Category: North America

Jan

19

 

2020 was a record year for Premium, despite its significant challenges. We celebrated 35 years since our founding and six years since we expanded into Canada. As we reflect, we’re in awe of the continued accomplishments amongst incredible obstacles. 

 

COVID-19 Response 

The spotlight on the retail services Premium executes every day became more critical than ever after COVID-19 hit. As the pandemic spread in March and April, Premium answered retail’s changing demands. 

To ensure our Premium Heroes remained safe and healthy while working on the frontlines, we sourced and received protective supplies while implementing new health and safety protocols and training. In April, our National Logistics & Distribution Center (NLDC) safely deployed supply kits of face coverings and hand sanitizer to 4,300 field employees less than 24 hours after receiving the materials. 

 

Client Partnerships 

Premium became Rite Aid’s exclusive merchandising services provider in January 2020.  And, in a testament to our drug channel team, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS trusted us with additional projects and surge coverage as stores were hit harder than ever. 

We expanded grocery and mass coverage and product ordering for Lindt & Sprüngli, and added Foster Grant to our client roster. Expansive resets and revisions in retailers such as Ulta have enabled Premium to develop a specialized Transformation Team, increasing efficiency for clients. 

Additionally, Premium’s co-owners Brian and Kevin Travers announced a $1MM commitment to enriching teens’ lives in disinvested communities through technology in partnership with Best Buy. We will continue to work with Best Buy to open five additional Teen Tech Centers around the United States in 2021 and 2022.  

 

Digital Innovation 

With social distancing, stay-at-home orders and curbside pickup taking prominence, we accelerated the development of our digital brand advocacy solutions to assist our clients in adhering to the new world.  

In July, we introduced Premium On Demand, which facilitates video interactions between shoppers and product experts from their favorite brands. This fall, we supported Best Buy in developing the Health, Fitness & Wearables category via virtual consultations with shoppers and the rollout of an interactive game series to engage stores and train associates called BrandBuzz 

Premium On Demand

 

Retail Intelligence 

Government influence, consumer attitudes and behaviors, retailer protocols, and local COVID-19 case rates have greatly influenced the store environment this year. Our analytics team provided weekly updates and insights to our clients and leadership team, ensuring field actions and behaviors remained responsive, impactful and geographically appropriate.  

We developed nearly 100 new business intelligence dashboards and rolled out the Premium BI mobile app, enabling clients and field teams to interact with real-time KPI performance visualizations and delivering an in-depth view into new business opportunities.  

Smartcom, Premium’s predictive analytics engine built exclusively for Walmart suppliers, helped clients overcome out of stocks in a tumultuous year for product inventory. 

Our Operations Support Center (OSC) managed nearly 50,000 omnichannel interactions via phone, email, and text. Additionally, our specialists ensured quality by completing 6.6 million photo reviews. Greenlight, our real-time photo validation solution, prevented over 6,000 revisits by providing reps with near-instant corrective action or approval.

 

Employee Recognition & Development 

In our 2019 Town Hall, we asked our team what Premium could improve upon in 2020. Their answer was career development and performance incentives. 

We responded by launching Premium Proud, a new employee recognition program designed to recognize and reward top-performing field team members. In our continuing commitment to help our employees #GrowWithPremium, 18% of our field team members received promotions this year.  

Premium’s training team also developed the University of Premium (UP) this year for self-guided career and personal development. UP will contain several development paths ranging from Field to Executive-level leadership. All employees will be eligible to apply in 2021. 

Read More: 2020 Employee Awards  

We’re proud of the continued focus on culture and employee engagement at Premium. This year, we were certified as a Great Place to Work in Canada and awarded St. Louis’ Top Workplaces for the third year in a row. 

We’re thankful for our extended Premium family – team members, clients, and partners. As an organization, we deemed Q4 2020 as “Mission: Possible,” and your collaboration has undoubtedly contributed to the many missions completed in 2020. Here’s to a fantastic 2021! 

                 

Jan

12

SAINT LOUIS, MO – Premium Retail Services (Premium), the North American company known for creating informed and inspired shopping experiences for leading brands and retailers has hired Ed Hoehn as Vice President of Strategy & Solutions Architecture. Ed will strengthen Premium’s retail engagement capabilities and integrated technology portfolio in this newly created role.

Ed joins Premium with 20 years of retail marketing and technology experience. In his most recent role, Ed was the Chief Customer Officer of a visual communications company where he led sales, marketing and technology. Before that, he founded and led a venture-backed FinTech company after spending the first 15 years of his career in business development and client service for retail marketing agencies including BDS Marketing, Mosaic Sales Solutions and Crossmark.

“As we continue to grow and solve increasingly complex challenges for our customers, it is important for Premium to continue to invest in adding expertise to our team,” said Kevin Travers, CEO of Premium. “We are excited about the experience Ed brings to the company, having created omnichannel solutions across a broad range of industry verticals.”

