Glossary

  • A
  • absolute-minimum pricing: The lowest possible price at which goods can be sold.
  • account: A manufacturer’s term for a retailer or wholesaler that buys and resells the manufacturer's products.
  • accounts payable: A retailer's or wholesaler's unpaid bills and invoices; the money owed to vendors and suppliers.
  • account planning: A manufacturer's business review for retail accounts that lays out the timing and scope for product promotions, deals and allowances for a coming year.
  • account receivable: Bills or invoices for goods or services; money owed by a customer.
  • accrued inventory: An estimate of current inventory that is determined by subtracting the costs of the current inventory and goods sold from the cost of the original inventory.
  • ACH: Automated clearinghouse.
  • activity-based costing (ABC): An accounting method that measures business profits and costs by taking into account both overhead and the cost of wasteful or inefficient practices two items that are not considered in conventional accounting methods.
  • activity-based management (ABM): A management strategy used in Efficient Consumer Response (ECR), based on principles of activity-based costing. See activity-based costing; Efficient Consumer Response.
  • actual ship date (ASD): The actual date that products leave a manufacturer's plant or distribution center.
  • activity: Activity data is the measures for each item sold at a specific retailer in each store for a particular time period (interval).
  • ACV: All commodity volume.
  • ad actuals: A calculation of exact profits or losses resulting from an advertisement.
  • ADI: A Nielsen/Arbitron radio or television term that draws the boundaries of a station's area of dominant influence.
  • advance order: A retailer's order placed with a supplier for seasonal and new items before they are available.
  • Advance Ship Notice (ASN): The transaction set represented by the X.12 transaction code 856. This transaction set is sent by a supplier to notify a retailer of a shipment of products. It could be considered as an electronic packing list.
  • advertising allowance: Money that a manufacturer pays a wholesaler or retailer to advertise a product, brand or line. See cooperative advertising; cooperative merchandising allowance.
  • advisory board: A group of consumers or retailers that provides ideas about items to stock and merchandise. New products are tested by consumers.
  • agent: A manufacturer's employee or a network of brokers that directly sells products to retailers and/or wholesalers. See master broker; direct sale.
  • aisle captain or aisle clerk: A supervisor or person responsible for full shelves, merchandising and ordering.
  • all commodity volume (ACV): A retailer's total volume of sales, expressed as a percentage (or share) of the ACV; therefore a 30 percent ACV is a 30 percent share of the total market for that commodity.
  • allocate: A process that determines how much shelf space a product gets, using product movement and profitability as a guide.
  • allocation: A limit set by a manufacturer on the total amount of a retailer's or wholesaler's product order during a promotional period. See forced distribution.
  • allowance: A manufacturer's deal for wholesalers or retailers to advertise and/or merchandise specific product(s). Also known as a trade deal, promotion or a discount.
  • American National Standards Institute (ANSI): A nongovernmental association that formulates voluntary, national standards, such as electronic data interchange.
  • American Wholesale Marketers Association (AWMA): (Formerly, National Candy Wholesalers Association-NCWA) The National Candy Wholesalers Association and the National Association of Tobacco Distributors joined to form a single trade organization. 1128 16th St., N.W. Washington, DC 20036 (202) 463-2124
  • application identifier: A numeric prefix to a UCC/EAN-128 code that defines the encoded data to follow. Generally used as secondary codes to provide information not included in standard UPC numbering, such as product dates, weights and lot/batch numbers. May also identify anarea of dominant influence (ADI): An Arbitron or Nielsen measure of a market of television viewers. An ADI includes all jurisdictions within a metro area, which can receive the signal of a particular station. The United States has over 200 ADIs.
  • archive: The process of storing older or previously processed data in a compressed format so that it can be accessed later if necessary. For example, POS or eService data that has been imported into Velocity is archived in zip files. All Retail Velocity products archive data using the "zip" compression method. 
  • arrival notice: A sheet on a freight bill that notifies a recipient that a shipment has arrived at its destination.
  • as advertised: A sale price for an item featured in a weekly ad that is lower than the regular price.
