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Marketing Matters: Marketing in a Shrinking Marketplace

By: Donna Barson
Posted: October 13, 2008

It seems you can’t pick up the newspaper today without reading about a company merging with or buying another company. But behind the headlines and monetary value of every deal is something similar, and potentially ominous, for every marketer: a rapidly contracting retail marketplace ruled by a growing number of super companies. How is a marketer to cope?

Reality Check

If you’ve been cowed by the volatility and uncertainty of the marketplace over the past few years, and are hunkered down in your office hoping that things will improve, it’s time to wake up and smell the competitive coffee. More mergers and acquisitions are on the horizon.

Survival of the fittest in retail is only going to continue. This means that weaker retailers—possibly some of your retailers—are going to succumb to the stronger. But it’s not only retailers that will die out—entire companies, formats and industry segments will go. So look for more seismic shifts.

What does this mean? Simply, it means that an ever-dwindling group of retailers will gain more and more control of markets, both domestic and foreign. There could be less shelf space for your product in your traditional distribution channels because of this merger/takeover fever. Additionally, these combined retailers might be looking to market their own private label brands or exclusive brands.