Retail Execution

Footwear Brand Manages Distribution with Wiser

Maintaining an effective distribution network is not only costly but paramount for ensuring products move seamlessly from the brand to the consumer.

The allure of parallel imports for shoppers, with their often competitive prices and unique styles not typically available in the domestic market, poses a significant challenge. However, these unauthorized distributions risk diminishing brand perception and product value, given the potential lack of authenticity and post-sale support that official channels guarantee.

A global footwear brand faced the daunting task of not only identifying the presence of parallel imports but also uncovering the source of these unauthorized distributions. This endeavor was critical for preserving the brand’s reputation and safeguarding authorized local distributors and licensees’ sales.

Leveraging Crowdsourcing for Clarity

In response, the brand embraced the innovative approach of leveraging crowdsourcing with Wiser to gain granular competitive data and actionable insights. By deploying shoppers to confirm the availability of parallel imports and capture detailed product information, the brand gained a critical layer of visibility into the unauthorized distribution of its products.

Navigating Through Unauthorized Waters

The results of this partnership were illuminating:

  • Granular Competitive Data: Provided comprehensive visibility into the availability, pricing, styles (SKUs), and product information, such as production codes, aiding in tracing the distribution source.
  • Actionable Data Insights: Revealed that 91 percent of the stores visited were selling parallel import products, with 15 percent carrying more than ten styles not typically sold in the targeted countries.
  • Protected Company Revenue: Highlighted that parallel imported flip-flops were often sold at prices as low as one-sixth of the official product price in the country, underscoring the financial implications of unauthorized distribution.

Treading Forward with Strategic Actions

The brand’s endeavor to identify and mitigate the challenges posed by parallel imports underscores the importance of innovative distribution management strategies. By employing crowdsourcing for real-time, automated intelligence, the brand not only identified the country of origin and suppliers of the parallel imports but also initiated corrective actions to address these challenges.

Crafting Future Steps

As the footwear brand continues to partner with Wiser to monitor the outcomes of its strategic actions against parallel imports, this case serves as a benchmark for other FMCG companies grappling with similar distribution challenges. The proactive measures taken to safeguard brand value and ensure product integrity through meticulous distribution channel management exemplify a forward-thinking approach to navigating the complex global marketplace.

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