Why Packaging Design Matters in Today's Market

While we know it’s important to not judge a book by its cover, this idea disappears when it comes to everyday shopping and buying decisions. With the average supermarket in the US carrying more than 40,000 items, brand owners face a daunting task in attracting attention to their products. In addition, the majority of buying decisions are made in stores. These factors make attractive and distinctive packaging a key component in the marketing of retail products.

Topics: Food & Beverage Retail Marketing Industry Insights The Freedonia Group

The Footwear Industry: A Bright Spot in Apparel

Macy’s stock plunged 47 percent in the last year. Gap, Nordstrom, and Kohl’s also reported a drop in sales. What’s causing the slump? According to Business Insider, “Executives from nearly every company blamed a spending pullback in one common category for the declines: apparel.”

Although many consumers are reluctant to purchase new clothes, footwear is a different story. Footwear has outpaced apparel, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6 percent over 2010-2015 in comparison to 4 percent for apparel, according to a report by Euromonitor

Topics: Retail Apparel Industry Insights

The Rising Demand for Drones in the Retail Sector

Interest in drones from the retail sector is growing rapidly as competitive pressures push retailers and distributors to develop new ways to make their supply chains more efficient, to automate warehouses, and to reduce delivery costs. Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, recently announced plans to use drones for inventory management in its warehouses. Amazon, the nation’s largest internet retailer, is researching the use of drones to deliver packages to consumers. Global e-commerce giant Alibaba is testing delivery drones in China while DHL is already using drones to deliver packages in Germany.

Topics: Retail Public Sector Industry Insights The Freedonia Group

Is Your Marketing Department on a “Fast Food” Diet?

Back in 1954 in the classic business book The Practice of Management, Peter Drucker wrote:

"Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two  and only two — basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business."

Yet how many businesses manage, staff, and budget their marketing departments as their ultimate competitive weapon? Are businesses failing to thrive because their marketing departments lack the proper “nutrition” in the form of market research to use to create innovative marketing strategies and tactics?

Topics: Market Research Strategy Retail Marketing

4 Top Trends in the Luxury Market


Affluent consumers in the U.S. have played a critical role in the world of luxury brands. With 11.53 million millionaires in the U.S. in 2013, the American luxury market is considered the largest across the globe. But, while these consumers may appear affluent, they don’t always feel that way.

In the past few years, affluent consumers have shifted their spending habits to align with how they feel about their wealth, and not what the numbers show on their income statements. American’s new attitudes toward wealth and affluence have disrupted the traditional model for luxury marketing in the U.S.

Topics: Retail Demographics Marketing

The Dating Services Industry in 2016 and Beyond

One of the world’s oldest professions is matchmaking, and given the role of technology in today’s world, it’s no surprise that the industry is booming. With an explosion of new websites and apps, the dating services industry has performed very well in the past five years and is continuing to grow as today's singles turn to the Internet for help finding love.

Read on to discover insights into the market for dating services and what the future holds for this industry.

Topics: Travel & Leisure Retail E-commerce & IT Outsourcing Industry Insights

How E-Commerce Is Revolutionizing Retail, Travel, and Entertainment

In this video, Jack W. Plunkett, CEO of Plunkett Research, Ltd, highlights several e-commerce trends that are transforming retail, travel, entertainment, and communication.

“The Internet is all about saving time, and therefore saving money, and about eliminating geographic and physical boundaries,” he explains. "The Internet will allow you to do business, gather information, and watch entertainment virtually anywhere, anytime, without any physical constraints whatsoever beyond the necessity of having access to the Internet."

To find out how e-commerce is affecting different industries, watch the video and read a summary of Mr. Plunkett's findings below.

Topics: Travel & Leisure Retail E-commerce & IT Outsourcing Media Industry Insights

Don’t Bomb with Boomers: The Generation with the Most Spending Power

At the recent Boomer Business Summit in Washington, DC, I shared the podium with Steve Parker, SVP Marketing, firstSTREET, a direct-marketing company targeting “Boomers & beyond” with “solutions to aging-related problems.” We spoke at a session entitled Broad View of Trends in Commerce: Who, Why and How They Will Buy, and delivered the important news that Baby Boomers (aged 52-70 years) still represent an important consumer demographic that marketers ignore at their peril.

Topics: Retail

How to Run Focus Groups for Kids

First get into child mode! This is your opportunity to shut the lid of your laptop, close your eyes, and use your imagination. Find your inner child. You cannot approach kids research in the same way as you do an adult project.

Let’s assume you are researching a toy. Imagine you are a child playing with that toy. Step into their shoes and imagine the scene. Who are you playing with, are you on your own, with a sibling, a friend, mum or dad? Where are you? In your room, in the lounge, or playroom, outside? What are you doing with the toy, what game are you playing? Are any other toys involved? Hover above the scene. How old are you? What’s this toy giving you? What could make it even more fun?

Topics: Market Research Strategy Retail How To's

Landscaping Trends for 2016 and Beyond

As the U.S. economy continues to recover from the effects of the recession, landscaping products such as lighting, pavers, heating elements, and synthetic turf will see increased demand from consumers and professionals. Healthy annual growth of 5.3 percent is forecasted through 2019. In 2014, decorative products were the largest category, with outdoor lighting receiving increased attention.

To find out what's in store for 2016, read on to learn about three major trends that are shaping the $6.3 billion industry for landscaping products in the U.S.

Topics: House & Home Retail Manufacturing & Construction Industry Insights The Freedonia Group