Category: Employee Experience

Jul

7

Premium always embraced an entrepreneurial spirit, stemming from its founder Ron Travers. For nearly 30 years, Ron climbed Nabisco’s corporate ladder to become a Regional VP of Sales. When Nabisco was acquired in the early 1980s, Ron found himself at a crossroads. He decided to build his own company to market great brands, coordinate in-store services with food brokers and retailers, and deliver results by deploying experienced people. 

In April 1985, Premium Retail Services was born. Thirty-five years later, Premium is bigger and better than ever under the leadership of Ron’s sons – CEOs Brian and Kevin Travers. In honor of their father’s legacy, Premium celebrates Founder’s Day each year on Ron’s birthday (June 29). This year, we expanded our celebration by introducing Premium’s first-ever Founder’s Week.

Each day we focused on one of Premium’s five core beliefs.

 

Family – Day 1

To kick off Founder’s Week 2020, Brian and Kevin Travers remembered their father on his birthday.

Ron holds a special place in our hearts, especially for a few long-term Premium employees who shared personal memories of him:

Karen Holland – Sr. Director, Client Services

While my husband was deployed in Afghanistan, Ron checked in with me regularly to see how my kids and I were doing. It meant the world to know someone in his position took the time to care about his employees. He paid the postage for all employees who wanted to send care packages to my husband’s unit – who loved all of the goodies sent by team Premium!

Sue Kohlberg – Director, Benefits

I have so many fond memories of Ron, but one of my favorites is when Ron was in my office, and he says in a puzzled voice, “Why do you have that picture in your office?” I respond to him, “What picture?” and Ron then points to a picture of my daughter Kayla. I respond to him, “That’s Kayla.” He replied, “I know that is Kayla, but why do you have her picture in your office?” At this point, I thought Ron was losing it a little. I then say, “Umm…Kayla is my daughter.” He then starts to laugh and says, “Oh my goodness, I thought that was my granddaughter Kayla. She looks just like our Kayla when she was young!”

Jill Pavlik – Operations Support Specialist

After my dad passed away, I was told that Ron would stop by my desk to check up on me even though I wasn’t back at work yet. That warmed my heart. Ron was a great leader and genuine. He was funny as well, always made me smile!!

 

Partnership – Day 2

Our employees’ and clients’ success is built on strong relationships – working together to deliver the best. In honor of partnership, Premium team members discovered their creative personality type with this short, fun quiz. Understanding ourselves helps maximize our potential, creating better partnerships.

Team members shared their results with co-workers to find their collaborative matches! Find out for yourself – are you the Thinker, Adventurer, or Innovator?

 

Creativity – Day 3

We are committed to breaking the mold as we solve retail challenges and deliver results for our clients. To inspire creativity from our team (and enjoy a mid-week brain break), we developed a coloring page featuring our founder, Ron Travers. Here are some of our favorites!

 

Integrity – Day 4

In early 2020, we deployed a company-wide survey on culture and employee engagement. The results revealed that our core belief of integrity resonates most with Premium team members. We believe in doing what’s right, even when no one’s watching. This aspect of our culture stems directly from our founder, Ron.

To celebrate integrity, our Premium family donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the US and Canada. Brian and Kevin were gracious enough to give a large sum to help Premium raise $5,000 for Boys & Girls Clubs!

This gift will help Premium’s and Boys & Girls Clubs’ efforts to support underserved minority areas across the US and Canada.

Read more about Premium’s long-term partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs and the opening of St. Louis’ first Best Buy Teen Tech Center.

 

Eclipsing Expectations – Day 5

When your name is Premium, people expect a higher level of service. Meeting goals is simply a stepping stone to delivering beyond what’s expected. We asked team members and clients to nominate one Premium employee whose performance goes above and beyond. We received over 100 submissions!

We randomly selected five employees as recipients of our first Eclipsing Expectations Awards! Each winner received a $100 USD/CAD gift certificate to our Premium Store.

Congratulations to all!

Premium team members, thank you for your participation and demonstration of our beliefs throughout the year. A huge thanks to Brian and Kevin Travers and the Culture Team for making our first-ever Founder’s Week a success. We’re already brainstorming for next year!

Check out all of our Founder’s Week fun over on our social channels using #PremiumFoundersWeek.

Are you interested in becoming a part of the Premium family? Join our team at wearepremium.com.

 

May

27

When our reps are hard at work in retail stores across the nation, they come across what seems like hundreds of terms and acronyms. Think you know the ins and outs of retail jargon? Check out our glossary of commonly used retail lingo below.

1. Action alley: The central aisle around the store where there is generally the most open space. Retailers prompt impulse purchases by positioning displays along this main thoroughfare. Also known as the racetrack.

