Deep Assortment

Posted in Marketing and Strategy Terms, Total Reads: 766

Definition: Deep Assortment

Deep assortment refers to a merchandising strategy wherein the retailer offers to stock a number of variations of the same product line.

Deep assortment in a way shows that the retailer has faith in the success of the product and believes that more variants will allow him to attract more customers and fulfill their specific needs. It allows a retailer to become a one-stop solution that does not disappoint customers and to slowly build up customer loyalty. While a kirana store may only have Surf Excel Easywash along with other detergent powders like Tide and Ariel, another store that believes in deep assortment may stock up Surf Excel Quick Wash, Surf Excel Gentle Wash and Surf Excel Matic (Top Load and Front Load) in addition to Easywash. A consumer looking for a specific product use would prefer the latter store.

Deep assortment also limits the shelf space, restricting the imposition of competitor brands. This reduces the risk involved. For example, when Asian Paints decided to implement the efficient JITD (Just- In-Time Delivery) Model, it cleared a lot of retail shelf space. The implementation initially backfired with retailers stocking up Berger paints in the freed up space. To tackle this situation, the Asian Paints company executives then pushed for deep assortment at their customer (retailer) stores. They convinced them to store greater variety of paints/shades to better address the consumers’ (end users) needs. The deep assortment strategy worked brilliantly substantially reducing the risk from substitute brands.

However, deep assortment involves high investment and can complicate inventory management for the retailer as well as the company. Lower inventory turnover and build-up of obsolete inventory are also possible.



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