  • attribute: A way to classify items and stores. You can use attributes to filter (include or exclude) the items or stores that you want to see on the dialog or include in a report. You can also use attributes to create groups and subgroups in reports. With Velocity, you can create as many attributes as you need. For each attribute, you also create a set of values. For example, you could create an attribute "Toys" with the values "Beanie Babies," Comic Cards," and "Action Figures."  Or an attribute "Size" with the values "Small," "Medium," and "Large."  Attributes values are assigned to individual items and stores. 
  • authorization or authorization to purchase: An approval for a category manager to purchase products, to store them in a warehouse and to list them in a store's order book.
  • authorization slip or authorization letter: A company form or letter that allows a broker or manufacturer's representative to call on a store manager or owner.
  • authorized items: Products that a company's headquarters authorizes for distribution to retailers or stores.
  • authorized list: A list of company-approved vendors and products.
  • authorized stock item: A product that company headquarters must approve for retailers or company stores to stock.
  • automatic distribution: A chain store's and wholesale grocer's method to determine how many products and the amount of a product to deliver to retail stores, based on the retailers' market share and profitability, whether or not the retailer has a specific order. See forced dist
  • automatic ordering: A retail ordering method that automatically replenishes fast-moving items.
  • average inventory on hand: A calculation of the worth, expressed in dollars, of the inventory in a store that is determined by dividing the costs of goods sold by the number of retail/wholesale turns.
  • average item retail (AIR): The computed, average retail price of all products sold in a store.
  • average order: The amount of money a customer spends on each shopping trip.
  • averaging cost: A calculation that determines a product's current cost by adding a product's current cost to its replacement cost and dividing that sum by two.
  • AWMA: American Wholesale Marketers Association.
  • B
  • back order: Out-of-stock items that cannot be shipped with a customer's original order and are sent to the customer as soon as available.
  • backhaul: A transportation practice used to defray costs by picking up products from a manufacturer after delivering products to a store.
  • backroom: A storage area for excess products, kept on hand to restock the sales floor as needed.
  • backstock: Extra products stored in a backroom to restock shelves between deliveries.
  • backup: A copy of current computer files saved to a computer disk or magnetic tape in case of a computer system failure.
  • back-up merchandise: Products kept in a backroom for convenient restocking of the sales floor.
  • bag stuffer: An ad circular placed in a customer's grocery bag during bagging.
  • bandwidth: The data transfer rate of an electronic communications system.
  • banner: An in-store advertising sign or display used to identify in-store locations, sale items and products.
  • bar code: A unique identification code on products, pallets and coupons. The code is read by an electronic scanner for receiving, ordering and inventory control purposes. See UCC/EAN-128.
  • base price: A price calculated by taking a product's suggested retail price and subtracting a percentage.
  • basic items: Necessary, common, everyday household items, which customers expect to find in a grocery store.
  • basic stock list: A wholesalers' listing of products and brands. See rotation list.
  • bass scanning (price verification): The process of verifying retail prices and item descriptions in the Point of Sale System (register system).
  • bay: The bottom shelf in a retail aisle.
  • BB: Billback.
  • BCP: Broken Case Price.
  • benchmarking: A performance standard against which operating performance is measured, which is used to identify performance improvements and best practices in an industry.
  • best food day: The day that grocery ads run in a newspaper in any community.
  • beta test: A field test of new equipment or software programs to identify errors or problems, and to solicit user's comments so that the manufacturer can make final modifications before the equipment or software is released for sale.
  • bill and hold: A manufacturer's deal to a retailer to purchase products, which are not shipped until the retailer needs them.
  • bill of lading: A delivery receipt acknowledging that a customer received a product and verified the count.
  • billback (BB): An accounts receivable practice of invoicing the wholesale/retailer for products at regular price until promotional requirements are met. The deal amount will be returned later to the wholesaler/retailer.
  • billboard/billboard effect: The merchandising impact produced by grouping together a large quantity of horizontal facings on a shelf, i.e., sizes, colors and/or flavors.
  • bin: A merchandising container for bulk product display.
  • BISAC: Book Industry System Advisory Council – an EDI standard for the book industry. 
  • blend/mix: The pricing of a defined section to achieve an overall profit percentage based on movement, unit profit and total sales of a section.
  • blind ordering: A practice of writing a new order even though an outstanding order has not been received.
  • blister pack: Product packaging that merchandises a product with a descriptive card under clear plastic wrap.
