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posdadaOne of the most common questions posed to us is: Why can’t we get EDI POS data for a certain retailer? Allow me to break that question down, as it is multi-faceted.

Most every vertical is split between big box retailers and the “independents” – the specialty or “Mom and Pop” stores that are one store unit or a small chain. The “indies” are not good candidates for data for these reasons:

- They are too small to create a means to harvest and send the data.

- They are too small to merit the analysis as the change in sales and profit would not justify the cost.

- They do not need the vendors help as they “live and breathe” what is happening in their store(s).

Other retailers have simply decided they do not want to invest the resources to set up and maintain these particular POS feeds. These might be smaller regional or specialty retail chains. They might offer at least company (chain) level data via a spreadsheet, pdf or web portal.

Happily two rules of thumb tend to apply over time: More retailers offer more data – and the quality and richness of that data improves. One example is Michaels Stores Inc. They recently started to offer the 852 POS document, but only to select vendors. Hopefully they will roll out that offering to all vendors before too long.

Finally there are retailers who can - but typically do not want to - share data. One important example is Bed, Bath and Beyond. They feel they have more to lose and less to gain by sharing door level data. A vendor must go through a stringent approval process to gain access to door level data. Very, very few are granted that insight. A rare few even get company level EDI POS. Others might be able to receive spreadsheets from the buyers - They do provide weekly sales at chain level more freely for forecasting and demand planning purposes.

What do you think? What have you heard? Please let us know.

Please feel free to email me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any comments or questions you wish to share offline.


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