Retail

The retail industry

The retail sector is huge – within the U.S., it includes 1 million stores and accounted for $4 trillion in revenue in 2013.  Within retail are many categories, covering everything from internet catalog sales, to groceries, to convenience stores, to vending machines, to clothing -vehicle dealers are responsible for 20% of total sales, food and beverage stores for 14% and drug and cosmetic stores for 10%.  The retail sector is the largest employer in the United States, consisting of over 15 million jobs.

Point of interest: Private labels

Private label brands have boomed during the recession and have closed the gap on major label brands by competing on price and shelf space. This is in large part due to price but consumer confidence in the quality of private label products has increased.

Private label products have existed throughout the history of retailing. During the late 1980s, private label growth was phenomenal, with grocery unit shares reaching over 15%. By that time, private labels products were following the rule “doing it on the cheap.” They were simply copycats of national brand products.

Private label quality has improved dramatically since the days of generic products. Several recent consumer reports studies have claimed that the quality gap between national brands and private label products has been reduced or eliminated. 67% consumers believe private labels offers good value for money, and 62% say buying private label makes them feel like a smart shopper.

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trillion
Industry revenue in the U.S.
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million
jobs in retail
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%
consumers considering themselves as ``smart-shoppers`` when purchasing private labels

Challenges in retail product management

The retail industry is faced with the challenges of maintaining market share and profits while attempting new concepts and store formats in an effort to differentiate themselves from other types of retailers. To better compete in a high pressured environment, retailers are increasingly tailoring their product offerings to meet changing consumer interests through constant innovation. As margins are slim, an effective retail product management is essential to compete and grow in the sector.

For many retailers, cash flow is uneven because of seasonal demand and promotions. Due to increased demand during the winter holidays, many retailers, including toy, jewelry, and consumer electronics stores, generate a disproportionate share of revenue during the fourth quarter. Back-to-school and spring and fall fashion introductions drive sales peaks for apparel retailers. Even general merchandise stores must improve retail products management to prepare for key selling periods.

Key factors for success in the retail industry

Key factors for success in the retail industry include:

  • Benefiting from an effective retail product management to optimize data and documentation workflows all along their lifecycle. A single structured platform with updated information is a competitive advantage on the market.
  • Accessing information from everywhere and from every device
  • Tracking responsibilities, changes and impacts – in case of claims, quality control, audit or continuous improvement
  • Improving collaboration – internal between subsidiaries and departments and external with partners, suppliers and official bodies
  • Analyzing the activity through reports and charts to avoid bottlenecks, prioritize tasks / projects and measure progress.
retail key factors for success in retail product management
retail product management benefits

Lascom solution for retail product management

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