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Also from Dr. Stephen Needel...

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Dr. Stephen Needel

Managing Partner
Advanced Simulations

Remember first that this is a survey and there is a bias to say yes in any survey asking whether you want healthy products and whether you are brand loyal (connotes rigid thinking). Nationally-branded items demonstrate a weakness when the maker assumes they are good because they are a...

If new isn't better or at least different (as in adding variety in a variety-seeking category), it has no reason to be there. Shoppers aren't always looking for new and are only sometimes looking for different. So the right balance is not new vs. established, it's what shoppers want...

Big Data is not an opportunity, it's a tool. Companies that approach it as "we need to do this" will spend way more than they should and will get way less than they expect. Big Data is useful when you have a Big Data question — most of our questions...

Once again, this smells of technology looking for an application. I have no quarrel with digital coupons (or real coupons) delivered to participating customers or online ordering suggestions (a la Amazon). But I'd walk away from a chain that charges less to the person next to me in line...

The shocker in this story, to me, is that Walmart was cheapest in the price comparison. Perhaps showing again that it's pretty hard to out-Walmart Walmart. And it makes you wonder how low they can possibly go.

Family Dollar has closed a lot of stores here in Atlanta, in anticipation...

No, it won't hurt them all — everybody gets tax avoidance. If the tax shelters exist, they should use them, just like we, as individuals, use the tax shelters available to us (IRAs, for example).

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I think the advantage of an in-store pharmacy is, aside from pharmacy revenues, that you put more people in your store. That should theoretically increase traffic in non-pharmacy areas. I'd also think someone has actually studied this to see if it's true — do you get more purchases from someone...

Two conflicting trends here. More people using phones in more ways will be open to this idea. More hacking and an increased desire for data privacy will work against this. As Ken Morris says, it will be the shopper's decision whether to let a store in or not.

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It sounds like Wegmans has figured out the right balance. The demand for national brands is less than manufacturers would like to believe, which may account, in part, for the high failure rate of new products.

The question of right balance is an empirical one. We've done lots of tests...

If these changes will make for happier employees, hooray! Likely to be short-term morale boosters, though. At the end of the day, they'd prefer to get paid more.

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