Retail Execution Terms & Definitions

Retail Execution Terms & Definitions

Retail Execution is a broad term that encompasses many aspects of a consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies go-to market strategy that focuses on the last phase of the product’s journey, correctly getting the right item on the right shelf at the right time.

At a high-level retail execution can be broken down into three sub-groups; Planning and Forecasting, In-Store Execution, and Tracking and Reporting.

Today, data integration of point-of-sale (POS) and syndicated data plays a significant role in improving retail execution as it provides alerts and prioritized activities for the CPG field reps to follow.

Additionally, an effective retail execution field solution improves visibility and measurement of trade spend, pricing compliance and effectiveness, ordering and inventory.

Retail Execution Field Sales

Other Industry Terms Around Retail Execution

All-commodity volume (ACV)


A store survey that tracks and analyzes store conditions, e.g., pricing, stock levels, out-of-stocks, etc.


A person who performs an audit.


An independent agent or representative of various non-competitive products in a retail market who represents a manufacturer and presents products, sales and special deals to a retailer or wholesaler.

Call/Store Call

When a rep visits a store for the purpose of Retail work.  A Store call is classified as the date the call was made and the work accomplished.


A group of similar products; such as detergents, paper goods, etc. Also referred to as a department

Channel of Distribution

The producers and distributors of products from a farm to the table, a path that includes a grower, producer, manufacturer, broker, wholesaler, store and a consumer.

Club Store

A large retail store, (100,000 square feet or more), that sells only to members who pay an annual membership fee. Also referred to as a membership club store, warehouse club store or wholesale club.

Data Mining

A process of searching data bases for unique trends or occurring situations and displaying those trends to the user.

Dedicated Sales Force

Brokers who handle one manufacturing company’s product exclusively.

Direct Sales Force

A group of salespeople (Sales Reps) employed by a manufacturing company to work exclusively in promoting and selling its own products.

Discontinued Item

Product no longer available to a store.

Direct Store Delivery (DSD)

Products delivered directly to a store by the vendor, such as soft drinks, beer, bread and fresh baked goods, dairy products, potato chips and other fragile items.


The number of units in width an item occupies on the front row of a store shelf.

Key Account

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

Key Performance Indicators, also known as Key Success Indicators (KSI), help an organization define and measure progress toward organizational goals.  Once an organization has analyzed its mission, identified all its stakeholders, and defined its goals, it needs a way to measure progress toward those goals. Key Performance Indicators are those measurements.

Loss Leader

An item sold with little, if any, markup, or at a loss, to attract shoppers.

Not Authorized

An item that a store is not allowed to carry.

On-Shelf Availability (OSA)

OSA is the availability of products for sale to a shopper, in the place they expect it and at the time they want to buy it. It is impacted by a host of different factors such as voids, phantom inventory, and others all along the supply chain.

Out of Stock (OOS)

A product temporarily oversold and unavailable in a retail store. Also, product not in supply in the warehouse. In wholesaling, it is a customer service standard used and measured as a percentage of orders placed that cannot be filled.

Phantom Inventory (PI)

Phantom Inventory is a term used for items that an inventory accounting system considers to be on-hand at a store location, but are not actually available for the shopper.


A marketing campaign to increase sales through advertising, merchandising, signage, and special events.


A department, shelf, or display schematic for allocating products by the number of facings and/or the depth of the display.

Point of Sale (POS)

The place in a retail store where products are scanned through the register system, data is collected, and sales are tendered. POS also describes sales data generated by checkout scanners.

Price Points

The ideal pricing of a product.  This has to do with psychology. If you have a product priced at $ 10, you’d probably sell more if you price it at $9. In that case $ 9 is a price point.

Product Void

When s SKU is authorized in the store but has not been placed.  (Also known as ABNOS:  Authorized but not on shelf)

Survey Order

An order from retail stores, usually for new items or deal items, previously authorized by an account’s headquarters. Also, potential orders at retail stores for an item before a manufacturer’s salesperson or broker presents it at the headquarters of a chain or wholesaler.

Slotting Allowance

A manufacturer’s incentive to a wholesaler or retailer to stock a new product. Also called conversion allowance or service allowance.

Syndicated Data

Information gathered by a service or company for public release and sold by subscription

Stock Keeping Unit (SKU)

 An identification number assigned to a unique item by the retailer. The SKU may be an internal number to that retailer or may be tied to an item’s UPC or EAN.

Third Party

An independent organization that offers a service that links a supplier and a distributor in some way. The term can apply to providers of EDI, warehousing or logistics services.

Trade Class

A retail organization classified according to its method of doing business, such as a convenience store, supermarket, superstore, or a warehouse membership club.

Trade Dimensions

A company that collects syndicated data about retail stores.  Individual store records include vital data modules on each retail location. These modules can be combined to create a customized database that meets your needs. Data can be licensed in any configuration.