2. Audit: A way to ensure compliance and performance of a merchandising display. Tasks of completing an audit include ensuring products are in the right place, the display is set to POG and correct labels/signage are used. Premium completes 985K+ audit visits per year.

3. Backstock: Inventory that is kept palletized in boxes in the back room until it is needed to replenish displays on the sales floor.

Clip strip in Walmart Health & Beauty aisle.

4. Clip strip: A retail product display, so named because it is a length of either plastic or metal with clips or hooks at regular intervals, upon which merchandise is hung. These can be found in the aisle, on an endcap or at the registers and is often an impulse purchase. It depends on the retailer for the rules.

5. CPG (Consumer-Packaged Goods): Merchandise that customers use and need to replace on a frequent basis. CPG examples include food, beverages, cosmetics and cleaning products.

6. Cut-in: Shifting or removing merchandise to make space on the retail shelf for new or promotional products. Cut-ins typically occur between major merchandising resets to introduce items more quickly. Also known as NPI (New Product Introduction) or EOL (Product End of Life).

7. DC (Distribution Center): Where products are stored prior to arriving at a retail store. The velocity of products moving through a distribution center is based on the sales volume occurring in the retail store. The more products people buy, the faster the store will need to replenish with additional inventory from the DC. Premium’s National Logistics and Distribution Center (NLDC) is 130K+ square feet. Last year, we shipped 470K packages to stores such as Best Buy and Walmart.

8. Display: A presentation of a store’s products used to attract and entice customers.

The Honest Company endcap in Walgreens.

9. Endcap: A display at the end of an aisle. Endcaps provide a competitive advantage for brands to call special attention to new or seasonal products, or to capitalize on impulse purchases from customers who would otherwise walk by. Premium builds endcaps in stores such as Walgreens and Walmart.

10. Facing: A way to describe how many “rows” or items should be front-facing on the shelf. This is the typical language used in a planogram. For example, a product may have 2 facings on the 2nd shelf up from the floor. It’s also the process of pulling products forward to be flush with the front of the shelf. Also known as blocking, zoning, straightening or fronting.

11. Fixture: Any piece of furniture or equipment that is fixed in position and displays or presents products. Fixtures are strategically arranged within the store to streamline the shopping experience and entice customers to buy.

12. Freestanding: A display that stands on its own in an aisle.

13. Gondolas: A freestanding fixture that consists of a flat base and a vertical component featuring notches or peg boards. Stores customize gondolas with shelves, hooks, or other display accessories.

14. Islander: An independent display positioned on the floor in a store’s main aisleway or racetrack. It generally has merchandise on all sides and features a distinct category of products. Premium ensures battery islanders near the registers are merchandised with multiple battery brands. Also known as a quad.

15. MOD (Modular): Different retailers utilize the term MOD in a variety of ways. MOD is yet another word for planogram (POG) and is sometimes used to refer to one 4-foot section of an aisle where a category of goods, like laundry detergent, is on display. For example, the laundry detergent is on MOD 4 in aisle 12.

16. MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price): The price that the manufacturer of the product believes the item should sell for in stores.

17. Mystery shopping: When a decoy shopper is sent into a retail store to evaluate the product merchandising or the customer experience. The mystery shopper behaves like a regular customer but then provides feedback to the store, the brand or the employee to help improve its performance.

18. OOS (Out of Stock): When a product sells out, it leaves an empty slot on the shelf. Premium’s Shared Services merchandising team ensures our clients’ products are not OOS by visiting more than 8,000 retail locations each week.

19. OSA (On-Shelf Availability): Walmart uses the acronym OSCA, meaning On-Shelf Customer Availability.

Cereal packed out in Walmart.

20. Pack out: The total number of packages of an item for the shelf to be at capacity or fully stocked. Packing out refers to the process of filling the store shelves with replenishment products from the store’s backroom supply. Premium packed out 1MM+ unique products in 2018.

21. Pallet: A wooden structure used to support goods while they’re being moved.

22. POG (Planogram): Visual diagrams that show exactly where to place specific products on shelves within an aisle in order to maximize sales. Think of a POG as a blueprint to follow as you build a section of facings for several products. Also known as plan-o-grams or schematics.

23. POP (Point of Purchase): Promotional collateral or signage that is not part of the regular store but is placed next to the product it’s promoting. POP may call customer attention to a discounted price, new packaging, coupons or special offers. Also known as shelf talkers or IRCs (Instant Redeemable Coupons)

24. PSP (Preferred Service Provider): Premium is 1 of only 5 approved PSPs who are allowed to merchandise products in the world’s largest retailer, Walmart. We are also a preferred partner for Walgreens, Target, Best Buy and several others. To join our PSP team, click here. To learn more about what our PSP team does click here.

