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Term/Acronym                       Definition
Assortment / Range                       A selection of products that are chosen based on a number of attributes (including               

                                                       consumer need, retailer strategy) that maximises efficiency and commercial return within a 

                                                       category or store.

Base Depth                                    The physical distance (usually expressed in mm) between the back and front of the base  


Base Shelf                                     The lowest shelf of a fixture.

Base Sales / Baseline Sales          Those sales of a product that would have occurred had there been no promotional or 

                                                       marketing activity.

Blocking                                         The grouping of products together within a fixture to produce a clearer display and reduce 

                                                       consumer confusion. Products can be blocked either horizontally or vertically within a


Brand Blocking                              A group of products blocked by brand. E.g. Siting all of Campbell's Condensed Soups 


Brand Cannibalization                   Switching of sales within a brand. E.g. consumers buying 375g Kellogg's Corn Flakes

                                                      instead of 250g.

Brand Loyalty                                Defined as a measure of the expenditure on one brand as a proportion of expenditure by a 

                                                      household on all brands within a category or sub category.

Case Size                                     The number of products in an outer case.

Category                                       Products or services grouped together to reflect consumer usage or purchase occasion. For 

                                                      example ‘Canned Vegetables’.

Category Decision Tree                Purchase Decision Hierarchy The order of priority in which shoppers make their purchasing 

                                                     decisions. The hierarchy is usually described like a family tree and details the various product

                                                     attributes (such as price, flavour, size, brand etc).

Category Management                The strategic management of product groups through trade partnerships, which aims to

                                                     maximize sales and profits by satisfying consumer and shopper needs.

Category Strategy                        A long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal or set of goals or objectives.

Category Tactic                            A series of activities deployed to achieve a strategy and objectives.

Cluster                                         A group (consumers, stores, locations) that identifies "like" characteristics or attributes.

                                                    This can be targeted at cluster groups to better meet consumer needs. Stores can be   

                                                    clustered and managed depending on their catchment area.

Color Blocking                             Merchandising a group of products by the product color or packaging color.

Consumer                                    The end user of a product. The consumer is not necessarily the same as the shopper, who is 

                                                     the person who buys the product or service. The term customer is often used (by retailers)

                                                     when referring to the consumer.

Consumer Demand / Sales         The average daily sales of a product.

Core Range                                 Products that form the "must stock" range within a store or category. These products offer

                                                    what is regarded as the "minimum" choice and usually include key brands.

Coverage  / Market Coverage     A measurement of range - the percentage in either value or volume terms that a given 

                                                    retailer's range covers within a market. For example, retailer X's range accounts for 35% of

                                                    the complete market's value compared to retailer Y's range accounting for 25%.

Cross Merchandising                  The display of a product in a different category to its usual location, due to an associated

                                                    relationship (e.g. can openers within the canned food section). Cross merchandising

                                                    assumes there is an element of lateral thinking and shopper logic to the purchase.

Days on Hand / Days Stock        The average inventory (in units) divided by the average daily movement of the unit.

Depth (of range)                          Refers to the number of variants/sizes of a product within a range. A deep range may include

                                                    a large number of product sizes within the same product. Finite in-store shelf space usually

                                                    necessitates a trade off between ‘depth of range’ versus ‘width of range’.

DPC-Direct Product Cost            A method of assigning all costs of a particular product (manufacturing, distribution,

                                                    stock holding, handling, store displays etc,) directly to that product.

DPP-Direct Product Profitability  A means of defining the actual profit achieved by a retailer or distributor from an individual 

                                                    product, having taken into consideration direct product costs (see DPC).

Direct Store Delivery                   A.k.a DSD. The manufacturer delivers products directly to the retail store.

Distribution                                  This can be measured as the number of stores that a product is stocked in, or based on total

                                                     volume sales. The level of distribution can be classified in a number of ways although is

                                                     usually reported as a %ACV, or less frequently the % of stores within a specific retailer.

Eye Level                                     The predominant part of the fixture that shoppers look at when purchasing. Research has

                                                     shown that when a shopper approaches a fixture, natural vision is limited and there is a

                                                     greater emphasis aimed at eye level. Eye level can change depending on the length of the


Facing                                          The physical (linear) space that a single product occupies.

Facings Deep                               The number of units placed from front to back in a single position on a fixture.

Frequency of Purchase                How often a product or category is purchased by consumers over a given period of time.

FSI-Free standing insert               Typically a coupon booklet is inserted into the local newspaper, checkout

                                                      dispensers: On checkout the customer is given a coupon based on products purchased. It

                                                      can also be a dispenser attached to the shelf near the product to incentivize the customer

                                                      thus driving impulse buys & trial

Geodemographic Data                 Information which matches geography with consumer demographics (including lifestyle, age,

                                                     income, social class etc.). Census data is matched with postcodes to produce profiles or

                                                     classifications of consumers.

Gondola                                       The physical unit that products are displayed on.

Gondola End                                The selling space that is located at the end of an aisle. Due to the increased consumer flow 

                                                     around gondola ends, they are often used for promotional or new product display.

Horizontal Blocking                      The grouping of products horizontally along a shelf for example all the products of a certain


Horizontal Facings                       The number of horizontal facings of product on a shelf.

