IGD Awards 2014

Since 2005 the IGD has run an annual survey looking at trading relationships across the globe between suppliers and retailers. In the 2015 survey 75 suppliers and 27 retailers took part. The 3 Supermarket Suppliers’ Challenges from the IGD Trading Relationships Survey 2015 are:

IGD Academy - Trading Relationships Survey 2015 Key Findings and Messages

Trading Relationships Survey 2015 – Key Findings and Messages by IGD Academy

1. Continue to Invest in Your Teams to Win

The Grocery Industry is highly competitive and highly complex. The Head of IGD’s Industry Development, Mark Golder, reports that the skills that supplier teams have could make the difference between success and failure. He also reported positively that whilst the industry is still under enormous financial pressure both retailers and suppliers continue to invest in their teams.

Action: Get an even greater return on investment in training by using our unique training method – ‘Sticky Learning ®‘.

2. Retailers are Expecting Even More from their Trading Relationships

Strategic alignment is expected of suppliers, and more specifically collaborative working, shopper understanding and highly skilled & empowered people. Joint business plans are becoming the norm. Those suppliers that can lead, have experience of doing them well, and can demonstrate an ability to work together in the joint business planning process will succeed.

Action: Prepare, prepare and prepare again for those Must Win Meetings because they can be the difference between losing and winning a year.

3. Understanding the Shopper is Paramount

The days of suppliers offering their wares and asking the retailer to do the rest are long gone. The suppliers of the future are those that understand their shopper, the retailer’s shopper and have found win:win:win opportunities for the retailer, the shopper and themselves. Versus 2014, retailers’ expectations have risen from 16% to 52%, expecting suppliers to ‘Develop specific category plans and tactics‘.

Action: Use a measure to understand whether you understand the shopper as well as you could and whether you are leading the category.

Which challenge do you think suppliers will struggle most with in their trading relationships with supermarkets? Please share your view by commenting below.

Further Resources:

For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Category Management and our Category Management YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more Category Management tips and articles.

Interested in training? See how our full Category Management Training or our e learning Category Management courses could be of help to you.

Darren A. Smith

About Darren A. Smith

Darren has been working in the world of UK Supermarkets & Suppliers for over 25 years. He began his career as a buyer at big 4 UK supermarkets and after 13 years he decided to leave to set-up Making Business Matter because he wanted to help suppliers and supermarkets to work better together.


  • Mason Hales says:

    I feel point 3 is key for the future, the supplier should know all the relevant shoppers to create deals which are good for every party.

  • Jess Kelly-Noakes says:

    I agree with Mason, understanding the shopper is key. I also think that point two is very important, as times move on I think more intricate deals created using detailed strategies to generate win win contracts will be huge.

  • Ellie Carlton says:

    I think point 1, about investment in training is very important. I think as the industry gets larger, the people will the training and the skills will be sought after. Therefore over time the return will be larger.

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