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Jack Lewis, Industry Researcher, Dies

ESCONDIDO, Calif. — John E. “Jack” Lewis, who led the creation of two iconic research studies on supermarket retailing, died last week from old age. He was 86.

In 1960, Lewis organized The Dillon Study, an examination of product movement and profitability across the entire store. The study, published in Progressive Grocer magazine, where Lewis had been editor, “helped to create category management and led to the creation of the health and beauty section and the merchandising importance of end aisle displays,” said Mark Heckman, who later worked with Lewis on another study.

That second report, The Marsh Super Study, was a 1992 sequel to The Dillon Study and measured sales, space and profit across five Marsh stores for 65 weeks. It ultimately became the source of a Harvard Business School case study that still in academic use today.

Lewis also spend much of his career in marketing, working early in his career with Marlboro and later with Anheuser-Busch. He was president of Marketing Resources, a marketing agency serving the food, retail and CPG industries. He worked on the advancement of a computerized system for shelf management and product bar coding, and was the only person to serve on both the U.S. and European bar coding commissions.

A remembrance celebration for Lewis is scheduled for San Diego on June 23. For more information contact Dave McGuigan at 858-699-6727.

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