Talking Shop with… Mike Stotts
By Grocery Headquarters Staff
Mike Stotts executive vice president, sales and marketing for Navajo, says supermarkets can bring innovative products typically found in the specialty market to their shoppers at competitive pricing. Tell us about Navajo. What makes the company unique? Mike Stotts: Navajo’s continued success comes from our ability to provide high-quality products at the right price. Long-standing relationships with customers and excellent partnering with vendors have helped fuel above industry average growth. Navajo operates in multiple channels of distribution including convenience, grocery, drug, mass and specialty. Multiple, full-line categories is what makes Navajo unique to today’s market as we offer important categories such as eyewear, health, beauty and wellness in travel size, mobile device accessories and many other general merchandise products, such as barware and automotive. Our category teams source product, design packaging and respond to market needs by studying trends, new ideas and shopper insights as they relate to the marketplace. All of our programs offer multiple merchandising solutions and we have the ability to create customized programs addressing specific market needs, ensuring high levels of satisfaction to our customers. Tell us about the state of mass retailing today and how that impacts grocery stores. Mass retailing is a highly competitive market and ever changing. Our goal is to bring to the supermarket channel the innovation typically found in the specialty market at competitive pricing. Navajo has a responsibility to keep our customers abreast of current trends and fashions and keep them in the position to compete at that level. We consistently focus on the consumer to ensure we are on target in satisfying our retailers’ consumers. Our speed to market will continue to be the focus of our company. What can/should retailers do to build sales in the categories Navajo competes in? Retailers must rely on their vendors to provide the market data and consumer insights that will yield positive results at retail and satisfy consumer demands. Navajo understands this and continues to focus on “trend right” products and programs combined with creative merchandising. We must make it easy for consumers to find what they are searching for and have available other products they may not have thought of. We attempt to increase the shopper’s basket at all levels and creative products merchandised in a timely fashion are the keys. Our ability to link relative categories to that buying decision assists in accomplishing this important goal. How can Navajo help build sales and profits for retailers? Navajo is unique in its ability to provide products in categories that are conducive to cross merchandising. We have shown tremendous results in doing so. An example of this is providing mobile device accessories used by the traveling public in our HBW travel departments. We will continue to look for opportunities to do so, making it more convenient for the consumer and yielding incremental revenue profits for the retailer. What does the future look like for the retail marketplace? We are excited about the future of the retail marketplace. Our high-digit growth is a result of dedicated teams that know the consumer shopping patterns and who develop the products that the consumer is searching for. We will continue to make recommendations and implement the strategies that are producing positive results, including the innovative merchandising to support the products at the right price.