25. RSA (Retail Sales Associate) or RSP (Retail Salesperson): An employee who works directly for the retailer. At Premium, we work in tandem with these folks on behalf of our clients. In 2018, Premium trained 475K+ Retail Sales Associates.

Premium Retail Specialist with battery sidekick.

26. Sidekick: Refers to a display that requires little to no assembly in store. These displays are generally made from corrugated cardboard and are pre-packed when they arrive in stores. Different from POP, sidekicks contain merchandise within the display whereas POP is simply promotional collateral. Also known as shippers or PDQs (Predetermined Display Quantity).

27. SKU (Stock-Keeping Unit): A unique number (usually eight alphanumeric digits) assigned to an item by a retailer for the purpose of tracking their inventory. The category of chips can easily have 40 SKUs, in various combinations of brands, sizes and flavors. Pronounced ‘skew.’

28. Top stock: Additional inventory that is stored on top of store shelves for quick re-stocking to the products’ home location.

29. Top stock cart: Merchandisers often use utility carts to move products from the backroom and onto the store’s shelves. Also known as rocket cart.

30. UPC (Universal Product Code): SKUs and UPCs are commonly confused. The difference is that SKUs are unique to a single retailer whereas a UPC is placed on the product by the manufacturer and applies to that product no matter what store is selling it. If two stores are selling the same product, that item will have different SKUs, but the same UPC.

31. Quad: A display with four sides of merchandise.

32. Quantity on hand: This describes the physical inventory that a retailer has in possession at the store. Also known as on hand or OH for short.

Haven’t applied yet? Search for retail merchandising jobs here.

Apr

30

As April comes to a close, the #PeopleofPremium have been answering to retail’s changing demands for seven weeks. We’ve encountered challenges never seen before. We’ve sacrificed and pivoted. Tireless efforts on the frontlines and behind the scenes. It’s been all-hands-on-deck at Premium. 

Seamless transitions.

  • IT worked around the clock to ensure our offices and employees could transition into 100% work from home operations in less than 72 hours. 
  • Numerous dedicated teams were sidelined as of March 22nd when Best Buy began offering contactless, curbside service. Just as quickly, team members temporarily transitioned into other areas experiencing increased demand to continue financially supporting their families. 
  • For the surge in new needs, nearly all of Client Services shifted its focus to support project initiatives in essential retail channels. Recruiting, Field Operations, and Training went into overdrive. Zone Leaders and Flex reps stepped into interim recruiting and onboarding roles to support new additions to the Premium team. 

 

 

 

 

Supporting our team members. 

  • The Operations Support Center, Field Management, Human Resources, and Communications stayed in constant contact with our employees, answering thousands of emails, messages, calls, and posts. 
  • We took conservative financial measures and temporary pay reductions to prevent layoffs and furloughs.
  • The NLDC team safely received protective gear (while socially distancing), and turned around shipments of 4,300 supply kits as fast as we think was humanly possible. It was less than a 24-hour turnaround from the time masks arrived, to the time shipments went out. Meanwhile, Karen Boyl, a member of the Walmart PSP team, and Linda Brown, a member of the Google team, went above and beyond sewing face coverings for Premium coworkers.  

 

 

 

 

 

Continued success.

  • We launched the Walgreens GO merchandising team on March 23rd. For the four peak weeks that followed, the team executed 8,000 hours per week. Our collective speed of response and tight collaboration with Walgreens is a significant Premium success story. 
  • At the same time, we stepped up for CVS, and have ramped up to 5,000 hours a week supporting multiple shifts through May. 
  • In April, we began aggressively fielding teams for Rite Aid’s distribution centers, supporting their flow of inventory and fulfillment of online orders. We also provided Rite Aid with 6,000 hours of in-store support, six days a week, across 25 regions. 
  • Walmart Wireless banded together to ensure 96% of the hours at our stores were covered. The team was laser-focused on health and safety while understanding shoppers’ urgent need for mobile connectivity. 

 

 

 

 

 

Reinventing ourselves outside of the store.

  • Samsung’s Home Entertainment team has virtually connected with thousands of Best Buy and warehouse club associates and customers across the US and Canada. 
  • Logitech’s online community of Blue Shirts have been enjoying an all-day Twitch gaming stream. The team has also stepped in to support customers in online retail, providing responses to thousands of unanswered product reviews and questions. 
  • Lenovo STARs made socially distanced visits to stores to drop off Stock the Breakroom care packages for our friends at Best Buy.   

 

 

 

 

 

This is not nearly an exhaustive list. Share your win using #PremiumHeroes. Thanks for all you do, and thanks for being Premium!