NEW YORK— Walmart continued its dominance among retailers in the 2019 Kantar U.S. PoweRanking report, taking the No. 1 position for the 23rd year in a row. Among brand manufacturers, PepsiCo Inc. took the top spot for the fourth year in a row.
The PoweRanking survey originated from Kantar’s industry benchmarking studies on category management and trade promotion management. The purpose of the survey is to discover how retailers and manufacturers view and evaluate each other in the key areas of their relationships.
More than 450 manufacturers and retailers responded to the 2019 survey, which was conducted through customized questionnaires. Results were compared to those for 2017 and 2018 to clarify the causes of ranking shifts. The questionnaires were supplemented by follow-up qualitative interviews with a diverse selection of manufacturers and retailers.
Each company was assessed and ranked on 10 different metrics, including clearest company strategy, best use of digital platforms, best supply chain management and best revenue growth management, an ad hoc metric that was added to the study last year. Retailers were judged as well on such measures as best store branding, best category management/buying teams, most innovative merchandising approach and best practice category leadership.
Manufacturers, meanwhile, were evaluated by retailers on such metrics as best salesforce/customer teams; most innovative marketing approach; best consumer and shopper insights/category leadership; and best shopper marketing programs.
Walmart was ranked No. 1 in seven of nine metrics, drawing top marks for its clarity of strategy, supply chain excellence, digital resources and manufacturers’ belief in the company’s future performance. “Walmart’s position at the top of the rankings once again shows its ability to continuously innovate and stay abreast of the latest trends in retail,” says Patrick Fellin, head of consulting, analytics and shopper solutions at Kantar.
Kroger Co. was the runner-up for the fourth consecutive year, while Target Corp. moved up one step into the No. 3 spot on the strength of its investments in omnichannel capabilities, followed by Amazon.com and Costco Wholesale Corp. Interestingly, Dollar General Corp. jumped three positions to take the No. 10 position.
In manufacturers’ comments, Walmart was described as the leader in omnichannel thinking and credited with improving its merchandising to enhance the shopper experience while succeeding in driving down costs. Target, meanwhile, was lauded for its deep understanding of its customers, particularly of younger consumers, and for knowing how to connect with them in ways that go beyond price and assortment.
Among manufacturers, not only did PepsiCo earn the top position for the fourth consecutive year, it was rated No. 1 on all metrics for the second year in a row. The company won plaudits for its transparency, ability to collaborate and willingness to partner with retailers for mutual growth. Coca-Cola Co., which finished second, was recognized for its skill in building strong partnerships and being solutions driven. Third-ranked Procter & Gamble Co. was singled out for its “incredible capabilities” and skill at articulating what is best now as well as in the future.
The No. 4 manufacturer, Kellogg Co., was recognized as the “thought leader for center store” and praised for its leadership in giving priority to nutritional value by focusing on reducing sugar content and promoting proteins.
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