In order to help manage their store operations, Walmart has decided to streamline their merchandisers. Now, only five companies will be allowed to work in their stores: Anderson, Crossmark, Acosta, Premium, and SAS Retail Services. Advantage Solutions is also allowed in a limited capacity.
“The program will benefit Walmart and our suppliers by enabling better coordination with stores, improving the quality and consistency of the work being performed by representatives and enabling our store associates to more effectively complete activities and better serve the needs of our customers,” says Steve Bratspies, Walmart’s Chief Merchandising Officer.
What Does That Mean for My Merchandisers?
As a brand manufacturer, more than likely you already use one of these merchandisers. So no big deal, right? What happens to your brand as the workload for these merchandisers increases? Will you get more or less of their time on a single store visit? Also, how is this going to affect the cost for their services now that they don’t need to compete with the smaller boutique merchandisers?
In a single store visit, a merchandiser from one of the big five companies will now have to look at more products and displays in the same amount of time. This limits the amount of effort given to each brand. How do you think they will prioritize their time? You might get left in the dust, which is why you used the smaller merchandisers, or maybe even your own merchandisers, to begin with. With those options now limited, what can you do?
This rise in costs may make it more difficult for some regional and local manufacturers to remain profitable. Even mid to large sized vendors will suffer on their bottom line. One way to lower your merchandising costs, as well as increase your retail visibility, is through crowdsourcing. Wiser uses the power of the crowd to collect offline data for you, which allows you to be more strategic with your merchandising efforts.
Contributing writer: Rick Patsos.