "non-stakeholder" scutwork labor do be Simon Says 
drones means no informed clues about what/what customers are or are not 
buying things and no informed buying pattern information.

The big companies can track sales based on when the retailers get around to 
reporting sales and how detailed the information is about day of week, time 
of day, weather..

Store employees thinking about making a career, who benefit from company 
profit-sharing programs, are a lot more motivated to notice and report "in 
Massachusetts, when there's a snowstorm warning, people buy lots of ice 
cream"  [that one is actually a no-brainer in Massachusetts, anyone with a 
pair of working eyes and a hint of clue can see that for themselves going 
shopping here.

Making that correlation is a lot more difficult and time-consuming and 
complex and subject to error, if there isn;'t anyone directly on site making 
the observations and the direct correlation between -local- weather 
predictions and the ice cream freezers in stores going empty from customer 

Other things--local festivals, times of years which have celebrations of 
various types among various different groups, per store patterns of ethnic 
groceries purchase.... the southernmost Market Basket in town is the 
largest, but the produce items vary from store to store, with the two more 
nothern ones carrying different ethnically-appealing produce 
vegetables--the reasons is the patterns of preferred purchases vary from 
store to store.  The produce department associates in each store know what 
sells and what doesn't sells, and the profit-sharing plan means they have a 
stake in the store maximizing the produce department sales and profit, and 
minimizing carrying items which sit and don't sell until/unless marked down 
to sell before they're rotten and a  loss.

Suppliers don't look at such things in that level of detail, it costs more 
time and effort and expense than it's worth to them.  They've focused on 
what happens in the aggregate, and will happily ship stuff to stores which 
the stuff won't sell at at all, because it's too much expense/effort for 
them do bother with tuning as oposed to e.g. Red Lobster selling advertising 
nationally, and Red Lobster ads going on TV in markets where there isn;t a 
Red Lobster restaraunt within dozens of miles, or even in the state!

(That is, there are NO Red Lobster restaurants in Massachusetts--yet, the 
Boston TV stations have Red Lobster ads on them--the conglomerate owner buys 
the advertising nationally, and it goes on the network feed, even though 
there is no revenue whatsoever from within Massachusetts, millins of people 
see the ads, for a product few people are going to bother driving however 
many hours out of state to patronize (want a fresh lobster dinner here? Go 
to  a supermarket and have the seafood department associate pull a lobster 
out of the tank and cook it in the steam oven, or go to a seafood 
restaurant.... why bother going to a place which doesn't tend to use 
locally-sourced fish??!)

--Paula Lieberman
-----Original Message----- 
From: Howard Brazee
Sent: Friday, September 25, 2015 07:43 PM
To: Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold.
Subject: Re: [LMB] M/F LMB Readership

> On Sep 25, 2015, at 5:26 PM, Paula Lieberman <paal at filker.org> wrote:
> The three Market Baskets in the town I live in * went from several 
> bookcases, each with five or six shelves, to two rotating racks of 
> paperbacks, to one rotating rack,  to a single checkout counter endcap of 
> paperbacks, over the past several years. The stores do NOT seem to make 
> the decision about what goes on the endcap, instead a disributor lists 
> "bestsellers" according to I presume pre-ordering done by the book 
> distributor, and fills the slots of the pitfual endcap (something like 
> five to seven tiers, five more or less wire pockets for paperbacks per 
> tier, and three or four depending on book thickness, copies of a paperback 
> per pocket. There's a list of bestsellers according to the distributor and 
> the books present are from  the list.  Not every book on the list is 
> present on each endcapt in each store.

Grocery stores around here do less and less stocking and arranging of all 
types these days.    Instead, companies such as Frito-Lay design whole rows 
of where each product goes - including products of their competitors. 
Then they hire people from temp agencies to re-arrange everything to their 
specs.   In between, the big food manufacturers’ employees restock and track 
sales.   Well, the employees might be working for companies owned by, say 
Nabisco, to work Nabisco products. 

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