Implications For Marketers From Walmart Sku Reductions

By Vincent Young

For more background on Walmart sku reductions and the insight from a valuable community of retail contributors, read the Retail Wire article “Brands Hit By Wal-Mart’s SKU Reductions”. Here is Retail Leverage’s take:

It is extremely rare to find a national brand that actually has leverage at retail. The vast majority are in fact challenger brands and marketers of challenger brands often times fail to realize that FINANCIAL GROWTH POTENTIAL is the great equalizer between the all-powerful retailer and lesser yoked vendors.

In order to effectively compete, challenger brands must learn to package innovative product offerings together with marketing programs designed to represent at least one of the following four forms of retailer financial growth:


  1. Increase overall category demand – Retailers are measured based on year-over-year growth, excluding new store openings. A challenger brand with a plan to increase consumer demand for a good will always have greater leverage than one who simply offers a more robust feature set than the market leader.
  2. Increase the attach-rate of high-value complimentary items – Developing a product line and promotional strategy that has the ability to uniquely grow the market basket is sure to maximize the support that challenger brands receive from retailers.
  3. Motivate a “trade-up” within the category – What is it about your brand or product line that is sure to entice consumers to give the retailer more of their money? If your answer is “very little,” then remember that retailer margin dollars also serve as trade-up motivation to the retailer when making category assortment decisions!
  4. Help a given retailer win the war against another retailer – Successful challenger brands understand the importance of winning with key retailers. Anchoring a new product launch with a sub-set of exclusive products and/or industry-leading, retailer-specific promotions can generate an over-indexing share of category for the challenger brand.

The most difficult thing for brands like Glad and Hefty is viewing themselves as challenger brands when their histories have been more reflective of the rare “power” brand.


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4 Responses so far.

  1. Thanks for the link, great blog, please let me know if there is anything that I can do for you.

  2. […] category sales, increase basket size or trips, or increase commitment to this Retailer’s site. Retail Leverage has some insightful thinking on […]

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  4. […] for the dog eat dog world of Branding. Ben hits the nail on the head with the following quote; “the brands that win will be the ones who can offer the retailer financial growth, not a mere […]

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