WILTON, Conn. — Kroger , Wal-Mart  and Target  have maintained their positions as the top three retailers in terms of category management best practices, according to manufacturer participants in Kantar Retail’s 2011 Category Leadership Benchmarking study.
Manufacturers noted Kroger’s ability to make stores relevant to shoppers through use of shopper card data, according to Kantar.
Retailer respondents ranked Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods and PepsiCo as the top manufacturers in terms of having the most helpful consumer/shopper insights and category management. Many cited P&G's and Kraft’s use of unbiased shopper insights.
The study found that retailers are looking more to their trading partners for category leadership and actions based on insights.
“The report finds that trading partners predict significant growth in the importance of insights to company differentiation, foreseeing an increase of over 30 percentage points between now and the future,” said Kantar in a press release. “Linking this area to existing category management is recommended to drive leadership and growth.”