On Wednesday, November 14, the annual difficulty of the ASU (United States Association of Supermarkets) was clearly seen in the sector's difficulties. "To adapt to complexity"He studied issues related to the topic of what was called the main panel of the day (high inflation, sales decline, credit increase and informal market) and other structural, such as the progress of new competitors (wholesalers and online purchases); customer infidelity, promotional wear and shop remodeling.
"All chats are adjusting and they are between 4 and 6 months, "they come in the industry, which is expected by analysts in mass consumption 1.5% and 2.5% fall This year and a gradual recovery of 2019, though in the second half. Challenges to talk about this indirect agenda economic he met him the leading 6 chains in the country, Alfredo Beccar Varela (Walmart), Rami Baitiéh (Carrefour), Federico Braun (The Anonymous), Joaquín Santa Coloma (Cencosud) and Jean Christophe Tijeras (Askatasuna). Then, it is a synthesis that has been debated.
-Superfection changes and adjustments are being applied. How will the chains be in the medium term?
scisors: We present innovations and we have a pilot with a fresh market (fresh produce sale), that is, a new proposal. At the same time, we have a more commercial diversification and we pay special attention to consumers with a clear price proposal and an omnichane offer.
Beccar Varela: Industry is a huge fracture throughout the world. In terms of customer habits and technology. That is why our relationship with our customers and the types of competitions are completely different.
– What do you mean when you talk about a new competition?
Beccar Varela: I refer to the Internet world, such as Amazon and Argentina, with Mercado Libre. I believe that moving speed must be with the industry's competitiveness. What happens in Argentina, which has problems with time, energy and condemnation of resources, which do not occur in other parts of the world. But when we try, the client must follow. We believe that there is not a single channel, the only format, but the intention of purchasing customers, when and how. Let's all go to omnichannel and that's what we're doing very betting. We are converting current stores, we believe that they have a great potential, improving trading experience (payment paths, faster payments) and strengthening the format eCommerceHome delivery option. Therefore, it is essential to build alliances with other agents, share investments, customer data and skills. We are currently working with Mercado Libre, we are at the same time competitors and allies.
Baitiéh: I arrived in Argentina in January and I believe that the client demands a wider range, which requires more diversification and is looking for a full-time one. The first one goes to the store afterwards eCommerce, which decides according to promotions. Everything is sharper and the future of consumption begins with today's actions. The seminars, like doctors, will help us to live better.
-Espain's experts emphasize that the Argentinian public is very confident, much more than in other countries. Why is this happening? If the local consumer features or supermarkets are not?
Santa Coloma: As sharp as ours and so many competitions, with so many opportunities and promotions, he created a dedicated client to think and understand the brand and chain offerings. This is much more visible in the interior country, so that people have more time and shorter distance. Also, it is considered necessary, because everyone is in charge of the pocket and because the customer has a well-treated exercise to look for the best deals.
Braun: I agree with all that I have said about this decision, but I would like to emphasize some peculiarities, as they are within the country. People are not the people in the center right there, it's very different in the capital city. Thus, for example, we have developed a linear platform with very specific features: one is to sell everything that is not in our stores or lack of space. I put an example of the white line, we did not have an item, and we can see that this digital channel, added to our logistics, has enormous potential. Otherwise, we develop our card loyalty to build. And it gives us an advantageous competition through two proprietary refrigerators, because there is a very positive association between external and internal markets: nobody eats the barbecue in Argentina, because bones do not have this export. This allows us to complete the internal market with exports very well. The idea is to continue growing with three instruments across the country.
Coto: The pain is very macros, has talked a lot. We are very clear about where we are and where we need to go, creating new ideas and proposals. What is to be understood is that technology is not just an alternative to trading, but also other industries, such as automotive. Everywhere you see profound changes. In the face of these innovations, those in charge of companies can create new ideas to keep and capitalize on business. Now, in general, in the country's economic management, the state administration must be strong and stronger. Apparently, it goes in this direction, but the results do not take place in one or two or three years. We see a growing China from here and we have a huge potential market that we need to take advantage of. And then, at country level, the only thing valid is the competition.
