Adaptable Category Management


Category management was a rising star of retail in the 1990s. Putting customers in the focus, seeking win-win collaborations between retailers and category captains (suppliers) and especially taming increasing quantities of new-coming products which customers easily bought in more and more meters of shelf space, it became so powerful that most retailers reorganized its whole retail management operations around the concept.

Then came the digitalization of the world that brought tremendous changes in retail.  New shopping habits, long assortment tail of internet, mobile phones with exploding new data sources all challenged category management. Plus discounters. Not to mention covid. In this fast-changing world category management with its mechanical routines, complicated processes, heavily specialized software and its attachment to past data became a burden.

Mark Taylor summarized the situation in comparing the process to a corpse in his booklet “Who Killed Category Management”.

The time is ripe to put the process into a new perspective and find a way to a much more flexible framework suitable for new conditions. Adaptable Category Management. Streamlined. Fluid. By learning through play and discovering solutions to 12 key challenges together with our participants we’ll do just that.


Retailers that already use Category Management will be able to not only refresh the knowledge but also learn and try improved practices in a safe workshop environment (by building a model store). Together, we’ll invigorate the processes and prepare the teams not only for today but also (and especially) for the challenges of tomorrow.

Suppliers will discover opportunities that new situation provides and learn how-to leverage them in their key account management practices. We’ll also examine the opportunities to get out of the toxic pricing game and move towards indispensable offer status.

Craft suppliers will get to know the processes that impact the behaviour of retail giants. A “behind the scenes”. We’ll examine what makes retailers tick and how to successfully put your valuable stories on the shelves. Under new conditions, retailers seek new ways to connect them with a customer – we’ll find and prepare tactics that fits.

Independent retailers will learn how to implement a light version of the framework without stifling their initiative.

We can provide some seats for students and others interested in the functioning of modern retail.


  • Adaptable category management as a framework to encounter 12 key retail challenges for the digital environment
  • Understanding key shopping motives of your customers
  • Key performance indicators (KPI) for measuring store profitability and success
  • How to use Pareto 80/20 analysis for assortment optimization? Does Pareto have limits?
  • How to install your retail strategy into everyday category management activities?
  • Measuring promotion efficiency
  • How to leverage destination categories to provide a unique selling proposition for your store
  • Visual merchandising – how shopper perception impacts store space organization
  • Smart tactics: cross-sell and up-sell (from data insights to picture of success)
  • Insights from neuroscience shopper research
  • How to structure the data and the shopper research available to your suppliers
  • Ways to increase shopping basket with impulse products
  • 5 key variables of every point-of-sale: price, promotion, assortment, merchandising, space
  • Deconstructing process of category management in practice: from negotiations to shelf space management practices … and feedback!


All human beings love to learn. Given the right context. We believe that learning should be part of the fun also within professional environments. Therefore, we promote learning by playing. Providing an environment where mistakes are taken as a necessary step forward. Different solutions for particular problems will be found in a workshop environment.

Sometimes we should see our everyday business problems with fresh eyes. Therefore we have developed creative techniques that fire up the imagination, open up new possibilities but eventually also channel them back into full solutions. Imagine creating your own store, name it, fill it with assortment, creating strategies, finding out unique selling proposition, and all the other steps – but also conditioned by chance. A great learning tool.

The best learning comes from the situations where we don’t even recognize we’re studying. To substantiate this, we use cases, quizzes, riddles, associations, creative techniques, role-playing, and other interactive methods.


This is a course with workshop elements.

It is built around approaching 12 key challenges of today’s category management.

There are three intensity levels, varying especially around the involvement of clients’ data and actual projects:

  • ECONOMY -> learning around cases, limited live data included
  • ECONOMY + -> intermediary level, learning around cases but already implementing knowledge on “hard cases” from clients’ practice
  • SPECIAL -> could be seen as a phase of the actual projects, eg. development of a new product line or working on a pilot store of a new generation

We provide 5 interconnected modules where each can serve as its own unity. The themes are Customer and Point of Sales, Data Analytics, Advanced Store Layouts, 5 Key Variables, Retail Trends, and Adaptable Category Management.

Modules that provide 360 degrees view of the field could be tailored for specific purposes of our participants.


The workshop initially started as a regular workshop conducted live with client teams in a physical environment.

Of course, from March 2020 the situation is unpredictable and we all have to daily adjust to new conditions.  Therefore, the whole concept has been redeveloped into a live web form. Currently, we use MS Teams for the purpose of creating a good workshop environment.

Reflecting the changes in the retail industry, also webinars and web workshops provide many new opportunities. We are actively exploring, testing and including them in our workshops.

Let us know about your situation and wishes. We’re sure we can work it out together.


Send us an initial mail to or use our contact form.

We’ll be glad to answer all possible questions and provide further information with PDF promotional booklet added.



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