News • 07.08.2018

A powerful weapon in battle against industry disruption

Category management: Opportunities for retailers to thrive in the face of new competition

Competition; Copyright:

Rather than concede general merchandise sales to new and disruptive competition, brick-and-mortar retailers are seeking creative ways to maintain their share of this critical and high-margin category.

This is one of the conclusions contained in the General Merchandise Benchmarking Report, an annual industry report recently released by leading retail industry trade association Global Market Development Center (GMDC) and A.T. Kearney. The study surveyed 100 general merchandise retailers and identified five key strategies that food, drug, and mass retailers can leverage to both stem the loss of short-term sales and set themselves up for longer-term success.

Recently released at GMDC’s 2018 General Merchandise Conference, the report describes the GM category as a potentially overlooked weapon in the arsenal of traditional retailers fighting for survival on multiple fronts. The research indicates that although GM sales in the traditional Food/Drug/Mass (FDM) channel dropped by 3.5 percent last year – largely because of a decline in units sold (not counting online retailers) – opportunities still exist for traditional retailers to leverage GM. 

The study found that not all general merchandise categories are created equal, suggesting retailers stop thinking about GM as a monolithic category and instead focus on the potential of specific general merchandise categories and subcategories on an individual basis viewed through the filter of broader trends impacting consumers and retailing.

“Retailers who are on-trend, online, localized, promote, and personalize will succeed in GM,” affirms Charisse Jacques, principal, A.T. Kearney.

The research revealed pockets of growth that relate to several trends currently impacting GM.

Five characteristics of succesful retailers

Being on-trend: Successful retailers of GM are tapping into current consumer tastes. The kitchen category, for example, is heavily impacted by urbanization and the new “foodie” lifestyle, resulting in growing sales of storage and baking products, just as the household category is being impacted by growing consumer awareness of sustainability, resulting in the growth of LED lights.

Offering a broad and deep online GM assortment: Retailers with positive GM sales growth are three times as likely to have an endless aisle assortment, GMDC discovered. 

Localizing merchandise: The research indicates that a store’s community role should shape its category choices, whether it’s a rural general store with a broad GM assortment or an urban convenience store focused on immediate consumer needs featuring select GM items. However, nearly a quarter of retailers report still making GM decisions as a single, chain-wide assortment – a less effective approach than tailoring assortments to the store level. 

Maintaining traditional while conducting more digital promotions: Retailers decreasing their use of traditional promotions such as temporary price reductions (TPRs) in GM are three times more likely to have negative year-over-year GM sales, whereas retailers that increase their use of digital offers are four times more likely to enjoy positive GM sales growth. All but about 10 percent of retailers surveyed are increasing their investment in personalized offers across all of non-food. 

Knocking down departmental silos: This final key to success in retail GM sales engages the consumer with cohesive, solution-oriented stories that feature GM alongside other core products – a growing strategy among 52 percent of retail leaders surveyed. Integrating GM into the store creates an experience for the consumer, rather than separating GM into its own aisle in the store.

While at the highest level it may appear that GM isn’t doing well in the FDM channel – due in large part to ever-increasing competition from digital merchants – research has found that pockets of growth exist and retailers can adopt some of these lessons learned to fuel sales across their GM business.

“Interestingly, several of the products selected as the Top 10 at our General Merchandise Conference in June advanced in part because they align with trends noted in this report, or because they could help retailers tap into these trends,” said Patrick Spear, president and CEO of GMDC. “For example, seven of the Top 10 products represent kitchenware or gadgets, aligning with the “foodie lifestyle” as one of retail’s current and predominant trends.”