  • blocking (squaring down): The practice of dressing up shelves. Products are pulled forward to a shelf's edge from the back of the shelf.
  • blue chips: Products with high gross profits and high turnover on the shelves.
  • BOGO: Buy one get one free.
  • bonus pack: A volume increase in a package, a merchandising technique to establish value for a customer by packaging an extra amount in a product while charging the regular price.
  • booking: A practice retailers use to order in advance to obtain special discounts and guarantee the delivery date, usually for seasonal and holiday products.
  • bottom line: A term for a net profit, which is all money taken in (gross profit) minus all expenses.
  • bounce back: A product marketing technique that pairs a customer's refund with a rebate on a product.
  • bounce pattern: A diagrammed path showing where customers stop and/or select products.
  • box store: A limited-assortment store, which merchandises products in the original, cardboard shipping boxes.
  • bracket pricing: A price schedule based on the number of cases that a retailer orders the greater the quantity ordered, the lower the price per case. Also called a volume or quantity discount.
  • branch house: A redistribution center for a manufacturer or wholesaler.
  • brand: A product that is uniquely labeled by a manufacturer, private label or national brands, for example.
  • brand franchise: An exclusive contract between a manufacturer and a wholesaler or a retailer to distribute and sell products in a specific market.
  • brand image: Consumers' images of the quality, value and taste of a product.
  • brand loyalty: A level of consumer support for a product measured by the product's turnover.
  • brand share: A percentage of category sales attributed to a specific product brand.
  • bread & butter account: A consistent, high-volume product for a wholesaler or broker.
  • breakage allowance: A manufacturer's allowance to a wholesaler in case products are damaged during shipping.
  • break-even point: An accounting term used to distinguish the point at which gross sales equal operating costs.
  • broadside: An advertising term that refers to two facing newspaper pages in an ad.
  • broken case price (BCP): A price calculated by adding the cost of a product to the cost of labor to repack the product.
  • broker: An independent agent or representative of various noncompetitive products in a retail market who represents a manufacturer and presents products, sales and special deals to a retailer or wholesaler. 
  • brokerage: A manufacturer's commission paid to a broker for the volume of products he or she sells to retailers or wholesalers.
  • broker's warehouse: A warehouse stocked with products and represented by a broker. 
  • bulk product: Unpackaged, fresh products displayed in bins in large quantities and sold by the piece or the pound, such as grains, candy or snacks.
  • bulletin: A communication to distribute information among different segments of an industry.
  • business review: A periodic meeting to review operational performance, goals and projections.
  • buy one get one free (BOGO): An offer that allows a customer to buy an item at regular price and get a second, identical item free.
  • buyer: A wholesale or retail employee who analyzes, selects and buys an appropriate product mix in a category.
  • buyer code: Your customer's item code. Velocity often refers to the buyer code as the SKU. Although buyer codes can exist at the unit level, inner level, and case level, you will normally only receive unit-level buyer codes.
  • buyer's slips: A paper or electronic form that a purchasing department uses to indicate to other departments the selection, quantity and delivery date of products.
  • buying committee: A management review committee that analyzes and selects new products, deals and special promotions. See advisory board; merchandising committee; plans committee.
  • buying co-op: A retailers' group formed to take advantage of lower prices on products, advertising and equipment through economies of scale.
  • buying corporation: A freelance company that resells products.
  • buying group: A group of non-competing retailers who analyze, select and purchase products and services, such as advertising and equipment together. Also called chain-owned buying group; affiliated chain.
  • buying habits: A profile of consumers' purchasing patterns and habits derived from analyzing data.
  • buying headquarters: A central location, where executives or other employees analyze and approve a mix of products for retailers and wholesalers to sell.
  • C
  • calendar marketing agreement (CMA): An agreement between a retailer and a manufacturer in which the retailer agrees to promote the manufacturer's products according to a specific schedule.
  • cannibalization: A competitive factor that reduces a product's sales, such as the debut of a competing brand.
  • CAO: Computer-assisted ordering.
  • case card: A sign used to identify products. Also called a stack card or header card.
  • case code: A universal product code (UPC). A product 's unique, machine-readable numeral printed on a product, cases and pallet loads.
  • case cost: The wholesale cost of a case of products.
  • case count: A receiving procedure that accepts an invoice's total-order case count instead of verifying the contents of each case.