– The first experts emphasize another aspect of the competition, specifically, the overlay of channels: wholesalers aimed at final consumers; super-stocked stores to take advantage of offers; advanced pharmacies. How do you analyze the problem?
scisors: We see this in other countries, but they are formal and faithful abilities. And this competition has to be reinvented every day. But we can not go against informal competition and the black market. They compete against different formats, it seems perfect, every day and every week. And what about what we propose to offer new services compared to other competitors.
Beccar Varela: When we look at the circulating information, we tend to be confusing, to think of our competitors in a structured way. For us, our competitor places anywhere in the customer's purchases, super, wholesaler, fairs, pharmacy. They are. We need to understand very well to offer the best customer. Not everyone can do the same, but, apart from that, we have a unique opportunity, including multi-portfolio shops, including digital channels. But there is something that will agree: if the rules of the game are all, the competition is welcome. I have no problem competing with my desks. The problem is when you compete with someone who does not have these rules. Then, the customer buys wherever he wants: our goal is to work with values and proposals, but always, always, to apply for the same rules.
Baitiéh: It is a healthy thing that allows you to renew your competition. Personally, I look at stores of all competitors and I learn some things. The contest is healthy in our professions. Now, what we need is that all rules exist for all chains. What we want is the fair market and the same market for everyone.
Santa Coloma: Overall, overall, I agree, everything I have said. In our case, next year, we want to play our flags (Jumbo, Disco and Vea) with different segments. Our brand is the corresponding game. I think it is the biggest challenge, with three brands in our portfolio in order to distinguish the segments.
– Since last year supermarkets have warned about the informal market and the growth of evolution. What numbers do they do?
Braun: It is very common that the informal market is about 30% but generally. Now, looking at what happens in the interior of the country, 70% of the mass consumption segment reaches some places. This is not the exclusive responsibility of the current government: it is an endemic case that exacerbates the harshest contexts. But, fortunately, the Government is clear and there is full agreement between companies and the administration. One thing is the informality that happens in all countries. In Chile, for example, unfair competition is almost null. Argentina is a very serious level.
– What business do you avoid taxes? Did you identify them?
Braun: Asian stores are on the market. It is not possible to promote Basque Government fairs. This is impossible and inside is serious. What I need to understand is that I can not overcome the informal business that sells half of the price.
Santa Coloma: I agree with Braun on the inside that this issue is more serious. I think the big tax burden also escapes. Higher taxes (Gross Income and fees) allow more information. If the supermarket works more than 7 to 8 points, it takes more advantage.
-By, the black market is very big and is much worse inside. Control failures at national, provincial or municipal level?
Coto: It is very difficult to manage a non-currency country, for example. That is why we are discussing the economists and what we are talking about. Endemic problem in many years. And if we follow the route of many European countries, it will eventually be formalized. We have a great town, I repeat, several opportunities in the agricultural industry. But there is still a lot to do, the production can be doubled and tripled, that is, what we know.
-Change promotions to attract audiences to the public. Experts warn that the offerings make a great deal of trust and confusion with prices. How do you get that? Should we reformulate them?
scisors: What we want is that the consumer is a clear reference. Our vision is to concentrate all promotions (all 10%, 15% discount) to make it as clear as possible. This year we made it and in 2019 we will repeat this strategy.
Beccar Varela: Companies that work with proposals throughout the world are "cheaper everyday". Walmart is one of the most important strategies to make retirements and more often. What I think is that a system for working "cheap daily" is not 30% or 40% inflation because people lose value. We try, but the limit is the perception level of people.
– Specific preferences applications over time? Do you think of this?
Beccar Varela: Our idea is to keep the price / product ratio as high as possible. At first we got it, but now with inflation a bit more difficult. However, here, at this table, we are supermarkets, but they are also suppliers, especially as a price drop formula. I think that this is a client and, at the end, it is a client that decides and what is the best possible way to give the best decision of the consumer.
Baitiéh: Carrefour has 70 years of experience in the retail market and in Argentina, 35 years old. We have two rules: first, the lowest price. And if it is possible to get a good deal with the provider, it is also a chance to be a promotional or customer-friendly option. Now I think it is necessary to adapt the theme of promotion. There are unstable customer promotions and it is necessary to translate the meaning of the promotion, that is, to offer an opportunity. The "Hue Price Prices" campaign, launched last year, is a good idea, and we try to translate the principle of "lower prices". Customer informs. This year we have increased more than 2 million tickets, not customers. We are adjusting prices, promotions and bundles within a strategy that we define as a cultural change for the client. This policy already works, more billing and more customers.
