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IRUK Top500: Product and Merchandising Tracker August 2016: update 2

IRUK Top500 Strategy & Innovation Performance Dimension Report launches

Tesco leads August’s merchandising deployment table, an increase of 10 places on its position in June’s Product and Merchandising Tracker. Researched in collaboration with Brand View , the Tracker monitors the merchandising deployment and discount strategies of 27 Elite and Leading Top500 retailers across six product categories and is updated every two months.

Companies operating in the Grocery and Fragrance sectors are once again leading the field for merchandising deployment (see table 1). Tesco leads this table, which aggregates the following metrics: percentage of range with reviews, descriptions, product videos, and images; and the average number of images per product. The grocer improved ten places between June and July and maintained its position in August.

Superdrug, which featured in the leaders’ table in June’s update, increased the fraction of its range with reviews by 14 percent, month-on-month. Despite this, the retailer was leap-frogged by several other retailers so that it no longer appears in the top 5 for the month of August.

Table 1: Merchandising Deployment Leaders – August 2016

Retailer Sector Position change: June to August
1 Tesco Grocery 10
2 Ocado Grocery 1
3 Boots Fragrance 1
4 Sainsbury’s Grocery
5 Debenhams Fragrance 2
Taking account of the percentage of range with reviews, descriptions, product videos, and images; and the average number of images per product.

Table 2: Moving up the ranks in merchandising deployment – August 2016

Retailer Improvement rank
1 11
2 Smyths 11
3 Tesco 10
4 Tesco Direct 5
5 The Entertainer 5

Tesco Direct’s range is the most-reviewed of the five Appliance retailers tracked in this study – nearly 90 percent of its products have received customer feedback according to the August results. This month’s second place is also an Appliance retailer. Argos’ appliance range has almost 80 percent of products reviewed by customers. Moreover, it offered the highest range of products with videos compared to other retailers in the DIY sector. Yet, the share of the range that had videos declined by 10 percent compared to June.

With an average of six images per product, leads the seven other retailers tracked in the Electrical sector.

Eighty percent of Very’s Fragrance products are reviewed by customers. The retailer secured the top position in the Fragrance, which was nearly 30 percent higher than the sector average.

Table 3: The Biggest Discounters – August 2016

Retailer Sector Position change: June to August
1 Superdrug Fragrance 1
2 Boots Fragrance 1
3 Appliances Direct Appliances
4 Hughes Electrical Appliances, Electrical 2
5 Tesco Direct Appliances, DIY, Electrical, Toys 8
Taking account of the percentage of products on promotion and the average depth of cut.

August data shows Appliances and Fragrance retailers had the biggest average depth of cut and the largest percentage of products on promotion, compared to other sectors. Superdrug’s reductions in its Fragrance sector were larger than those of the other retailers in the months of July and August.

Three-quarters of electrical retailers are discounting more in the most-recent August data than they were in June, possibly reflecting the release of new products by several manufacturers.

Currys saw the sector’s largest increase in discounting over the two-month period while tablets as a category saw the greatest increase in promotional activity across all retailers in August. “The number of Tablet promotions in Argos, Currys, John Lewis , Tesco Direct, and Very increased by 24.3 percent in August compared to July” said Chris Elliott, insight analyst at Brand View. “Apple iPads were a significant part of this increase as promotions of the items rose 38.4 percent year-on- year.”

Appliances Direct had the largest percentage of products on promotion of the 10 tracked retailers in the Appliance sector over the three consecutive months from June to August. The online-only appliance retailer had a steady rate of discounting, with an average depth of cut of 19 percent over the period.

“Looking at Brand View promotional data, the Appliances category saw one of the most noticeable increases in promotions. Across ten major retailers, the total number of promotions increased by 6.3 percent between June and July,” said Elliot.

About the Product and Merchandising Tracker

InternetRetailing partners with Brand View to analyse the approach to discounting and product display adopted by the UK’s top retailers across six categories of retail. The tracker covers products in the Appliances, DIY, Electrical, Fragrance, Grocery, and Toys sectors. The index is updated periodically.

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