Shopper Marketing - May 2017 - 40
HALL OF FAME PROFILE | CHERYL WILLIAMS
the heck - it's also well known that if we say
we're going to do something, we do it and
we execute. If we commit to moving 29
truckloads of something, we move 29 truckloads. I also think that CPG manufacturers
know that when they have new opportunities, we're always willing to try different and
unique things, and they come to us first.
Is e-commerce a defensive
WILLIAMS: At Wakefern we always approached it as an opportunity - a tool in
our toolbox. It's certainly a way to attract the
next generation of Millennial shoppers.
It seems that online sales can also be
a way for traditional supermarkets to
win back sales from club stores. Is that
part of the thinking?
WILLIAMS: Absolutely. Obviously from a
demographic perspective, a lot of families with kids are now using "ShopRite from
Home" and they need larger pack sizes -
Gatorade, paper towels, toilet tissue, whatever. But the other aspect is that they're no
longer constrained by the cart. Let's face it:
In the brick-and-mortar setting, you can buy
only what you can fit in your cart and ultimately, are willing to carry. Those constraints
go away with "ShopRite from Home."
What do brands not understand
about what Wakefern is doing?
WILLIAMS: There are a few that still want
to do things because it's "the way we've
always done it." They need to listen to retail40
y SHOPPER MARKETING MAY 2017
ers because we're much closer to consumers
and understand their needs. So some brands
need to be more ... maybe the word is "entrepreneurial."
Of course, some brands embrace change.
When we sit them down with "Price Plus Insights" and show them their top 10 SKUs
online and the top 10 in-store, and where
the differences are, they embrace it because
they can switch their marketing dollars to
the channel that makes more sense.
Speaking of change, we noticed you
are out in front with some IoT
innovations like smart refrigerators.
WILLIAMS: Oh, that's the Samsung
Fridge. It came to us through MasterCard
labs. It was super simple architecturally and
from an API standpoint, and didn't tie up
Do you have one in your house?
WILLIAMS: They wanted to give me one
but I said no - it doesn't match my kitchen!
[Laughs.] Actually, the first iteration they wanted to give me was really just a giant screen, like
an iPad Pro, duct-taped to the front of a refrigerator. And I was like, "Not in my house." But
they are selling commercially now.
Do you see yourselves as innovators?
WILLIAMS: People do think about us
first and will give us a ring and say, "Hey,
you want to try it?" A lot of it is cool factor.
One concern about grocery
e-commerce is that shoppers create