New Retail Study Defines 7 Tenets of 21st Century Merchandising

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RSR Research, an analyst firm providing market intelligence on retail technology trends, announces the results of its latest research report, "Defining Twenty-First Century Merchandising: Benchmark 2010." The research finds that retailers are turning to optimization tools to better anticipate and respond to customer demand, but lack an understanding of what those tools can do.

The tenets we identified through the research are going to be critical for navigating the changes that are already impacting merchandising today.

RSR Research's latest report, "Defining Twenty-First Century Merchandising: Benchmark 2010" defines seven tenets of modern merchandise planning processes. These findings are based on a survey of 98 retailers in the summer of 2010. The report can be downloaded at http://www.retailsystemsresearch.com/_document/summary/1173. The report was sponsored by SAP, SAS, and Groupsoft.

"The retail thought process has genuinely and irrevocably changed," said Paula Rosenblum, Managing Partner at RSR Research and co-author of the report. "Retailers are injecting science into a process that used to be heavily driven by art. It requires entirely new ways of thinking about merchandise planning, and the tenets we identified through the research are going to be critical for navigating the changes that are already impacting merchandising today."

"The thing retailers really need to be careful about is change management," adds Nikki Baird, also a Managing Partner at RSR Research and co-author of the report. "Our survey found that retailers may understand the value of these science-based tools, but they don't really understand what they do or how they do it. That could lead to a backlash later on."

RSR's research identified seven tenets of 21st century merchandising:
#1: Optimization in Merchandising Spans Products, Prices, and Processes
#2: Ensure that Merchants Have a Solid Understanding of Their Tools
#3: Do Not Tinker with Local Assortments Without Broad Due Diligence
#4: Marketing Must Be an Integral Part of Merchandise Planning & Execution
#5: Retailers Will Cross-Pollinate Best Practices Across Segments
#6: This Shift in Merchandising Capabilities is Strategic, Not Tactical
#7: Merchants Are No Longer the Intersection Point Between Customer Insights & Product Plans

"Defining Twenty-First Century Merchandising: Benchmark 2010" contains analysis of the business drivers, opportunities, and organizational constraints surrounding merchandise planning and execution, as well as recommendations for creating successful merchandising capabilities. The report is part of RSR Research's ongoing efforts to provide market intelligence on retail technology trends, and can be downloaded here:

http://www.retailsystemsresearch.com/_document/summary/1173

About RSR Research:
Retail Systems Research (“RSR”) is the only research company run by retailers for the retail industry. RSR provides insight into business and technology challenges facing the extended retail industry, and thought leadership and advice on navigating these challenges for specific companies and the industry at large. RSR’s services include benchmark reports covering the state of retailer technology adoption for topics ranging from merchandising and supply chain, store operations and workforce management, to customer-facing and multi-channel technologies. Custom research reports provide more in-depth views into topics of industry interest, and advisory services help retailers and technology vendors make the most of the insights RSR provides. To learn more about RSR, visit http://www.rsrresearch.com.

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Nikki Baird
RSR Research
303-683-6613
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Paula Rosenblum
RSR Research
305-757-1357
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