US Insights

Amazon's high five

Elizabeth Wilner

US Editor

Retail 11.06.2014 / 01:40

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Online retailer jumps to #5 in 2014 PoweRanking

Just one year after its debut at #8 the top 10 US retailers, Amazon advanced to the #5 slot in the latest Kantar Retail PoweRanking® survey. The annual survey, now in its 18th year, benchmarks how US retailers and manufacturers view each other across the most important areas of their commercial relationships.

Last year's top four retailers - Walmart, Target, Kroger, and Costco - each retained their respective ranks in 2014. Walmart generally expanded its lead over the rest of the field, once again earning top marks for its comprehensive and efficient supply chain management in particular. Manufacturers also praised the Bentonville-based behemoth for increasing its investments in digital capabilities and expanding its smaller store formats versus its traditional "big-box" supercenters.

On the manufacturer side, retailers once again gave Procter & Gamble a collective nod as the top-ranked trading partner. As Walmart did among the retailers, P&G strengthened its position atop the manufacturer leaderboard, receiving the #1 ranking on five out of the eight individual metrics that comprise the total PoweRankings®. General Mills and PepsiCo both improved their ranks since last year to capture the #2 and #3 positions, respectively, rounding out the top three manufacturers in 2014.

This year's PoweRanking® report portrays an industry grappling with considerable uncertainty stemming from several fundamental forces currently reshaping the retail landscape. The emergence of Millennials as the dominant shopping cohort of the future; the extension of e-commerce into packaged goods and perishables; the new normal of a national economy dramatically divided between the rich and the poor - none of these massive macro-trends themselves are news to the retail industry. What is new in 2014 is that retailers and manufacturers are seeing these forces impact their business in tangible and unsettling ways.

Amidst this shifting retail marketplace, PoweRanking participants pointed to the abilities to act fast and to focus on the future as key factors for success. In particular, PoweRanking respondents reported that they are heavily focused on figuring out how to win with the approximately 80 million Millennials now aging into their prime spending years.

Other key findings from this year's PoweRanking report include:

  • Mars, Inc. entered the PoweRanking® top 10 for the very first time in 2014, rising two spots since last year to land at #9.
  • Many mid-size manufacturers (under $10 billion annual revenue) fared well in 2014: Hershey (#11), Clorox (#15), and Hormel Foods (#19) each improved two slots since last year. SC Johnson & Sons also made an impressive leap from #32 to #18, and Hillshire Brands rose four to #23 overall.
  • Following its split from Del Monte Foods in March 2014, Big Heart Pet Brands debuted as a new manufacturer at #25 in the rankings.
  • Walgreen Company was the only other top 10 retailer besides Amazon to improve its overall ranking since last year, moving up one spot from #10 to #9. 

Source: Kantar Retail

Editor's Notes

The annual PoweRanking study by Kantar Retail, the world's leading retail insights and consultancy business, is comprised of customized questionnaires for retailer and wholesaler respondents in food, drug, mass merchandiser, dollar, convenience and club channels and manufacturers in food, household products, general merchandise and health and beauty care. The purpose of the study is to identify those manufacturers and retailers who are best in class and to provide insight into what distinguishes them. The 2014 PoweRanking study included responses from more than 600 retailer and manufacturer participants to benchmark the top partners in eight key areas of the manufacturer-retailer trading relationship.

For inquiries about the ranking, contact us.

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