Simpactful is pleased that Mark Sjoboen is joining our team as a Sr. Consultant. With nearly 30 years of experience at Costco, he held many roles including the expansion of the first warehouse in Japan, GMM of ecommerce, and marketing leadership.
Sjoboen is excited to bring to Simpactful clients what he loved most at Costco; educating and sharing his experiences about club stores, emerging markets, and helping to evolve better business models. His expansive experience at Costco in new and emerging markets brings a fresh approach to suppliers who need to navigate the club retailer ecosystem. Club retailers want to deal with CPG companies who understand the uniqueness of club businesses. Sjoboen is able to bring an urgent need to bridge the gap on topics such as pricing differences that exist between warehouse clubs and other retailers, marketing plans to drive traffic, and club-specific products.
Sjoboen is a firm believer in early-adopter trends in retail that companies need to get ahead of today such as mobile payments, health and wellness, and private label growth. Sjoboen adds, “speed of check out with RFID and Amazon is just starting with the AmazonGo stores. The biggest single expense is labor for brick and mortar and you can use that labor for other areas of the store to enhance the shopper experience.” From a consumer standpoint, the trends of health & wellness with organic, free trade, non-GMO, gluten-free are here to stay. “New generations are more conscious of wellness and they want local and organic,” says Sjoboen, “if you’re a retailer and you’re not on these trends by now you’re not where you should be.” Finally, Sjoboen stressed the reinvented potential in private label. “At Costco, private label was equal to or greater than the national brands. Private label today is much different than in the past where it’s not considered the cheap stuff and it spans many different categories.”
Sjoboen further adds that if retailers are to compete in the future, they will still have to put more resources in ecommerce. “After working in ecommerce with Costco for several years, it is apparent to me that retailers still aren’t spending enough time focusing on the ecommerce portion of their business and the justification is always that it’s a small portion of total sales,” explains Sjoboen, “in an Amazon world, everyone needs to spend the time on their ecommerce plan with targeting and retargeting people with their sites. That’s not to say brick and mortar isn’t relevant and, looking at costs, you’re going to get the best margin in stores, but we need to have an omnichannel approach to business. Many companies that waited a long time are playing catch up right now.”
If your brand is looking for growth in club retail, start with an assessment from Mark Sjoboen. The first area of analysis is around production capabilities, business models, and marketing plans with club stores. “If Costco gets excited about your product, do you have the ability to deliver?” With close to 30 years of experience at Costco, Sjoboen is able to help clients navigate the unique world of clubs stores from the language to use in buyer meetings, creating marketing plans with promotions and store samplings, and a deep understanding of club business models.
Reach out to the Simpactful team at email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 952-234-6394.
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Meet Simpactful – a CPG/Retail consultancy firm built for today’s challenges, with a team of experienced leaders from both CPG and Retail firms.
Our experience spans functions – Sales, Marketing, Consumer Research, Human Resources, Product Supply – and all retail channels including eCommerce, Food, Drug, Mass, Club, Dollar, C Stores, and more.