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IRI debuts new age CPG solutions at annual summit

BY Mike Troy

ORLANDO, Fla. — The phrase “game-changing” is arguably the most overused in business, but a strategic alliance that IRI president and CEO Andrew Appel announced this week actually fits the bill.

During introductory remarks at IRI’s annual summit, Appel shared with the more than 1,000 attendees gathered in Orland details of a huge data sharing partnership between IRI, comScore and Rentrak.

“Far and away, this is the biggest innovation IRI has done in the past 15 years,” Appel said.

The combination of the three firms’ unique data assets means brand marketers and retailers will have access to unified view of shopper behavior and media consumption in a way that did not previously exist. That’s because IRI brings its strength in capturing sales data and shoppers insights found in its “Liquid Data” platform with comScore’s market leading online behavior assets and Rentrak’s cross-platform media consumption data.

“This combination will allow brand marketers to finally get a handle on how all elements of the marketing mix are driving sales,” Appel said. The strategic alliance between the three firms creates what Appel called, “the richest data set in the world to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of how we run our businesses.”

While the agreement with comScore and Rentrak was the most significant announcement Appel made, he did allude to an additional strategic partnership to be announced in the coming year on the activation side of the business as opposed to the measurement side.

All the announcements were part of a comprehensive review of upgrades and enhancements to the tools IRI makes available to CPG companies and retailers. Accordingly, the theme of the three day event which kicked on Monday was, “Winning the Race to Growth.” It was a natural follow-up to the prior year’s theme of “Growth Delivered,” which propelled IRI to a record year, according to Appel.

“Last year it was about ‘Growth Delivered,’ but this year it is about accelerating the pace of that growth,” Appel said.

Key developments Appel outlined to help clients achieve success on an “immensely complex path to purchase,” involve the availability of real time data around the clock on mobile devices. IRI is also launching its own app store, which will contain micro tools for specific functions such as market growth opportunity finder called IRI Pivot. Other apps will be focused on a product launch success predictor and a customizable alert platform.

Another key area of development involves IRI’s Retail Trade Desk. Appel said it will transform the way merchants make decisions and empower unprecedented engagement with suppliers. Trade desk features supplier collaboration tools, decision-tracking features and automated action recommendation features that can be accepted or rejected.

 

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Report: Meijer looks to expand in Wisconsin

BY Antoinette Alexander

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — In his first major appearance before a Milwaukee crowd, Meijer CEO Hank Meijer said the retailer is gearing up for growth in Wisconsin over the next few years, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal.

Speaking at the recent Milwaukee Business Journal’s Power Breakfast, he said the company is likely to open 10 to 12 stores a year, and most of the locations will be in Wisconsin, the publication reported.

The company, which currently has more 200 stores in five states, is looking at “a lot of other communities beyond Milwaukee,” Meijer was quoted as saying.

 

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HDMA’s Gallenagh receives Distribution Management Award for Industry Leadership

BY Antoinette Alexander

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Healthcare Distribution Management Association, the national association representing primary healthcare distributors, has honored Elizabeth Gallenagh, SVP government affairs and general counsel, with the Distribution Management Award for Industry Leadership.

The award, presented at the HDMA 2014 Distribution Management Conference and Technology Expo in Palm Desert, Calif., honors an individual who has exhibited the highest standards of honesty and integrity, working to enhance industry relations and knowledge, as well as supply chain efficiency and security. Award winners are selected by the Association’s Industry Relations Council, made up of HDMA-member distributor and manufacturer executives. 
 


Since joining HDMA in 2003, Gallenagh led the Association’s industry-wide efforts to replace a 50-state patchwork of pedigree laws with one national traceability solution, which became a reality through the enactment of Title II of the Drug Quality and Security Act in November 2013. Through Gallenagh’s work and expertise, HDMA and its distributor members were able to shape the discussion around the policies and regulations that defined the legislation, while building consensus with fellow stakeholders. Gallenagh is now leading HDMA’s efforts surrounding implementation.  
 


“The enactment of the DQSA was one of the most significant legislative achievements ever accomplished by our industry. It could not have happened without Liz’s knowledge and tenacity. We appreciate her efforts and are pleased to honor her with this award,” said HDMA president and CEO John Gray.

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