Progressive Grocer

2017 Category Management Handbook

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4 | Progressive Grocer | 2017 Category Management Handbook | December 2016 Shoppers in Need Are Friends Indeed BY JIM DUDLICEK W hen the pioneering standards of the science of cat- egory management were introduced to retailers a quarter-century ago, traditional supermar- kets were still the only game in town for groceries. Supercenters were starting to emerge, but they largely offered general merchan- dise and apparel. Drug stores offered a few staples so folks could grab a gallon of milk when they picked up their prescrip- tions. Cigarettes, lottery and roller dogs were still convenience stores' stock in trade. e internet was just barely start- ing to penetrate households. Fast-forward to today: Supermarkets still hold an edge, but just barely. e grocery market is a study in fragmenta- tion. Superstores have more, and for less. Drug and c-stores are growing fresh food programs. E-tailers can deliver anything you want to your front door. With their very survival at stake, traditional grocers must prove their value and their relevance to new genera- tions of shoppers conditioned for near-instant customized experiences. "Shoppers have changed. ey're more diverse, even more time-starved, and more concerned with health and wellness," the Category Management Association's (CMA) Gordon Wade writes. "Equally important, today's shop- per has more information about product choices than ever before. Some retailers with loyalty cards know more about their shoppers, but shoppers know more about all retailers and all product choices than ever before." Enter CatMan 2.0. CMA tapped the talents of leaders from across the retail industry to build upon the original cat- egory management standards, demonstrating how leveraging technology to gather real-time consumer insights can allow retailers to serve shoppers at a whole new level. Perhaps the most significant change is that while CatMan 1.0 focused primarily on the "what" of selling, CatMan 2.0 deeply explores the "why," which will permit grocers to develop solutions and offer experiences far superior to cold, impersonal crates shipped from distant warehouses. "Winning in this new environ- ment will require mastery of new and emerging analytical weaponry," Wade continues in this handbook. "roughout it all, the category will remain the primary organizational framework at retail for numerous reasons, not the least of which is that categories represent needs, and needs are what drive shoppers to purchase." In addition to offering a guide to CatMan 2.0, this edition of PG's Cat- egory Management Handbook explores key need states that grocery retailers should strive to address. We identified four that we deem to be of particular im- portance: basic meal solutions, health and wellness, lunch solutions, and turnkey entertaining. Retailers, let this handbook serve as a valuable resource for your merchandising plans. Let it inspire you to collabo- rate more deeply with your trading partners on common goals. Let it teach you how to deliver more value to your shoppers and reinforce to them how truly important the traditional supermarket is to their lives. PG Jim Dudlicek Editor-in-Chief [email protected] Twitter @jimdudlicek Let this handbook teach you how to deliver more value to your shoppers and reinforce to them how truly important the traditional supermarket is to their lives. Editor's Note

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