Data Collection— Retail Tracking

Scan Data

Scan sales data, captured at the point-of-sale (POS) terminals, is usually broken down by weeks. The weekly cycle should preferably coincide with the chain’s promotional week.

Scan data provides volume and value sales, and price information. It does not provide us with stock or purchase data. Distribution is based on sales (sales distribution), i.e., no sales for a time period means no sales distribution.

Manual Audits

Data collection for manual audits is conducted on a monthly cycle by field personnel called retail auditors. They collect the following information from each store in the retail sample:

  • Stock count in the outlet (on the store shelves as well as storeroom).
  • Retail selling price from the price tags.
  • Purchases made by the outlet since last visit. This information is obtained from invoices maintained by the retail stores in the sample.


Exhibit 28.8   Monthly audit cycle.

The auditors have monthly work cycle plans, and they usually audit the same stores on the same day of the month. In the example in Exhibit 28.8 , a new store is added to the retail panel in January. The auditor conducts the first audit for the store on 25 January at which time information on purchases is not available. The store is re-visited on the 25th of each month. The stock count on 25 January becomes the opening stock for the period 25 January to 25 February. Stock count on 25 February is the closing stock for the same period, and the opening stock for the period 25 February to 25 March.

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