A categorical imperative

Forward-looking concepts

A categorical imperative

The success of category management has continued unabated since the 1990s. While the concept was commonplace only in grocery retailing in the beginning, it has since expanded to include chemists, DIY stores and booksellers. The field has become more professional over the years, and its processes have been refined in keeping with increased requirements in areas such as data analysis. Experts also see the increasing regionalisation of sales structures as one of the future challenges for category management. One example of this is Wal-Mart’s “Store of the Community” programme, which the US retailer launched in 2006. These community stores have tailored their product mix to fit the needs of their local communities, resulting in different ranges from region to region and from city to city. The METRO GROUP sales brands – METRO Cash & Carry, Real, Media Markt, Saturn and Galeria Kaufhof – are also shaping their product ranges around local tastes. As a result, working together with other fields within the company, such as logistics and purchasing, will continue to become more important. So while increased differentiation between data materials and analytical methods will gain further significance, the aim of category management looks set to remain the same in the future. Expert Dirk Reichelt concludes: “We will continue to optimise product ranges in the interest of customers in order to increase our sales.”

Source: METRO GROUP

More details: The Future of Category Management – by Dr Brian F. Harris