Source: GMDC

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Kaufland relies on state-of-the-art technology...
07.11.2018   #pos systems #retail

Kaufland relies on state-of-the-art technology

With an innovative POS system by AURES Technologies

Kaufland offers a completely new shopping experience with ist new store concept. The markets convince with their new, noble and highquality appearance. Modern colors combined with light wood and a new lighting concept create a pleasant atmosphere. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: App-based self-checkout
23.08.2018   #mobile payment #self-checkout systems

App-based self-checkout

Edeka offers mobile self-scanning with snabble

Snabble introduces its technology to the stores of Edeka Rhein-Ruhr. Customers will be able to scan items with their smartphone while shopping and pay at payment-terminals at the exit. First store launched will be Edeka Paschmann in ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Mobile payment service
20.08.2018   #mobile payment #customer satisfaction

Mobile payment service

Mall of America® welcomes chinese consumers

CITCON, the leading cross-border mobile payment and marketing company announced today its partnership with Mall of America®, the nation's largest entertainment and retail complex. The CITCON cross-border mobile payment solution will be ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Waiting in checkout lines
15.08.2018   #customer satisfaction #digitization

Waiting in checkout lines

A turnoff to European shoppers

For many European shoppers, waiting at checkout lines any longer than five minutes is too long, according to retail study by Adyen. Shoppers are looking for an experience that satisfies three fundamental demands: convenience, context and ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Superdata PromoServer – Customer loyalty as a factor of success...
26.10.2018   #multichannel commerce #customer relationship management

Superdata PromoServer – Customer loyalty as a factor of success

All instruments for customer loyalty and sales in a single solution

Customer loyalty programs play a central role in the retail industry in order to secure the customer’s favor with increasing competition. With the expansion of the sales and communications channels, the challenge of customer loyalty has ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Top-Toy strengthens stores with digital initiatives...
02.10.2018   #brick and mortar retail #digitization

Top-Toy strengthens stores with digital initiatives

Digital initiatives to boost the stores and ensure competitiveness

A highly competitive market with frequent campaigns such as Halloween, Black Friday, and Christmas puts great demands on retailers. This is also the case with Top-Toy, the leading Nordic toy group, which operates the Toys "r" ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Make room for innovation: Cloud services for agile businesses...
05.10.2018   #data warehouse management #software as a service (SaaS)

Make room for innovation: Cloud services for agile businesses

Implement your retail pilot projects faster than ever. Interview with SAP retail experts.

Leaner, faster, more useful: Cloud solutions help analyze customer information and make meaningful use of it. Ralf Kern and Achim Schneider of the Industry Business Unit Retail at SAP reveal which retailers no longer want to do without the cloud and ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Toshiba is the leader in EPOS technology
18.10.2018   #cashpoints, cash register, cash desk #self service terminals

Toshiba is the leader in EPOS technology

Nearly 50 percent growth in self checkout market share

Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions (TGCS), the global market share leader in installed retail point of sale (EPOS) technology, has rapidly-grown its worldwide self-checkout (SCO) market share by 46 percent, according to research and consulting ...

Thumbnail-Photo: No-checkout store of the future: Successful retail projects...
06.08.2018   #cashpoints, cash register, cash desk #payment systems

No-checkout store of the future: Successful retail projects

Fine-tuning of the major rollouts has also started in Germany

Robots as sales consultants, REWE’s self-checkout at the neighborhood store or digital price tags. Slowly but surely, customers get used to and increasingly accept these innovative supermarket concepts. But are customers ready to take the next ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Marketing automation: The USP of the online world...
25.09.2018   #online trading #customer satisfaction

Marketing automation: The USP of the online world

How to successfully develop a personalized sales approach almost automatically

Every day, marketers grapple with a mixture of database, web analytics, communication, workflows, and CRM synchronization. Processes today can be summarized, analyzed and optimized with the help of marketing automation - for a personalized sales ...


Verifone (UK) Limited
7 Cowley Business Park, High Street
UB8 2AD Cowley, Uxbridge
Superdata EDV-Vertrieb GmbH
Superdata EDV-Vertrieb GmbH
Ruhrstr. 90
22761 Hamburg
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen
APG Cash Drawer
APG Cash Drawer
4 The Drove
BN9 0LA Newhaven
CCV Deutschland GmbH
CCV Deutschland GmbH
Gewerbering 1
84072 Au i.d.Hallertau
AURES Technologies GmbH
AURES Technologies GmbH
Maisacherstr. 118
82256 Fürstenfeldbruck