The Who, What, Why, & How of Category Management
Category management for convenience stores is a multifaceted concept that involves many moving parts. Let’s break it down:
Category managers at a corporate level are responsible for determining what products your store will carry and how those products will be merchandised. They work closely with other members of the organization and vendors to find products that meet consumer demand and contribute to store profitability. You and your staff see the end result of category managers’ decisions when you receive new planograms for your store.
Category management is a systematic, disciplined approach to managing a product category as a strategic business unit. It’s not a single task, but a series of strategies and tactics carried out at multiple levels.
When category plans are implemented successfully by you and your team, it promotes positive shopping experiences and increases customer loyalty. As a store manager, you will benefit from a more efficient inventory when you order, stock, and merchandise products based on your planograms.
Category managers analyze store sales, product trends, and consumer demand to determine the quantities and location of all the products in your store. They identify new items that will replace discontinued items and they determine how products should be merchandised. This includes specifying the number of shelves and facings for each product. When the category management team completes their plans, those plans are turned over to you and your team to put into to action.
Category management for convenience stores is an ongoing process. Category managers monitor product sales to understand what customers are choosing to purchase and what items may be under-performing. Effective category management is a continuous process of refining the product mix and keeping on top of new item introductions. Your role as a store manager is a critical piece of the category management puzzle. In fact, without the work of you and team, it all falls apart!
Category Management Training for Convenience Store Managers
Ready Training Online’s Category Management Essentials online training course stresses the importance of having the proper procedures in place to implement category management strategies. This module teaches store managers at all levels the fundamental principles of category management and covers methods of implementation that are both easy and effective for any size organization. Click here to learn more.
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