Half of All Items Slow Movers

ORLANDO, Fla. — About half of all items, representing less than 15% of velocity in cases, fall into the “slow-movers” category, according to an analysis of retailers, wholesalers and foodservice companies conducted by Keith Swiednicki, senior partner, KOM International, Montreal.

ORLANDO, Fla. — About half of all items, representing less than 15% of velocity in cases, fall into the “slow-movers” category, according to an analysis of retailers, wholesalers and foodservice companies conducted by Keith Swiednicki, senior partner, KOM International, Montreal.

Swiednicki presented his findings Monday during a panel discussion at the FMI/GMA Supply Chain Conference here. He defined slow movers as items that ship less than 15 cases per week. Very slow movers — which account for 40% of total items and less than 12% of sales — ship fewer than six cases per week.

The large number of slow-moving items is the result of “SKU proliferation,” said Randy Fletcher, vice president, logistics and supply chain management, Associated Grocers of Baton Rouge, La., who also participated in the panel discussion. “It’s the price we pay for new items,” he added.

Fletcher said that Associated Grocers’ slow movers break down as follows: more than 1,500 grocery items, or 20% of the total; 59 dairy items, or 6% of the total; and 523 frozen-food items, or 25% of the total. But those items combined account for only 1.5% of shipments, he said.

Associated Grocers reslotted its grocery facility last year to create a 2,200-SKU slow-movers aisle; the wholesaler also has a slow-moving perishables area. In addition, Associated conducts cross-docking of store-specific slow-moving perishables and grocery items, and works with Dot Foods, Mt. Sterling, Ill., on distributing slow-moving items.