Measures for Distribution (Width)

Distribution, the metric commonly used for tracking product availability, has a number of variations: purchase, sales and handler distribution; in-stock and out-of-stock (OOS) distribution; forward stock and total stock. It is usually measured in numeric and weighted terms, and it may be weighted in either volume or value.

Some of these terms are described below:

  • Handler: A store is considered a product handler during an audit period if it stocked that product at any time during that period. (If there is any opening or closing stock, purchase or sale, then the store is a handler.)
  • Numeric Distribution: Percentage of stores handling product.
  • Weighted Distribution: Percentage of stores handling product weighted by product category store sales. If the weight is in value terms, then weighted distribution is the same as the value share of category sales by handlers.
  • Numeric/Weighted Sales Distribution: For the upper trade, information on stocks is not captured in their scan data. For scan stores, therefore, the numeric and weighted distribution is computed in terms of numeric sales distribution and weighted sales distribution.
  • Numeric Sales Distribution: Percentage of stores selling product.
  • Numeric Purchase Distribution: Percentage of stores purchasing product.
  • Weighted Sales Distribution: Percentage of stores selling product weighted by product category store sales. (Equal to share of category sales by sellers.)
  • Weighted Purchase Distribution: Percentage of stores purchasing product weighted by product category store purchases.
  • Numeric distribution tells us the proportion of stores distributing a product. Weighted distribution, on the other hand, reveals the product’s presence as percentage of where money is spent on that category. It is a better reflection of the quality of distribution.
  • Usually the weighted distribution of a product is greater than its numeric distribution. This is because bigger stores typically carry more brands; they tend to be the stores that brands would enter into first.
  • All commodity value (ACV) weighted distribution: Occasionally categories are weighted in terms of ACV (i.e. sales value of all categories sold by store). This is advisable in case of small new/growing categories with few brands. For such categories, ACV weighted distribution provides a better reflection of the quality of distribution.
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