ECR Community: Taking A New Approach
The past year has seen the evolution of ECR Europe to ECR Community, a group that aims to 'transform the way the industry fulfills consumer wishes'.
The purpose of ECR Community is to be a flagship body for delivering consumer benefits through collaborative practices, along the consumer goods value chain. Its mission is to provide a neutral platform on which to develop, disseminate and foster the implementation of these practices.
ECR Community consists of a network of 21 ECR Nationals and the ECR Community Shrink and OSA Expert Group, each of which brings together manufacturers, retailers and service providers within their country. This is a valuable and deep network, supported by over 1,800 retailers, manufacturers and service providers across Europe. Additionally, ECR Asia/Pacific, EuroCommerce, AIM, GS1 in Europe and ECR Brazil all contribute to ECR Community.
The concept of aggregating the ECR Nationals activities is particularly appropriate for the many local members, for whom membership of regional or global associations is not viable.
Most grocery retailers are still single-country operators, as are many manufacturers (especially fresh food suppliers), service providers and a multitude of local experts and consultancies. Their input into the ECR National organisations - and subsequently ECR Community - makes sense, as local challenges and hot topics are often similar across jurisdictions.
A major benefit of ECR Community is that it allows ECR Nationals to work together on common projects. Such involvement brings scale, common methodology and simultaneous output across Europe.
Activities underway at either a national or pan-European level include: ‘Sell More, Waste Less’ – a programme managed by the ECR Shrink and OSA Group to help retailers reduce losses from their stores and improve on-shelf availability; ‘Influencing the Shopper’ – best practice in category management and shopper marketing; ‘Logistics Pooling’ – guidance for companies on how to combine forces to improve efficiency; ‘Food Waste Reduction’ – a series of activities to minimise food waste throughout the food chain, including by channelling products to people in need; and ‘Omni-Channel Retailing’ – advice on how to combine ‘bricks’ and ‘clicks’ to deliver the best overall service to consumers.
A Strong History
ECR Community, previously ECR Europe, was launched in 1994 to make the grocery sector more responsive to consumer demand and promote the removal of unnecessary costs from the supply chain. The concept is as relevant in today’s modern retail world, with as many consumer paths to purchase as was the case when the group was first launched over twenty years ago.
A new ECR Community website was launched on 7 December 2016 at www.ecr-community.org. It will serve as a reference point for the many ECR Publications and link to the ECR Nationals, members and partners. It will also feature relevant ECR blogs and news with the aim of increasing the awareness and adoption of ECR principles throughout Europe.
For more information, visit www.ecr-community.org.
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