Category management (CM) presents challenges to suppliers and retailers which are further exaggerated by efficient consumer response (ECR). The benefits of category management for supplier organisations are maximised when a purchase marketing strategy is in place for the category. Purchase marketing is essentially using the store as a marketing medium via tools such as position on shelf pricing communications and in-store promotions. The relationship between suppliers and retailers is changing steadily on a global scale: the shift towards a mutually beneficial approach to the supply and presentation of products is gaining momentum. This paper documents the various approaches to category management research and illustrates the applications via case material from both a retailer and a manufacturer perspective. The paper looks at how manufacturers are testing hypotheses generated by these studies using new virtual reality systems.