POS Data, Center Store Revitalization Are Tools for Industry Growth: GMA

WASHINGTON -- Manufacturers and retailers need to take a holistic approach to better reach consumers, and should revisit the importance of center store to grow their business, according to two new reports issued yesterday by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA).

GMA's "Winning with Customers to Drive Real Results: The 2005 Customer and Channel Management Survey" concludes that companies need to better utilize the point-of-sale data available to them to gain insight into changing consumer demand. The survey tracks the CPG industry's performance in six areas: pricing, trade promotion, in-store execution, organization/go-to-market, key account and channel management, and supply chain.

"Rather than narrowly focusing on any single element of customer and channel management, manufacturers and retailers should take a holistic approach that begins with consumer demand to deliver the right product at the right price," said GMA v.p. of membership and industry development Stephen Sibert in a statement. "To accomplish this goal, companies can and should take advantage of the vast amount of information available to them."

GMA also released "Enabling Growth Through Center Store Revitalization," which examines the vital role of center store sales for the industry. According to the study, center store contributes significantly to retailers' bottom lines, with profit margins of 6.8 percent compared to 2.6 percent for overall grocery store margins. However, with many retailers focusing on perimeter sales as a means of differentiation, the report urges manufacturers and retailers to develop strategies focusing on the center store as a foundation for improved sales.

"In the CPG industry, it is critical that we focus on meeting the needs of the consumer. What both of these studies highlight is that a consumer-oriented partnership between manufacturers and retailers can maximize sales and lead to success for both," Sibert concluded.

McKinsey & Company and ACNielsen partnered with GMA to conduct the seventh edition of the CCM survey, "Winning with Customers to Drive Real Results." GMA developed "Enabling Growth Through Center Store Revitalization" in conjunction with Accenture, ACNielsen and McMillan Doolittle.
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