  • case cube: A standard measurement used to calculate a shipping container's volume.
  • case dollar return: A retailer's gross profit calculated by subtracting the wholesale cost of a case from the retail price of a case.
  • case labels: A product's identification and pricing label attached to a product or case when shipped.
  • case lot: Unopened cases of products sold at a set price.
  • case pack: The number of units of products packed in a case.
  • case ready: Packaged, prepared, refrigerated or frozen foods that go from a shipping container to a sales floor.
  • case, refrigerated: A refrigerated display unit for perishable products, such as dairy products or ice cream.
  • case stocking: A stocking procedure that removes a case lid and places a product on the shelf in an original container.
  • case weight: The total weight of a case, a product and its packaging.
  • case wraparounds: A decorative wrap around the base of a merchandising display. Also called base wrap.
  • cash-and-carry: A policy that requires a wholesaler or retailer to pay cash upon delivery.
  • cases selected: Includes only hard cases, that is, no repacks.
  • cash-and-carry wholesale grocer: A wholesaler that allows retailers to select, pay cash and transport their own orders.
  • cash discount: A percentage allowance deducted from an invoice under certain conditions, such as, two percent off the invoice if a customer pays the bill within ten days of receiving it.
  • cash flow: The increase or decrease of cash resources, permitting money to be available for working capital, investments, and other expenses.
  • carrier: A registered, licensed truck or rail company, which transports merchandise from one point to another. Also called a common carrier.
  • carry-in charge: A service delivery fee that vendors charge retailers to unload and stage products in a store. 
  • carrying cost: The cost of the capital employed in holding an asset (such as inventory) calculated as an interest rate (internal borrowing rate or opportunity cost of capital) times the amount of capital employed.
  • case: A full case, or master carton, of an item or inners. Cases are used primarily for shipment. They are usually not available for retail purchase.
  • case-level code: An item code that represents a full case, or master carton, of an item. This is usually an I2of5 code on the outside of a carton that identifies the product and the number of units in the case.
  • category: A group of similar products; such as detergents, paper goods, etc.
  • category captain: Within a category, the manufacturer's representative responsible for analyzing the product movement, assortment, inventory levels, promotion, buying and profitability for a specific geographic area or an entire chain.
  • category development index (CDI): A trend analysis that indicates the pace of sales of a product category in an area.
  • category killer: A retailer, such as a mass merchandiser or a pet food superstore, able to undercut prices of most competitors because of high-volume sales.
  • category manager (CM): A person who analyzes product brands and mix, inventory levels, movement, shelf space allocation, promotions, buying, and profitability of a merchandise category.
  • category pricing: A pricing policy that is used to determine the retail price for all products in a category.
  • CBT: Computer-based training.
  • CDI: Category development index.
  • ceiling cost: A manufacturer's or supplier's limits to price increases on an item.
  • central billing: A headquarters accounting department that processes invoices.
  • central buying: A company headquarters' purchasing department.
  • cents-off: A manufacturer's practice of printing a cents-off coupon on a product label to boost sales for that product.
  • cents-off coupon: A certificate that provides for a cash refund or is deducted from the purchase price at the register.
  • certification sheet: A listing of on-hand inventory amounts signed by a manager and turned in at inventory time.
  • chain: A multi-unit retail operation with stores managed by a headquarters staff. Usually refers to a group of supermarkets under common ownership.
  • chain store: A retail operation of a group of 11 or more stores, which operate under a similar name under one corporate ownership.
  • channel of distribution: The producers and distributors of products from a farm to the table, a path that includes a grower, producer, manufacturer, broker, wholesaler, store and a consumer.
  • change agent: Groups or individuals who use their skills and relationships to lead and implement change in an organization.
  • chargeback: A manufacturer's bill to a retailer if the retailer fails to meet stated performance requirements.
  • check-in: Receiving, checking and signing for merchandise delivered.
  • circular: An advertisement that looks like a newspaper ad distributed to homes. Also called a handbill or a flier.
  • class of trade: A retail organization classed according to its method of doing business, such as a convenience store, supermarket, superstore, or a warehouse membership club.
  • classifications: The family groups of products that a retail food store displays and sells.
