RetailWire - When Are Retail Slotting Fees Warranted?

When Are Retail Slotting Fees Warranted? – Image Courtesy of RetailWire and Frozen and Refrigerated Buyer Magazine

Do slotting fees have a place in retail? When Are Retail Slotting Fees Warranted? FixturesCloseUp deals with the physical results of both new product rollout and ongoing merchandising. But to consider all aspects of one of the driving forces in retail … slotting fees … link out to this RetailWire article by Warren Thayer titled “When Are Slotting Fees Warranted.” Do please return for advice on how some of those fees might be spent outfitting for products in center store.

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Just for the fun of it…
Guess The Slotting Fee
for this sophisticated
in-store merchandising effort.

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BACKSTORY: A slotting fee, slotting allowance,[1] pay-to-stay, or fixed trade spending[2] is a fee charged to produce companies or manufacturers by supermarket distributors (retailers) in order to have their product placed on their shelves.[3] The fee varies greatly depending on the product, manufacturer, and market conditions. For a new product, the initial slotting fee may be approximately $25,000 per item in a regional cluster of stores, but may be as high as $250,000 in high-demand markets.[4]

In addition to slotting fees, retailers may also charge promotional, advertising and stocking fees. According to an FTC study, the practice is “widespread” in the supermarket industry.[citation needed] Many grocers earn more profit from agreeing to carry a manufacturer’s product than they do from actually selling the product to retail consumers. According to retailers, fees serve to efficiently allocate scarce retail shelf space, help balance the risk of new product failure between manufacturers and retailers, help manufacturers signal private information about potential success of new products, and serve to widen retail distribution for manufacturers by mitigating retail competition.[citation needed] Vendors charge that slotting fees are a move by the grocery industry to profit at their suppliers’ expense.[citation needed]

Some companies argue that slotting fees are unethical as they create a barrier to entry for smaller businesses that do not have the cash flow to compete with large companies. The use of slotting fees can, in some instances, lead to abuse by retailers such as in the case where a bakery firm was asked for a six figure fee to carry its items for a specific period with no guarantee its products would be carried in future periods.[5] (SOURCE: Wikipedia)