Monday, October 05, 2015

Category Management: Partnership Between Fnac and Microsoft

The Fnac has hit the headlines last week with its public offer to exchange with Darty, which would create a tycoon of the hardward retailing world in France.

This initiative have started in 2012, and the article is showing how to benefit of such a category management effort, especially in a market decreasing by 9% in 2015. Actually, let's remember that Walmart has set up its first category management initiatives while it was experiencing issues with its sales growth.

There are 6 pillars to this initiative:
  • Microsoft's shop in shop, with specific merchandising.
  • Microsoft staff in 40 of the largest stores. They aim to promote and demonstrate the products, enhancing the shopping experience and helping shoppers.
  • Exclusive premiere launch, like for the new Surface tablet, available 1 month in advance. It allows the Fnac to create differenciation through its product range.
  • Cocreation of products: they are exchanging information in order to create unique products, like the 365 Office Pack including Bitdefender
  • 4 Microsoft employees dedicated to the Fnac.
  • Data Exchange about sales and marketing.
Obviously, the partnership makes sense, as Microsoft is among the largest supplier of la Fnac, with a clear know how in terms of promoting high tech products, and la Fnac is  the biggest client of Microsoft (40% of shares in France), with a know how in terms of theatralization in store.

Those category management examples are pretty rare for different reasons in France, and I believe it was interesting for me to share with you those insights.