Supporting the Category Management Challenge: Now Research Can Contribute

Maureen Johnson 
and 
Danielle Pinnington
Research International, UK

This paper follows in the theme of one written 18 months ago, which looked at the attitudes among suppliers and retailers towards Category Management (CM) in the UK. A lot has happened since then and the aim of this latest paper is to consider these changes and to look at the research that has been applied by Research International to help a wide variety of clients around the world in their CM efforts.

Attitudes to Category Management

CM continues to focus the merchandising, marketing and buying functions of suppliers and retailers on what the consumers actually want. To that degree the consumer was always the client. The emphasis however has shifted since the focus on the consumer actually requires a dual approach and, ideally, offers them two benefits:

  • Providing the products consumers want or need, in areas of the store where they can find them, displayed in ways that facilitate quick choice;
  • Developing the products consumers do not know they want or need, in areas of the store where they will come across them, displayed in ways that encourage purchasing.