The use of retail audit research in developing and maintaining effective retail distribution

Author: Tony Antoniou

Abstract:

The paper gives an overview of the relationships between two key pieces of retail audit information, sales share and distribution. It shows how, if used correctly, retail audit data can give management a means of focussing their resources to increase share by optimising distribution of their brands. In order to establish the correct framework, a brief description is firstly given of the relative values attached to sales share and distribution figures. A more thorough explanation is then given on the terminology used and the subtle differences between key variables under the heading of distribution. A pre-requisite for the use of the retail audit data, is confidence in the data itself. The paper therefore, highlights the main areas of concern frequently voiced by retail audit data users and how they can be best addressed. Some hints are given and examples are then shown of how optimising distribution can be anticipated to effect share increase and how the net percentage increase can be estimated in advance. Although the learnings for this paper have been derived from our experience across all the retail audit panels run by AMER, in the Middle East, Europe and the Far East, the examples used and thus the overall emphasis pertain specifically to the retail audits run in the Middle East and to a lesser extend North Africa.

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