Category management: A retail atmospheric disciplinary approach to bring footfalls
Murali Krishna, Dr. Guru Basava Aradhya, Dr. Subhashree Kar
A process of managing all SKUs (stock keeping units) within a product category that involves the simultaneous management of price, shelf space, merchandising strategy, promotional efforts, and other elements of the retail mix within the category based on the firms goals, the changing environment, and consumer behaviour. Category management is the concept that was introduced at the beginning of the early 1990’s together with efficient consumer response in the retailing industry to stop the decrease of customers and profitability. Category management is regarded as the ‘new science of retailing’ due to the following reasons: It involves a systematic process in various retail situations.It focuses on decision making based on complex analysis of three types of data.Consumer dataScanner dataMarket level syndicated data.It replaces brand bias that stems from a suppliers interest in maximising market share with an objective linked to consumer desires. The evolution of this concept is very much linked to the developments which are taken place in the field of supply chain management and technology. Wherein technology plays a very pivotal role in providing information about the market. The idea behind the concept is to tailor the needs of customers through different product offerings. This concept is totally based on two aspects which are as customer satisfaction and maximising returns for the organization. The focus of all supplier negotiations is the effect on turnover of the category as whole, not just the sales of individual products. Suppliers are expected, indeed in many cases mandated, to only suggest new product introductions, a new promotional activity if it is expected to have a beneficial effect on the turnover or profit of the total category and be beneficial to the shoppers of that category. The concept originated in grocery (mass merchandising) retailing, and has since expanded to other retail sectors such as DIY, cash and carry, pharmacy, and book retailing. The scope of this study is limited to the use of category management in retail industry, because here, besides retail and manufacturing industry, category management is most common. It is more complex when it comes to retailers view towards category management, when the products are categorised in super markets or any retail outlets. Category management helps in identifying the possibilities of innovations and techniques and availabilities of stock. Merchandising the stock at the time of categorizing is a disciplinary process as it saves time and is effective in nature.