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: The right payment options for online stores
11.02.2019   #online trading #security

The right payment options for online stores

How you can combat shopping cart abandonment with the right methods

One of the main reasons why shoppers will abandon a purchase is when popular online payment methods are not an option. That’s why online retailers must know what these payment options are. We give you an overview of the pros and cons for ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Robots in retail: producer and salesperson all-in-one at the fully...
15.03.2019   #artificial intelligence #personalization

Robots in retail: producer and salesperson all-in-one at the fully automated kiosk

Interview with Matthias Krinke, Managing Director of pi4_robotics GmbH

At Berlin’s shopping mall Bikini Berlin, we meet the robot “Gisela”. The robot’s designer Matthias Krinke sat down with us and explained what she can do and revealed what the retail industry can expect from her and her ...

Thumbnail-Photo: LANCOM Systems expands its solution portfolio with a range of powerful...
19.03.2019   #security #software developement

LANCOM Systems expands its solution portfolio with a range of powerful firewalls

Machine learning protects against viruses and malware

German network infrastructure supplier LANCOM is expanding its range of solutions with a full lineup of firewalls for small and medium-sized enterprises. The LANCOM R&S®Unified Firewalls are powerful solutions for effective cybersecurity: ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Using digital data to drive brick-and-mortar retail success...
31.01.2019   #brick and mortar retail #data analysis

Using digital data to drive brick-and-mortar retail success

Advanced Outlet Analytics

When it comes to using and analyzing relevant data, brick-and-mortar retail lags behind its online competition. While e-commerce retailers use detailed data from web analytics, CRM, and Google searches to analyze user behavior and generate ...

Thumbnail-Photo: First-hand packaging technology
01.02.2019   #event #packaging

First-hand packaging technology

LogiMAT 2019 in Stuttgart

In response to new regulations, packaging industry exhibitors at the 17th LogiMAT are showcasing new developments and innovations in machine technology, methods for reducing the use of traditional materials, and brand-new materials.As people become ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Self-service sells
08.02.2019   #touch screens #kiosk terminals

Self-service sells

Kiosks represent an important part of retail’s future

Self-service is growing exponentially in all areas of retail, hotels, restaurants, healthcare and banking environments. Customers increasingly expect self-service technology options and traditional brick-and-mortar stores are no exception. Retailers ...

Thumbnail-Photo: EuroCIS 2019: from the trade fair to the points of sale...
27.11.2018   #digitization #POS Solutions

EuroCIS 2019: from the trade fair to the points of sale

Analogue and digital elements merge in physical retail

Many digital tools presented at EuroCIS over the past few years, have become indispensable to retail today. Which in-store media asserted themselves and what is so special about them? And, beyond this, which tools and technologies have great ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Toshiba spotlights new innovations for empowering retail...
21.01.2019   #mobile payment #payment systems

Toshiba spotlights new innovations for empowering retail

Showcasing its latest solutions, services and innovative concepts at hall 9 booth B42

Visitors to EuroCIS 2019 will learn at Toshiba's booth how every retailer can design his checkout to suit his and the customers' needs. Under the motto "Empowering the Art of Retail", Toshiba will present its end-to-end IT ...

Thumbnail-Photo: “Carbon” – The future of payment transactions by InterCard...
18.03.2019   #payment systems #Trade fair special EuroCIS 2019

“Carbon” – The future of payment transactions by InterCard

Customer-oriented processes beyond standard market solutions

Thumbnail-Photo: APG Cash Drawer announces hire of connectivity product manager...
08.03.2019   #cashpoints, cash register, cash desk #POS Solutions

APG Cash Drawer announces hire of connectivity product manager

They make addition to product management team to expand its product portfolio

APG Cash Drawer, a fast-growing global manufacturer of cash management solutions, announced today the addition of Ron Stephenson to the position of Connectivity Product Manager. In his role, Ron will spearhead the company’s mobility, interface ...


Casio Europe GmbH
Casio Europe GmbH
CASIO-Platz 1
22848 Norderstedt
ROQQIO Commerce Solutions GmbH
ROQQIO Commerce Solutions GmbH
Harburger Schloßstraße 28
21079 Hamburg
Axis Communications GmbH
Axis Communications GmbH
Adalperostraße 86
85737 Ismaning
Permaplay Media Solutions GmbH
Permaplay Media Solutions GmbH
Aschmattstr. 8
76532 Baden-Baden
AURES Technologies GmbH
AURES Technologies GmbH
Maisacherstr. 118
82256 Fürstenfeldbruck
MobiMedia AG
MobiMedia AG
Rottpark 24
84347 Pfarrkirchen
CCV Deutschland GmbH
CCV Deutschland GmbH
Gewerbering 1
84072 Au i.d.Hallertau
SES-imagotag Deutschland GmbH
SES-imagotag Deutschland GmbH
Bundesstraße 16
77955 Ettenheim
LANCOM Systems GmbH
LANCOM Systems GmbH
Adenauerstraße 20 / B2
52146 Würselen
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen