Retail Recognition

June 06, 2007 (LBO) – Retailers that were a just a distribution channel at one time have to be considered as a strategic business partners in driving brands forward in a competitive market, Sri Lanka’s top marketers have said. Retailers are the last point the brands can market themselves and without retailer interest in selling products, market share of a company will drop, Asanga Ranasinghe channels and customer development director of Unilever, told the LBR-LBO Chief Marketing Officer Forum.

Brands that ‘fly’ off the shelf and are more appealing to shoppers, bring more income to the retailer and increases brand’s market share for the company.

Retailers such as Walmart in USA have an annual turnover of 290 billion dollars compared to 50 billion of Unilever, Ranasinghe told the gathering of Sri Lanka’s top marketing professionals.

“The retailers are getting bigger at the expense of the brands. If brands are not able to fly of the shelf, retailers would not take them,” he said.

Ranasinghe says brands should therefore understand retailer business model and come to an understanding since retailers are also customers for the brand.

Both parties must collaborate for the brands to overcome the ‘squeeze’, a