Data, engagement technology, and supply chain are the three elements at the center of every challenge facing consumer brands and retailers today. Having the data, tools and knowledge to make the right decisions to drive consumer behavior is more challenging than ever. From personalizing the shopping experience in-store and online to helping integrate curbside or home delivery, Premium is focused on helping partners create the optimal customer experience.

Ed shared his perspective, saying, “Many brands and retailers struggle to solve these issues in today’s accelerating retail environment. Premium employs proven, measured strategies and has amassed incredible talent, built enterprise technologies, and charted best practices while excelling in their legacy of people-based services. Driving it all is the desire to create tailormade solutions that drive sales for their clients.”

View the official release here.

Dec

22

 

Premium recognizes team members who have eclipsed expectations through a handful of significant awards each year. Congratulations to our 2020 award nominees and winners for their outstanding representation of what it means to be Premium!

 

2020 Culture Hero Award

Jennifer Hovestadt, Senior Manager – Training

The Culture Hero award was first established in 2019. It recognizes the efforts put forth by a phenomenal member of Premium’s Culture Team. Behind the scenes, the Culture Team cultivates relationships among Premium’s remote and office-based teams, focusing on employee recognition, engagement, and fun.

Jennifer joined Premium in 2011 as a Field Representative. In 2012, she started working full-time as a Trainer and has since been promoted to Training Supervisor and now Senior Training Manager. She is instrumental in developing training for several clients and retailers and most recently spearheaded the creation of the University of Premium.

On the Culture Team, Jennifer is known for going above and beyond, always with a positive attitude and kind-hearted approach to our initiatives. She displayed leadership, consistently coming with ideas and repeatedly volunteering to lead projects – all with a full workload on her plate.

 

2020 Canada Employee of the Year Award

Sean Frydman, National Field Manager

Our Employee of the Year awards recognize outstanding Premium team members whose hard work and dedication are unmatched.

Premium Canada’s 2020 winner drives results through continuous innovation, leadership and excellence in program management. Sean joined Premium in 2018 to lead our Microsoft Best Buy Store-Within-a-Store program. In 2019, his responsibility expanded to all of Microsoft’s field marketing in Canada.

Sean’s commitment to the success of the program has inspired greatness with our Microsoft team exceeding targets for 17 months in a row.

 

2020 U.S. Employee of the Year Award

Pavin White, Senior Logistics & Distribution Manager

Pavin started on the Client Services team in 2016, making an early impact by streamlining a system to meet the needs of a complex break-fix program. Pavin joined the team at our National Logistics & Distribution Center (NLDC) in 2018 where he helped lead our massive NLDC expansion which enhanced the services we offer to our clients.

In 2020, as the pandemic hit and disrupted every part of our business, operations at our NLDC never stopped. Pavin showed grit and tenacity when procuring essential face coverings and other supplies became a paramount need.

While adhering to new protocols, Pavin and his team continued to safely execute major initiatives for our clients and performed at a higher level of excellence than ever before.

 

2020 U.S. Field Excellence Award 

Peter Rivera, Reset Project Coordinator

Since 2017, Premium field leaders have submitted annual nominations for the Field Excellence Award. The executive team votes to recognize one standout field team member for outstanding achievement, performance, personal interaction, and creativity.

Peter joined Premium in 2012 and has been promoted several times over the last eight years: Merchandising Representative, Zone Specialist, Team Lead, Project Leader, Project Manager, Zone Leader, Market Specialist and Reset Project Coordinator. Read more #GrowWithPremium success stories here.

 

 

Peter sets our clients up for successful reset projects, managing teams of up to 30 people. Not only is Peter a hard worker, but he embodies Premium’s core beliefs of family and eclipsing expectations.

He often travels to areas outside of his own territory to complete work – even during COVID-19. To date, Peter has traveled to 25+ states. Store managers often request Peter to be the project Team Lead in their stores.

 

2020 Canada Maple Leaf Award 

Madison Farris, Recruiter

The Maple Leaf award recognizes one individual on the Canada team that has demonstrated continual excellence in performance, leadership, and an overall positive influence on the team.

Madison joined Premium as a Recruiter in 2018 and immediately made a substantial impact on finding the right talent for each of our unique businesses and clients.

Year-to-date she has recruited 460 employees and staffed an entire holiday program in 3 weeks, all during a pandemic.

 

2020 Founder’s Award

Ron Travers founded Premium Retail Services in 1985 on a foundation of family, integrity, and service. After Ron passed in 2012, Brian and Kevin introduced the Founder’s Award to honor their father’s legacy, and it is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a Premium employee.

As you know, 2020 presented challenges that we never thought were possible. We faced circumstances out of our control with no idea how this crisis would impact our company and the world.

There is simply no way to award the Founders Award to just one person. Instead, we’ve chosen to recognize the entire Premium family as the 2020 Founder’s Award recipient.

We are so proud to work with each and every one of you. Thank you for your dedication to Premium, especially during a demanding year!