Thursday 9 October 2014

‘One to show & one to go’ - minimalist stock control in retail

Mark Taylor built on Mike Anthony's link to the high cost of parked inventory by illustrating how retailers can re-allocate the cost of financing display-stock.

If we accept that the purpose of a facing-pack is to advertise the pack behind it, then it becomes logical to a retailer that the cost of the facing display-pack should be carried by the supplier. Moreover, since a consumer in general buys one pack at a time, it also follows that any back-of-facing stock, other than one-for-purchase, should also be carried by the supplier…

In other words, the only stock that should be financed by the retailer is one sales-pack per facing…!
It follows that all other stock, including pipeline from store-receipt to back-of-facing (minus one sales-pack) is the financing responsibility of the supplier.

This obviously challenges the fundamental purpose of Bricks & Mortar shops – are they really the ultimate ‘showrooms’ where consumers are reminded of the existence of the brand/pack, and then outsource the actual purchase and fulfilment to Amazon…? This leaves a sales pack available on shelf for those shoppers who insist on completing the purchase in the store.

In these fast-moving-consumer-goods times, it seems to me that strong retailers are in a position to insist upon the fair-share re-allocation of stocking-costs outlined above.

Time for suppliers to evolve a convincing counter-argument, or take another hit to their customer P&Ls?

Hat-tip to Mike and Mark

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