The cosseting factor

Sir, The current question marks around Aldi and Lidl’s ability to grow and whether their sales have reached a plateau present an interesting paradox. Discount shopping for many is the new normal, none more so than for the millennial generation. Characterised by the belief there is ‘always a deal to be had’, they are wired to compare and not accept the first offer they are made.

However, are they being turned off by the customer experience, an essential component for any retail brand, given the discounters’ lower staff ratios and more limited ranges?

Look how Waterstones has combated the online onslaught. Written reviews and recommendations on shelf from their staff provide a personal touch and, in the grand scheme of things, don’t cost that much. Maybe Aldi and Lidl would do well to consider similar small ‘nudges’.

Crispin Reed, MD, JDO

Pokémon Go’s lessons

Sir, Pokémon Go has got brands, retailers, restaurants and supermarkets thinking how they can get in on the action and drive footfall, following the example of Costa. While this feels cutting edge, the truth is the technology behind the game has been around for years.

Pokémon Go has provided a tangible example of how effective location-based marketing technology can be in driving footfall, and the appetite for a fully merged online and offline experience. Our physical location on the high street does a pretty effective job of mapping our purchase intentions.

There are many ways to drive sales based on location intelligence. One of the simplest is conquest targeting. If a rival coffee shop were to provide me with an offer when I’m near Costa based on previous visits, I may be tempted to switch. The key is how to set a strategy to do this beyond one app and how to measure. Technology can allow marketers to attribute digital spend back to real-world store visitations, while providing an understanding of when they’re winning footfall and against which competitors. It’s this type of intelligence will set retailers up for the longer run.

Theo Theodorou, MD EMEA, xAd

Veetee backs waste push

Sir, We are writing to pledge our support for The Grocer’s Waste Not Want Not campaign. Veetee Foods has partnered with FareShare to ensure no good food that could be used to feed people goes to waste. Despite being a small food manufacturer, so far Veetee Foods has donated 11 tonnes of surplus stock, which equates to 39,000 meals for those in need. Our aim is to grow and develop our partnership with FareShare and we hope this can inspire others to do the same.

Vikas Magoon, CEO, Veetee Foods