To range rationalise or not range rationalise? That is the question!

Range rationalisation appears to be a hot topic for many of our clients at the moment, with lots of requests coming in for our Range Analysis Technique. This seems to be particularly for overcrowded categories where there are huge numbers of duplicates which cause lots of confusion for shoppers.

With this in mind, I was, therefore, not surprised to hear one of the speakers at the FDIN Private Label vs The Brand seminar I attended recently suggest that manufacturers and retailers should not be innovating for innovation’s sake, as shoppers need less choice, not more.

I was, however, surprised to hear a subsequent speaker show data that supported the argument that that more choice is, in fact, good, and that we actually buy more when a greater choice is available.

So what is the answer? Should clients be rationalising their range, or not?

There is evidence to suggest that in some categories (e.g. frozen) shoppers are so overwhelmed by the sheer number of SKUs available, that they avoid shopping them completely. Furthermore, the increase in use of Convenience Stores (where range is limited) would suggest that shoppers are happy to accept less choice if the store offers other benefits, e.g. convenient for a top-up shop, proximity to home/work.

I think the answer is that it is OK to offer a sizeable range, as long as shoppers are able to understand the differences between the SKUs on offer and can easily navigate the fixture to find their chosen SKU, as ultimately, shoppers want the shopping process to be as quick as possible. Having great packaging (which clearly identifies the different variants) and establishing the optimal fixture layout therefore becomes even more essential for brands that sit in these overcrowded categories.

What do you think? Is it good to have so much choice, or is less, in fact, more? Get in touch to let us know your thoughts, or for more information on our Range Analysis Technique, Fixture Optimisation Research or Pack Research.

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Deborah Hall
01962 842211
Article date - 16/05/2014
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