Product range policy

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The term range policy is the common for commercial enterprises equivalent for the applicable Herstellunternehmen term product policy and an essential action item of trade marketing . The range denotes the entire range of goods and services offered by a trading company .


We understand the term “product range policy” to be the summary term for all decisions made by a retail company about the optimal design of its overall range of goods, goods and services.

With the help of the range policy

  • the range of services can be extended (to include goods and / or services produced by others or in-house)
  • new products can be added to the range
  • the assortment can be adjusted to include individual articles (e.g. "slow movers")
  • the range can be reproduced

Objectives of the range policy

Assortment policy (product policy, for example in the case of private labels) is the measure of a trading company to design its entire range in line with the market in order to achieve the goals of trade marketing:

Design principles

The following design principles offer starting points for creating assortment units:

  • Origin orientation (material / substance orientation as well as supplier orientation)
  • Price orientation
  • Orientation towards the self-sale of the goods
  • Orientation towards company-related structural aspects
  • Orientation towards the consumer-oriented behavior of manufacturers (pre-sold branded articles, market development and maintenance)
  • Orientation towards competitors (withdrawal, adjustment or avoidance of competition through mutual coordination)
  • Needs orientation (types / areas of need, areas of experience / occasions for use, consumers or target groups)

Design measures

Based on Schenk (Psychologie im Handel, 2nd edition, Munich / Vienna 2007), the retailer's assortment policy can be implemented through numerous measures to modify the assortment, including those of a psychotactic and strategic nature:

  • Consistency of the range (at product group level ): This alternative does not represent an active market adjustment to changed consumer behavior or market influence and is therefore only applicable to a limited extent.
  • Assortment contraction : This represents an elimination of goods or article groups, whereby one can speak of a real assortment contraction if the elimination is not compensated by corresponding expansions in other goods groups:
  1. Elimination of product groups
  2. Restriction of goods or article groups

Problem: An "involuntary" restriction of the range width can occur, for example with isolated article orientation based on ranges, contribution margins or turnover rates. If, for example, article B has a higher contribution margin than article A and the latter is only displaced for reasons of cost calculation, a conflict of goals arises between cost and marketing-oriented interest (e.g. in a certain range of products). If one item displaces another in this way to the detriment of the entire range profile, this is called cannibalization .

  1. Range differentiation : Based on the industrial sector, a range differentiation can be used to describe the addition and / or completion of previously offered product groups with supplementary article groups or services with the aim of creating alternative purchase options. In addition, a distinction can be made between subject and time range differentiation.
  2. Range diversification : It represents an expansion of the range to include new, different sub-areas with the aim of creating additive purchase opportunities .
  • Range variation : The range of products is not changed here, but individual product groups are accentuated by changing their structure. Today we speak of an active or customer-oriented product range policy. The focus is on the customer, their needs and their coverage by the dealers in the vicinity. The active or customer-oriented product range policy offers the products that are currently of interest to the customer frequency.
  • Assortment innovation : the development / compilation is understood by new assortments of products and product groups incorporating services as assortment innovation. A distinction must be made here according to the degree of novelty:
  1. Real novelties : Market innovations by transferring structure and design principles to other types of companies or industries
  2. significant improvements : operational innovations, e.g. through improved customer orientation
  3. fashion innovations
  4. new problem solutions for new target groups

Operational steering and control

Control and control of the range in particular, by item-specific performance indicators within the operating range policy, for example by

= numerical distribution
* Average sales volume / store and month
* average retail price

See also