New Study Finds Localizing Assortments and Price Critical to Retailers

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RSR's most recent benchmark report: "Customer-Centric Merchandising: Driving Differentiation through Localization Benchmark Report 2008" reveals retailers who systematically work to localize both assortments and prices gain sales and gross margin improvements. In fact, Retail Winners believe price optimization is even more important than localizing assortments.

Customer Centric Merchandising: Driving Differentiation through Localization

Today's retailer is faced with a conundrum. Shareholders expect better return on invested capital and more frequent merchandise turns, but customers expect to have the merchandise they want and see advertised actually in stock and available for sale when they are ready to buy. The solution seems obvious - offer localized assortments in stores or personalized views in other selling channels.

But on what basis are retailers creating these local assortments? And are local assortments truly "edited and unique," or are they similar in breadth, but varying in depth? Further, what technologies are Winning Retailers using to get the right products - at the right price - in stores?

The study, "Customer Centric Merchandising: Driving Differentiation through Localization," sponsored by DemandTec, Precima, Revionics, SAP and Teradata, finds integrated planning, space, allocation and replenishment applications are highly prized, but generally have surprisingly light penetration among retailers. Buying intentions focus around store and merchandising execution management, pricing and other optimization engines, and "bread and butter" applications to support planning, allocation and replenishment, and merchandise management "

We went in with the assumption that localizing merchandise assortments is a key to 21st century retailing success," said Paula Rosenblum, Managing Partner at RSR and co-author of the report. "And while our survey respondents certainly validated that assumption, we were surprised to discover that finding the right price for customers is as important as finding the right product mix."

RSR's new study, Customer Centric Merchandising: Driving Differentiation through Localization identifies the internal obstacles retailers face in creating more localized product mixes (and prices), and the methods Retail Winners use to overcome those obstacles. It also provides recommendations for becoming a Winner in customer-centric merchandising.
To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, click here or


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Paula Rosenblum

Steve Rowen
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