Horizontal Space                         The horizontal space taken up by products. It usually refers to a particular brand or category


Hot Spot                                       A position on a shelf or display that generates increased interest, or sales of a product.

Incremental Sales                        The additional sales of a product that have happened directly as a result of promotional or

                                                     marketing activity. Sales over and above Base Sales.

Inventory Value                            The monetary value of stock available.

Instant redeemable coupon         A.k.a (IRC). Typically a coupon attached to the product that is instantly redeemable at the

                                                     check out register.

Key Performance Indicators        A.k.a (KPI). Measures that are deemed essential in monitoring the category for

                                                     example volume sales, gross margin.

Linear Foot                                   The literal space of one foot of shelving. Often used to compare the space taken up by a

                                                      particular segment or brand.

Loyalty                                          Consumer's allegiance to a product, brand, store or image. Loyalty can be measured by the

                                                      proportion of the total spending made by shoppers (across all outlets) that they spend in the

                                                      outlet concerned.

Merchandising Space Planning    The planning of space at a micro level (category and product). Merchandising involves the

                                                      allocation of shelf space and physical layout of product within a specific category or gondola.

Optimum Shelf Capacity               Calculating the amount of stock to hold on the shelf (or fixture) to meet consumer demand,

                                                      whilst minimizing stock levels.

Out of Stock                                  A.k.a (OOS). In demand management the term usually refers to when a product is

                                                      unavailable at the shelf. (As opposed to supply chain terminology where it can refer to any

                                                      given point in the supply chain e.g. supplier distribution centre, retailer distribution centre,


Overhang                                      The distance that products can hang over the sides of a fixture.

Overlap                                         Where products overlap on a fixture. Some space management software systems can allow

                                                      for overlap between products when merchandising them on a planogram. Used more often

                                                      for hanging products.

Pegboard                                      A vertical board with regularly spaced holes for attaching pegs that display hanging product

                                                     on a gondola (e.g. bagged sweets).

Planogram                                    A visual representation of the fixture layout that aids communication, planning and

                                                      replenishment of products in store. It shows the position of every product within a fixture,

                                                      shelf heights, length of fixture and fixture adjacencies.

PoS / Point of Sale                       This can have two meanings. The most literal is its use as reference to the physical location

                                                     where a product or service is displayed for sale (e.g. shelf, gondola end. checkout). Secondly

                                                     PoS is used in reference to communication material (e.g. of promotional offers) that is

                                                     displayed at the point of sale.

Range Change                             The process of changing the level of distribution of a product or range. This can cover

                                                     introduction of new lines, deletion of existing lines or the increase or decrease in the number

                                                     of stores in which a product or range is stocked. In general, range changes are usually made

                                                     during a range cycle.

Range Cycle                                A period in time during which a product or range can be introduced or deleted in to a store.

Regional Ranging                        The process of deciding which geographic region(s) a product or range should be listed in.

                                                     This can be a complex process utilizing product, sales and consumer information to aid the


Rod / Bracket                               Equipment used to support hanging products from a gondola (such as bagged sweets}.

Segmentation / Sub-groups         The clustering of products within a category into discrete groups on the basis of consumer

                                                     need, product form, shopper behavior etc.

Shelf Depth                                  The physical distance between the back and front of the shelf.

Shelf Elasticity                             The measurement of the impact on a product’s sales performance by moving its position

                                                     either vertically or horizontally within a fixture.

Shelf Talker                                  A communication mechanic, usually in the form of a printed message or image on a

                                                     cardboard rectangle, that is used to highlight a number of messages to the consumer (e.g.

                                                     promotional offer, new product, product information etc.)

Shelving                                       The shelf, attached to the gondola, which is used to display product.

Shopper                                       The person who visits a store to purchase a product or service. The shopper is not

                                                     necessarily the consumer (i.e. the end user).

Shopper Mission                          A specific reason a shopper has gone to a particular store/outlet.

Space Elasticity                           The measurement of the impact on a product's sales performance by increasing or

                                                    decreasing its allocation of space within a fixture.
Space Management                    The allocation and control of in-store space. This can be at a macro level, such as department

                                                    (e.g. Non Food) or category (e.g. Health & Beauty). It can also be at a micro level relating to

                                                     products within a category.

SKU Stock Keeping Unit             A uniquely identifiable line within a product range. A particular product may have many

                                                    variations (e.g. 10% extra free), each of which would be a unique SKU.

Sub Category                              A smaller subset within a category. For example, Coffee within the Hot Drinks category.

Traffic Flow / Shopper Flow        The direction that a shopper walks around the store, often used to aid merchandising

                                                    decisions (e.g. which product should be ‘first in flow’).

Vertical Blocking                         The grouping of products in a vertical line across a number of shelves.

Vertical Facings                          The number of facings of a product stacked on top of one another.

Weight of Purchase                    A statistical measure of how much of a product is purchased by shoppers over a given period

                                                   of time.

Width (of range)                         Refers to the variety of products and brands within a range. Finite in-store shelf space usually

                                                   necessitates a trade off between ‘width of range’ versus ‘depth of range’.