Supermarkets are the real 'New media'
years ago, selling Kit Kat, there was only one national TV channel, ITV, and a
huge spread of retail outlets. Not only were there over 50,000 small independent
stores, but supermarkets were smaller and located on the high street. There were
10 or 12 strong players, including Fine Fare, Gateway, Wm Low, Presto as well as
Tesco and Sainsbury. Only the latter had more than a 10% share of food
retailing. So marketing Kit Kat was relatively straightforward: use ITV to reach
a huge audience with a simple message and focus the sales organisation on depth
and breadth of distribution through all the small shops.
the complete reverse is true. Now there are four major food retailers in the UK
Tesco, Asda, Safeway and Sainsbury which account for about 70% of food
expenditure. With Safeway up for sale, this could consolidate further. Even in
confectionery perhaps the most fragmented and widely distributed of all food
and grocery products these four retailers now account for half the market.
In contrast, television and the media have expanded exponentially: there are now
over 200 channels, with digital, cable and satellite penetration in about half
of British homes.