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    P&G, Walmart Top Kantar’s Annual PoweRanking

    Traditional grocers are half the top 10 retailers

    Traditional grocery retailers like Kroger, Publix and HEB are among the top 10 performing retailers in the latest ranking from Kantar.

    In its 15th year of publication, the Kantar Retail PoweRanking Study highlights those manufacturers and retailers that have performed the best in the eyes of their trading partners. Entitled “Quick Response,” the 2011 PoweRanking report highlights the capability of manufacturers and retailers to focus on their mutual consumer and quickly respond to changes in the marketplace.

    The report refers to “the joints” as requirements for succeeding in a quick response age. Structures and processes must be in place for joint planning, joint development, joint execution and joint key performance indicators.

    The top seven PoweRanking manufacturers maintained their ranks. Procter & Gamble maintained its No. 1 position but the gap closed with Kraft at No. 2. General Mills and Unilever had the largest gains, being recognized for their abilities to respond quickly. Coca-Cola gained across all measures, with the largest gains in recognition for its sales organization.

    “This year’s PoweRanking demonstrates how best-in-class trading partners are working together to appeal to a common consumer and meet their needs quickly,” said Ken Harris, CEO of Kantar Retail Americas Inc.

    The top 10 manufacturers are:

    - P&G
    - Kraft
    - General Mills
    - PepsiCo
    - Unilever
    - Nestle
    - Coca-Cola
    - ConAgra
    - Kellogg’s
    - Clorox

    The composite scores are based on rankings in eight key areas where manufacturers interface with retailers: clearest company strategy; most important consumer brands for retailers; best combination of growth and profitability; best sales force/customer teams; most innovative marketing programs; most helpful consumer/shopper insights and category leadership; best supply chain management; and best shopper marketing programs.

    Among retailers, Walmart maintained its No. 1 rank for 2011 but the gap to other leading retailers closed. Target had a large increase of 8.2 percentage points, propelling it from third to second. Target especially received increased recognition for its consistent strategy and integrated brand message.

    “Joint plans and actions to connect with consumers on all fronts in an integrated fashion will be increasingly important,” Harris said.

    This year’s top 10 retailers are:

    - Walmart
    - Target
    - Kroger
    - Costco
    - Publix
    - Wegmans
    - HEB
    - CVS
    - Walgreens
    - Safeway

    Ranking criteria for retailers include clearest company strategy; best at store branding; projected power retailers; best retailers with which to do business; best category leadership/buying teams; most innovative consumer marketing/merchandising; best supply chain management; and best practice category leadership.

    The purpose of the PoweRanking study is to gain insights into the practices of the leading manufacturers and retailers in their working relationships. Each group of manufacturers and retailers ranked the other in eight key areas.

    Customized questionnaires were developed for retailers and wholesalers in food, drug, mass merchandiser and convenience channels and manufacturers in food, general merchandise and HBC. These questionnaires were mailed each spring from 1997 to 2011 to personnel at all levels of management with the assurance of total confidentiality. To provide trended information over
    time, the PoweRanking measures are calculated on a rolling two-year basis.

    Kantar Retail is WPP’s retail insights and consulting business. In addition to PoweRanking, Kantar Retail publishes other industry benchmarking studies including Trade Promotion Spending and Merchandising study, Category Leadership, and FoodservicElite. 

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