-Public lawsuit is very infuriated. Only 36% make purchases in the same place. It has widespread price distrust. How do you solve it?
Santa Coloma: I think we have to work. We have done studies that say that customers have a large number of offers. Sometimes we believe that we do not understand what offers we offer: much less customers understand. In this sense, we are advancing price / product-specific offers, but I agree with Agustín (Beccar Varela), which is very difficult with high inflation. But I think we have to work for customer support, because we understand that today, the consumer, going to the supermarket is a boring task, and what we are looking for is a simple way to do it.
Beccar Varela: Last year, we established a new pricing system based on a basket of "perfect products", because we were brand new ones. In truth, the price clarity is highly valued by customers. To prevent confusion, we communicated.
Braun: We are here and I share the things I have said. In our case, our strategy is based on three axes: developing your own brand in order to be wider and more comprehensible. Secondly, we analyze how to make our offers efficiently. And thirdly, we want to reduce the logistic cost. You need to search and develop options. This sort of thing allows us to continue moving forward.
– The advancement of the second brands stands out. Can you make a balance?
in reserve: Developing your own brand, always respecting the quality of the products, is a good proposal. In a second mark, the subject is quality. Large retail chains have quality controls. When we see a product, we can control it.
scisors: All of us here are our brands, second and third brands, clear prices, pricing and 5 and 6 brands of different prices. This allows you to build a basket and improve the offer.
Beccar Varela: We have our own brand discussion with our suppliers.
-I have no idea that the manufacturers of the major brands do not like the idea. Reasons Are Strong?
Beccar Varela: They are debates (laughter). But the idea is that people make it easier to save. We believe we are agents of our customers' buyers internally. We are those who buy them and want to be what they want. Our proposal is to be the leading brands, as well as proposals for cheaper brands. In this sense, our brand is the main vehicle and it has been very powerful. They have 18% participation in some categories.
– Does the rest of the chains contain these percentages?
Baitiéh: The "Precious prices" promotion is based on our brand products. This principle is a way in which we help a supplier that does not know the brand and helps us exchange at a good price. When we have this opportunity, we favor customers, suppliers and the chain. Its own brand is an average of 10%.
Beccar Varela: Its own brand is 18% in some categories, but an average of around 16%.
– What are the priorities of each chain next year?
Santa Coloma: Two priorities: the first is to optimize the profitability of the square meters of stores, especially the largest and most expensive stores. In this sense, the goal is to reduce some meters and move them to other boxes to rent such surface with third parties and public traffic. Then, using the Disco brand, the definition is an adherence. The goal is to improve the obsolete nightclubs. In the end, hard work to reduce operating costs. There are many things still, but there are always new ideas.
Braun: In the context of what we have looked at, we would go too fast with rates, it's time for efficiency to fit all the processes. We have a great deal of progress in terms of modes of payment, productivity, and lower pricing options. He is now condemned to the whole organization, because he is only a credit of a country and is a weakness of local companies, which is very difficult to finance the growth program. Now, after passing this process, we will recover the growth process historically.
Coto: We are the same We want to go faster, but we need to be careful, because the success of our company does not take too much money. In a country with no stable currency, the duty is sensible. Growing around and opening a wide mouth, it indicates a bit more.
scisors: We have three axes in 2019. Fresh market project (fresh produce), strengthening omnichannel and boosting eCommerce. And finally, I propose the desire to reduce the financial cost, which is currently unviable, this is not sustainable, not just for supermarkets, but also for the whole country.
Beccar Varela: Three years ago we started a three-point transformation process: improving the price-related experience, investing in large stores, kutxa lines and the eCommerce channel. The second axis is innovation in processes. We must be effective to be able to compete. And the third axis is the efficiency that works. And the only way to do this is talent, in a more serious, agile and more dynamic way.
Baitiéh: The priority is to continue to change and drive it faster in the group. Also, use our stores and develop online orders to facilitate shopping.