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The logistician consumer and the minute of silence of Bernardo Trujillo

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Bernardo Trujillo was one of the first to formalize the four pillars who were going to make the success of the retail modern, especially the hypermarket. But today a fifth pillar, forgotten by the original concept, disrupts business practices.

By Jean-Marie PICARD

Everyone knows the four pillars of the hypermarket concept popularized by Bernardo Trujillo in the 1950 years during his seminars in Dayton in the United States, laying the theoretical and practical foundations of what would become the "modern distribution": The Discount, self service, all goods under one roof and free parking.

For a long time, Trujillo maliciously observed a minute of silence at the opening of his seminars, in memory of the vanished entrepreneurs for failing to grasp the evolution of Distribution. Let us take advantage of this silence to evoke a fifth pillar ignored by the original concept and which is likely to disrupt traditional business practices.

Each consumer is hypothetically a seasoned logistician: he stores or even speculates on the purchase when the promotional offer seems attractive. It transports with own means (his car) or shared (when he takes public transport). He also handles in shops pushing his trolley and practice a methodical picking with the right way, the light products above the heavy products. Sometimes it self-invoices, scanning its products in automatic boxes. It seeks saturation or even sharing its resources and uses advanced information tools (his Smartphone or computer) to place electronic orders at any time of the week and get useful information. purchase knowing usefully distinguish between stored flows and tight flows, especially for fresh produce.

In other words, the consumer is involuntarily involved in a distribution process that he often ignores or underestimates the actual cost and time spent.

And yet we are witnessing a significant transformation in the decisions of the customer who intends to compete with the distribution channels to attract maximum benefits. Anything that can help him optimize the cost, time, security and convenience of his logistics organization model is an excuse to influence his purchasing practices. Electronic orders associated with price comparisons, additional offers, consumer opinions, drives of any configuration: farmers, suppliers, solos or point-of-sale, commercial location tools on smartphones, flexible home deliveries free or fast free, storage facilities for certain products, mechanized means dedicated to reducing the hardship for certain categories of people, collaborative economy solutions such as carpools of people and goods or constitution of a a virtual network of buyers, automatic and instantaneous payments in boxes, and so many other areas to explore which multiply the opportunities of differentiation of the offer by the services sometimes on the initiative of new entrants who disturb the traditional concepts. Any transformation inherently has its share of risks and opportunities.

In tribute to Bernardo Trujillo, let's respect a minute of silence.