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Markets / Channels / Retailer definitions
IRI and Nielsen structure geographies in a similar manner. Selecting geographies in the database answers the "Where" question of the request. Just like everything else in the database, it has a hierarchy too and at times we must drill down mostly at the chain level as store level data requires permission from the retailer itself and require additional funds to access.
The chart below is an example of a channel structure in a POS database with Total US MULO or xAOC as the highest level down to the retailer level.
Total US MULO or xAOC includes channels you see in the chart. But there are many more channels not reported in a POS database. If using Panel / Homescan, then most of the alternate channels listed above, e.g. Office Supply, Toy, or Sporting Goods would be included. There are sample retailers under each channel for your reference as well as samples under Other channels above.
Sometimes drilling down into the retailer is not low enough. Retailers such as Kroger operate several banner chains under their name with each one acting as a separate chain/division. In the example we have Kroger Corporate, but there are entities rolling up to Kroger Corporate. Kroger has a chain of stores solely called Kroger, then there are also chains under different names like Fry's or King Soopers that are independent but fall under Kroger Corporate. So understanding how the retailer hierarchy is structured is key to picking the correct retailer division of banner, otherwise there could be tendency of double dipping into the sales numbers accidentally.
Retailer Marketing Areas
Now to break it down another step, we need to understand the defined marketing areas and how it is defined by IRI and Nielsen. These retailer defined areas, as we call it, are purely defined by the retailer which can be census of sample based. They are typically constructed at the county level. Neither IRI or Nielsen ever defines these areas. They can be changed or dictated every year at the discretion of the retailer. See definitions and example charts below.
RMA / TA = Retailer Marketing Area. Ralphs RMA/TA includes only Ralphs stores within their Ralphs designated territory.
CRMA / COMP = Competitive Retailer Marketing Area. Ralphs CRMA/COMP includes Ralphs stores, Albertsons stores, Vons stores, Stater Bros stores, & independents.
ROM / REM = Rest of Market or Remaining Market. Ralphs ROM / REM is Ralphs CRMA/COMP without Ralphs RMA sales.