  • clearinghouse: A company that redeems consumer coupons from retailers and sends them to manufacturers for reimbursement. 
  • client/server environment: A network of computers; client refers to the desktop terminal; the server to the central processing unit (CPU).
  • clipstrip: A display piece suspended from a gondola shelf, used to cross-merchandise small items.
  • close of business (COB): The last hour of a business day, or the last day of a week, month or year that business is conducted.
  • club store: A large retail store, (100,000 square feet or more), that sells only to members who pay an annual membership fee. Also referred to as a membership club store, warehouse club store or wholesale club.
  • cluster marketing: A strategy to market products in stores with similar demographics.
  • CM: Category manager.
  • CMA: Calendar marketing agreement.
  • COB: Close of business.
  • code number: An item number printed on a case or package by the manufacturer to indicate confidential information for pack identification or checking purposes. Accounts may use different code numbers to describe the same item.
  • COFC: Container on a flat car.
  • COGS: Cost of goods sold.
  • collateral material: Point-of-purchase and merchandising materials that support special sales efforts, such as seasonal or holiday promotions or a new product introduction.
  • color break: The use of contrasting colors of products to create an eye-catching display.
  • column inch: A newspaper measurement unit, one inch long and one column wide. Ad prices are multiplied by column inches.
  • co-marketing: A joint effort between a retailer and a manufacturer to promote products.
  • combination deal: A trade deal including at least two manufacturer's allowances, such as an advertising allowance and a purchasing allowance.
  • combination feature: Multiple products offered together at a single unit price.
  • combination rate: A media term for a special rate offered to companies that advertise in two or more publications, radio or television stations owned by the same company.
  • combination salesperson: An employee of a broker or a manufacturer who has both wholesale and retail sales responsibilities.
  • combination store: A food store and drugstore under one roof.
  • combo store: A complete, full-line self-service market at least 30,000 square feet or larger with annual sales of at least 10 million dollars, 40 percent of which is non foods.
  • common carrier: A transportation company, such as a rail line or trucking firm. 
  • community or regional shopping center: A center anchored by one or more large department or discount stores.
  • company: A customer, vendor, third-party organization (such as a bank), or your own company. Typically, a company is one of your customers or your own company.
  • computer assisted ordering (CAO): A computer software program that keeps track of inventory and orders items as needed. Also called Computer-Aided Ordering.
  • computer-based training (CBT): An self-paced, interactive, computerized tutorial or training process.
  • computerized management system: An electronically controlled system that uses sensors to monitor and control a store's energy use.
  • customer: One of the four types of trading partner. A retailer for which you provide goods or services.
  • customer attribute: An attribute that represents a group of customer items in the way that your customer groups them, which is usually associated with a plan-o-gram.
  • customer count: The number of customer checkout transactions for a day or week.
  • customer count: The number of customer checkout transactions for a day or week.
  • customer loyalty: The degree to which a customer repeatedly shops a store for a majority of their purchases.
  • customer mix: For a store the number of customers of various types expressed as a percentage of the store's total number of customers. For a product the sales attributed to various types of customers expressed as a percentage of the product's total sales.
  • customer item: A customer item contains retailer-specific information about a product that you produce and is uniquely identified by the UPC or the retailer’s item code (SKU).
  • customer loyalty: The degree to which a customer repeatedly shops a store for a majority of their purchases.
  • customer mix: For a store the number of customers of various types expressed as a percentage of the store's total number of customers. For a product the sales attributed to various types of customers expressed as a percentage of the product's total sales.
  • customer unit loads: Unit loads consisting of one or more SKUs, possibly from several product categories, assembled by the seller according to terms of sale offered to the buyer. Also known as rainbow or mixed pallets.
  • cut: Items that are ordered, but not delivered because the warehouse is out of stock. These items should be re-ordered. Also called a product cut. 
  • cut-case: A less-than-case-lot that a wholesaler sells to a retailer.
  • cut-case display: A method of merchandising and stocking products that uses the original packing case, with the top and/or sides removed, to display products.
  • cut-in: To make space on a shelf for new or promotional items.
  • cutthroat: Slashing prices well below the market average.
  • cutting: Opening or sampling a product to evaluate its appearance, flavor, quality and/or consistency.
  • cycle cleaning: Cleaning cases, shelves, bins and storage areas on a regular schedule to ensure cleanliness and sanitation.
