Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - 38

Category Management

New Ideas

Practical

Solutions
Grocers and CPG companies
find success as they embrace the evolution
of category management.
By Jim Dudlicek

R

etailers aren't selling categories, they're selling solutions - that's a phrase we're hearing
more often these days.
"Maintaining relevance today means
simplifying the shopper's trip - not by
inundating them with more category choices, but by presenting disparate products as the holistic answer to an immediate
need. Enter solutions management," Wendy Liebmann, CEO
of WSL Strategic Retail, wrote in a recent edition of the New
York-based marketing consultant's WSL Weekly Highlights.
With that, Liebmann declared category management
as we've known it dead, urging that a solution-based approach rise from its ashes.
She's absolutely right. It's not enough just to sell stuff
anymore, not with the fierce competition traditional
grocery retailers face from physical and digital channels.
To compete, traditional retailers need to sell the "why"
instead of the "what," because there's so many places to get
things. That's likely why Cyriac Roeding, co-founder of
digital shopping app Shopkick, based in Redwood City,
Calif., thinks that, while "the future of retail looks really
bright, the future of physical retailers looks really dark."
Even traditional retailers acknowledge this challenge.
Steve Henig, VP of digital for Keasbey, N.J.-based
Wakefern Food Corp., speaking at Nielsen CoNEXTions with Roeding, predicted that within a decade,
some center store categories like health and beauty care
will be sold exclusively online.
Creating experiential destinations will be key, and
many retailers are doing so, for HBC and other categories,
to give people a reason to go to the store.

38

"Consumers buy more than just food, they buy what it
delivers and represents," remarks Andrew Mandzy, director of strategic insights for health and wellness growth
and strategy at Schaumburg, Ill.-based Nielsen - exactly
why retailers need to free themselves from the shackles of
outdated category management practices and embrace the
idea of shopper-centric solution management.

Shopper Solutions Planning
In early 2015, Food Marketing Institute (FMI) asked
Winston Weber & Associates Inc. (WWA), supported
by Deloitte Consulting LLP, to study the future role of
category management. The study included more than 70 retailers and manufacturers, insights from global experts, and
the collective experience of FMI, WWA and Deloitte in
addressing merchandising challenges in the food, drug and
mass-merchandising sector. This led to the report "From
Category Management to Shopper-Centric Retailing."
"The grocery industry is experiencing the most dynamic
change in years, with expanding food lifestyles, digital connectedness, a solutions focus, Millennials and more," says
Win Weber, CEO of Tampa, Fla.-based WWA. "In this
environment, category management has too many limitations to produce the desired results."
Weber notes that current category management processes focus narrowly on individual products or categories,
rather than broader solutions. As a result, compartmentalization often creates barriers to optimizing complementary
merchandising and creating solutions designed to enhance
the shopping experience.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | August 2017

Continued on page 42



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Progressive Grocer - August 2017

Contents
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - Intro
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - CT1
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - CT2
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - Cover1
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - Cover2
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - 3
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - 4
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - Contents
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - 6
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