Progressive Grocer - January 2011 - (Page 44)

Category Management Optimize product mix for maximum profit Mutual Benefits By Israel J. Rodriguez Jr. Why settle for efficient product assortments when you can be strategically effective as well? The Seven Virtues T he irony of modern life is that the more things advance, the busier we get. The same holds true for category management: Despite advances in data, shopper insights, training, tools and computers, tactics like assortment optimization keep getting more difficult. Many product assortments fall short of their full potential despite collaboration between retailers and manufacturers. These seven principles illustrate a best practice approach to maximize your results. 1. Be Objective: Retailers are quick to notice when their vendors don’t approach assortment optimization in an objective manner. Self-centered recommendations compromise trust and are ultimately counterproductive. All projects should begin with setting expectations, including a pledge to take an objective, category perspective — a founding principle of category management. We also recommend going over certain ground rules and assumptions in advance. For instance, should store brands be evaluated under the same criteria, protected or with different criteria? And if so, what rules apply? Building productive assortment partnerships is a process that improves with every planning cycle, earning trust with each recommendation, one SKU at a time. As our industry has evolved from 2. Be Timely: The benefits of an efcategory management to shopper Ask yourselves: “Are we encouraging ficient and effective assortment promarketing, everything has changed timely participation or inadvertently cess are compromised by last-minute — from the way we conduct rerewarding last-minute behavior?” changes and new products that don’t search, how we go to market and go through the same rigorous analyhow we optimize assortments, to the way retailers and manufacturers collaborate. With so much new sis. Of course, you want to be responsive and nimble. You have information and change, you’d think that we’d be much further to balance this, however, with the benefits of outlining a stratealong. So what stands in the way of progress? This article ex- gic process and sticking to it. Ask yourselves: “Are we encouragplores the barriers to successful shopper marketing using assort- ing timely participation or inadvertently rewarding last-minute ment optimization as a prime example, and how retailers and behavior?” • Does your process employ ‘carrots and sticks’ for complimanufacturers can work together to make their categories more ance and noncompliance? Incentives go a long way toward efficient and effective than ever. 44 • Progressive Grocer • January 2011 A H E A D O F W H AT ’ S N E X T

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Progressive Grocer - January 2011

Progressive Grocer - January 2011
Table of Contents
Nielsen’s Shelf Stoppers/ Spotlight: Medications and Remedies/antacids
Mintel Global New Products: Salty Snacks, Meat Snacks and Popcorn, Q2-Q3 2010
Best Practices: Are We There Yet?
Store of the Month Special Edition: My H-E-B
Marketing: Circular Paradox
Gma President’s Note: United We Stand
Pg Special Events: Pg Honors 2010 Top Women, Green Grocers at Gala Event
Retailer Spotlight: Winn-Dixie’s Awakening
Category Management: Mutual Benefi Ts
Special Section: Progressive Grocer Independent: For Retailers, by Retailers
Condiments: A Matter of Taste
Butter/margarine: Promise for the Future
Desserts: Sweet Solutions
Energy Drinks/shots: Energy Drinks Get a Jolt
Winter Produce: Season of Plenty
Meat Merchandising Study: Meat to Meals
Candles/Air Fresheners: Beyond Common Scents
Front End: The Front End Checkout: A Microeconomic Model of the Store
Cough and Cold: A Tissue Please?
Whole Health: Feeling Good in 2011
Futuretech: It’s a Mad, Mobile World
Progressive Voices: Retailers’ Value Equation = Customer-Benefit Costing
Ovens and Rotisseries: Heating Up
What’s Next: Editors’ Picks for Innovative Products

Progressive Grocer - January 2011