  • cycle count: An inventory verification procedure performed at regular intervals at certain store aisles or sections.
  • D
  • dangler: A small, eye-catching sign that hangs from a product or a shelf to draw attention to an item or display.
  • data mining: A process of searching data bases for unique trends or occurring situations and displaying those trends to the user.
  • data model: The complete set of data elements which must be taken into account whenever software systems are written. Industry efforts are underway to define a standard data model for retailers.
  • data/voice network: A telecommunications system that handles both voice and data transmissions over the same line.
  • data warehousing: A compilation of data from a variety of sources for storage and easy retrieval.
  • database: A collection of related information. Retail Velocity products use databases to store information about your products, customers, transactions, and so on. 
  • dataviews: An easy-to-read table of data, which measures dollar sales, gross margin, and unit movement.
  • dating: A supplier's offer that provides discounts for payment of an invoice at some future date. The longer the time period, the better the arrangement.
  • day letter: A daily bulletin with current product and pricing information sent to retail stores.
  • days-of-supply (D-O-S): The amount of product calculated to meet customer demand between replenishments.
  • dating: A supplier's offer that provides discounts for payment of an invoice at some future date. The longer the time period, the better the arrangement.
  • day letter: A daily bulletin with current product and pricing information sent to retail stores.
  • days-of-supply (D-O-S): The amount of product calculated to meet customer demand between replenishments.
  • DC: Distribution center.
  • dead-heading: Returning an empty vehicle to a warehouse.
  • dead net: The lowest cost for goods after all allowances are subtracted, also known as net-net.
  • deal: A buying arrangement or terms of sale that offer special purchasing incentives; a promotion or a trade deal.
  • deal pack: A manufacturer's method of packaging products for special customer promotions at a store.
  • deal period: A manufacturer's time frame for special allowances to retailers for a promotion.
  • deal sheet: A vendor (DSD supplier) generated information sheet listing current or upcoming products on allowance. Includes product description, UPC codes, allowance, cost, start date and end date for each SKU listed.
  • decentralization of store operations: A shift in responsibility and accountability for maintaining store conditions and profitability from a store's headquarters to a store manager.
  • DSD: 
  • Direct Store Delivery, 
  • deep discount: Lowering the price of merchandise to a minimal markup over the wholesale price.
  • deep-discount drug store: A low-margin, GM/HBC store with 25,000 SKUs. These stores typically carry fewer sizes, but more GM/HBC brands than a supermarket.
  • delete: To no longer stock an item in the warehouse or a retail store.
  • delivery cycle: The time between an order and its delivery.
  • delivery receipt: A receipt acknowledging the product count, date and time of a delivery.
  • demand item, demand brand: A product or brand whose consumer popularity makes it an essential item for a store to stock.
  • demographics, demographic characteristics, demographic profile: A snapshot of customers, such as their age, ethnic group, gender, income, education or marital status.
  • demonstration or demo: A product promotion in a store with samples to eat and cooking-tip handouts and/or coupons.
  • demurrage: A daily rate charged by railroads for failure to unload a rail car within a specified time frame.
  • de-palletize: To remove product from the original shipping pallet and re-palletize it for shipping or storage.
  • department: An area in a retail store designated for a category of products, such as, grocery, meat, produce, bakery, among others.
  • department flow: A continuous, logical flow from one commodity to another. For example, summertime fruit, to hard fruit, to exotic soft varieties in the display.
  • department I.D. label: A department's label affixed to a package, so that the sale is credited to that department at the checkout.
  • department sales report: A daily breakdown of each department's sales.
  • depreciation: A reduction in a fixed asset's value over time.
  • descriptive label: The label showing the name of the product, price per pound, total price and possibly the "sell by" date or "pull by" date.
  • detail person: A manufacturer's or broker's representative responsible for category conditions, merchandising and writing credits. 
  • detention: A shipper's fee charged when a truck is not loaded within a certain time frame, which holds up the truck at the warehouse or processing plant.
  • DEX/UCS (direct exchange): A telecommunications system between a retailer and supplier that allows for the exchange of sales data, product movement, billings and replenishment needs.
  • digital scale: A programmable scale that weighs, calculates cost and prints a label.
