Some additional reporting from the annual GroceryShop confab in Las Vegas:
• Scott Moses, Partner and Head of the Grocery, Pharmacy & Restaurants Investment Banking Group at Solomon Partners, offered a rapid-fire 12-minute presentation entitled "U.S. Grocery – A Few Things You Might Not Know," which hinged on a basic observation - that "grocery" and "supermarkets" are not the same thing.
The grocery category, Moses observed, includes a wide range of retailers that are not supermarkets, including supercenters, club grocers, dollar grocers, drug grocers, online grocers, and specialty/ethnic retailers. Indeed, there has been an enormous shift in the past 20 years, to the point where 10 of the top 15 grocers in the Us are not supermarkets, and the majority of grocery sales are made by formats other than supermarkets.
Moses' conclusion: the competitive disadvantage at which the supermarket category currently operates means that Kroger's $24.6 billion acquisition of Albertsons is "necessary" if supermarkets are to remain viable and competitive in the grocery segment.
You can access Scott Moses' slides here.
• If the folks at GroceryShop have their way, expect the term "unified commerce" to replace the more commonly used "omnichannel." That was a common theme in a number of onstage conversations - including those with Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen and Ahold Delhaize USA CEO JJ Fleeman - with the argument being that "omnichannel" is less customer-centric, focusing on business processes and constructs. "Unified commerce," rather, reflects how the shopper experiences the retailer's offering, with no difference in either value proposition or values communicated by the retailer.