Grocers respond to new trend

Canadian grocers will try to come to terms with the looming issue of 'efficient consumer response' at Grocery Showcase Canada '93, an annual convention and trade show to be presented Oct. 16-19 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre by the Canadian Federation...

Canadian grocers will try to come to terms with the looming issue of ‘efficient consumer response’ at Grocery Showcase Canada ’93, an annual convention and trade show to be presented Oct. 16-19 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre by the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers.

‘Just in time’ delivery

Efficient consumer response is a term used to describe the grocery industry’s spin on ‘just in time’ delivery.

An issue in the u.s. for about a year now, it involves the use of computerized inventory technologies to, among other things, reduce warehouse costs and eliminate forward buying.

John Scott, president of cfig, a non-profit organization representing Canada’s independently-owned and -operated supermarkets, says ‘efficient consumer response is moving ahead with a tremendous amount of rapidity in the u.s.’

Scott says independent grocers view the trend as a serious threat to their financial well-being because they lack the time and money required to invest in the new technologies.

Meanwhile, he says, Canada’s 10 large grocery store chains, which compete directly with the independents, are capable of making the investment and have already spent several months meeting with key suppliers.

In order to focus attention on efficient consumer response, cfig is bringing in one of the American pioneers of the trend – Mark Harran, vice-president of sales, customer development and marketing for Kraft General Foods (U.S.A.) – to speak at a conference session of Grocery Showcase Canada ’93.

A leading advocate

Scott describes Kraft as a leading advocate of efficient consumer response in the u.s., and he expects Harran’s presentation, slated for Oct. 18 at 11 a.m., will confirm the suspicions of many Canadian independent grocers that they have no time to waste in jumping on the bandwagon.

cfig officials predict about 8,500 retailers, manufacturers and distributors will attend their 31st annual convention and trade show, which includes a full slate of conference programs and more than 700 trade show exhibits.