Tag Archives: merchandising

Will You Be My Valentine?

Love is in the air. And, it is also in the aisle (store aisle that is). When true love is on the line, Americans are ready to spend. According to the National Retail Federation, spending on Valentine’s Day this year is projected to be nearly $19.6 billion! That’s an average of $143.56 for each American.

What kind of love tokens will be given? Well, roughly 19% will give (and receive) jewelry for a total of $4.7 billion, and 35% of us will go out for a romantic dinner. Sigh…

Other statistics that show how much we love:

  • 55% give candy to loved ones (especially chocolate)
  • 114 million Valentine’s cards will be given
  • 9 million marriage proposals offered

And it doesn’t stop with our beloved partners. It extends to schools, where we spend an average of $7.26 on children’s classmates and teachers, and on our pets who receive $5.50 worth of goodies. Even our co-workers get in the action with an average of $4.79 spent.

Finally, “gifts of experience” such as concert or event tickets are popular and 24% of people plan to give such a gift. Lest we forget about mobile, more than 50% plan to use their smartphones to help with decisions, and 36.9% will use smartphone to research gift giving.

What did you give and receive?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What did they give, and receive, on Valentine’s Day?
  2. Show a video on spending for Valentine’s Day: http://cnn.it/2Bsoigt
  3. Show NRF graphs on spending: https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/nrf-says-consumers-will-spend-near-record-196-billion-valentines-day
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a unique promotion for a Valentine’s Day experience gift.
  5. Have students vote on the most creative idea.

Source:  National Retail Federation

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Cereal Cafes

Remember when Mom would tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Did you ignore her? You shouldn’t have, because, well, she’s right. And, now breakfast at cereal cafes can be eaten at all times of the day, all around the world. Whether you are hungry in New York, London, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Lisbon, Dubai, or other places across the globe, odds are that you can locate a café that sells American breakfast cereals.

In the past few years, there are dozens of cafes that specialize in selling cereal for a price between $3.00 and $9.00 a bowl. The cafes usual offer dozens of different brands, fruits, candy topping, syrups, different kinds of milk, and more. This is way more than the average American is used to seeing in their home kitchens!

At Pop Cereal Café (Lisbon), a popular cereal combination bowl has a mix of Froot Loops, Rice Krispies, mini marshmallows, dried strawberries, topped with strawberry syrup, waffle cookie, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum.

No word on how long the sugar rush lasts though.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  2. Show several of the cereal cafes:

http://www.cerealkillercafe.co.uk/menus/

http://kelloggsnyc.com/

http://www.cereality.com/

  1. For cereal cafes, who is the target market? Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.
  2. Next, have each team develop their own menu for a cereal café.
  3. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Associated Press

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The Variation of Vending Machines

 

Consider the humble vending machines. They are virtually everywhere, and we do mean everywhere. We see them in stores, hallways, offices, subway stations, laundry mats, gas stations, and more. Not only are the vending machines everywhere, but they are easy to use, can take cash or cards, and consumers do not have to interact with a cashier or sales person. Easy. Fast. Convenient.

Now, how does something that is so ubiquitous become something unique? It starts with the application of the machine and the market it serves.  What is needed? Who needs it? Where and when do they need the products?

Even established brick-and-mortar stores contain vending machines. Recently, CVS Pharmacy began installing vending machines in various locations containing convenient necessities, healthy snacks, and personal care products. The vending machines are customized with offerings to fit each location, including products such as over-the-counter remedies, beauty and personal care products, vitamins, supplements, snacks, beverages, and more. The machines will be located in airports, public transit stations, office parks, and college campuses.

San Francisco-based company Bodega places small, automated machines in offices, apartments, college campuses, and more. Using an app makes it easy to reach inside the vending machine, take what is needed, and then be automatically billed.

But perhaps no location has as many vending machines as Japan, with an estimated total of 5 million machines nationwide (out of 17 million machines worldwide). They carry something for everyone – from bananas to flying fish soup!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Where are vending machines? What do they buy form vending machines? Why buy from vending machines?
  2. Show Bodega’s Web site and video: https://www.bodega.ai/
  3. There are many videos of vending machines on YouTube: https://youtu.be/ZZmUuRG87sU
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a market and design a vending machine to meet that market’s needs.
  5. Have each team present their concept and let the class vote on the most realistic idea.

Source: New York Times, Fast Company, Business Insider, Retail Customer Experience

 

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