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BURLINGTON, Mass. - Retailers that outperform their peers in year-over-year comparable store sales also tend to carry a significantly higher percentage of private label merchandise than their competitors, a new study by Retail Systems Alert Group Research (RSAG) revealed.
The report, "Sourcing and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Benchmark Study," conducted by RSAG and sponsored by sourcing consultancy Eqos Inc., also found that these same retailers achieve better return on inventory investments and outperform competitors in overall gross margin improvements.
"Private label merchandise - typically imported - has become ubiquitous across all retail segments and tiers," said Paula Rosenblum, the report's author, and v.p., research and content development for RSAG. "With this shift, sourcing and product lifecycle management have emerged as important technology enablers within the retail enterprise. These tools help offset the loss of control and potentially slowed responsiveness associated with outsourcing the manufacturing of merchandise to far-off parts of the world."
The report is based on survey responses and interviews with nearly 150 executives and managers representing retailers from around the world with annual revenues ranging from less than $50 million to more than $5 billion.
The study also found that retailers today are beginning to develop longer term, collaborative relationships with trusted suppliers. High-performing retailers, according to Rosenblum, are leveraging technologies to manage these relationships, as well as for product development, supplier audits, managing and tracking merchandise status, and self-managing freight, all of which ultimately drive gross margin and sales improvements.
The full study is available for download at www.eqos.com.