  • direct account: A retailer who buys directly from a manufacturer and receives all manufacturer allowances.
  • direct buyer: A buyer who places orders directly with a manufacturer and bypasses a wholesaler.
  • direct expense: An expense that directly relates to a specific segment of the business operation.
  • direct mailing: Promotional materials for products received by a customer at home.
  • direct product cost (DPC): A product's total distribution costs, transportation, handling and advertising.
  • direct product profit or profitability (DPP): A formula used to measure a product's profitability. The formula is: Gross Product Margin minus Direct Product Costs equals Profitability. Usually expressed per-item or case.
  • direct sales force: A group of salespeople employed by a manufacturing company to work exclusively in promoting and selling its own products.
  • direct store delivery (DSD): Products delivered directly to a store by the vendor, such as soft drinks, beer, bread and fresh baked goods, dairy products, potato chips and other fragile items.
  • discontinued item: Product no longer available to a store. 
  • discount: A predetermined amount, deducted from the face of an invoice, earned for prompt payment. A sales promotion feature that is a markdown from the regular price for a limited time. A percentage deducted for volume purchases.
  • dispatch/order processing: A supply center department that coordinates product shipments.
  • display: A merchandising method of highlighting a product by arranging it in a way that attracts the attention of the customer.
  • display advertising: Point-of-purchase signage developed to promote product on display.
  • display allowance: A manufacturer's allowance to a retailer who displays or promotes a product.
  • display case: A refrigerated or free-standing case for holding products on a sales floor.
  • display module: A preassembled kit for merchandise display in aisles or shipped on a pallet (generally two to four modules per pallet).
  • display pack: A case of product packaged in such a way as to be ready immediately to display on the shelf as a unit.
  • display stock: Products moved from backroom storage to a sales floor.
  • display unit load: A prebuilt retail display on a pallet ready for in-store merchandising. Also known as Display Pallets.
  • disposable (personal) income: The measure of what people have available to spend in the marketplace after taxes.
  • distressed merchandise: Salable merchandise that needs re-working, crisping, re-trimming or to be conditioned or packaged to sell. Product which requires a forced sale because of damage or deterioration. Also known as a distressed item.
  • distributing area: An analysis of a market area that includes the demographics of the population, number and kind of stores, which is used for price comparisons, market saturation, budgeting, and sales purposes. 
  • distribution: A chain of delivery from a manufacturer to a store.
  • distribution allowance: A manufacturer's allowance to a retailer for purchasing a new product in a category.
  • distribution center: A warehouse used to receive, store and ship products to retailers.
  • distribution cost analysis: The accounting method that factors in the cost of handling and storing individual products and product categories.
  • distributor: A person or company that supplies products to a retailer through a distribution center.
  • distributors' brand: A private-label, brand product packed for a wholesaler, cooperative or chain.
  • district manager: An operations manager responsible for conditions, safety, product levels and cash handling procedures for several retail stores.
  • diverter: A reseller that buys "deal" product from manufacturers to re-sell outside of a target market area.
  • dock: An area to receive, load and unload shipments.
  • dock plate: A built-in or free-standing metal plate that forms a bridge between a trailer and a loading dock.
  • dollar margin: The difference between retail selling price and the cost of goods sold, expressed as a dollar amount or as a percent of retail sales. 
  • domestics: Soft goods, such as kitchen items, linens and other household textiles.
  • D-O-S: Days-of-supply.
  • double-truck: A newspaper advertisement of two facing pages.
  • DPC: Direct product cost.
  • DPP: Direct product profit.
  • drop shipment: A retailer's order shipped directly to a store by a manufacturer.
  • drop trailer: A van filled with merchandise that a driver leaves at a store for unloading.
  • drop-in display: A display unit that fits into or takes the place of grocery shelves.
  • drops: The number of retail deliveries made in a day. A list of price reductions.
  • drug wholesalers: A pharmaceutical wholesaler who sells primarily to chain or single-unit drug stores.
  • dry grocery: Nonperishable grocery products.
  • dry grocery non-foods: Products that are not food, such as paper products, detergents, or pet items.
  • dummy-up: A false bottom for displays, which gives the appearance of mass quantities of merchandise.
  • dumb terminal: A computer terminal, also called a video display terminal (VDT), that is linked to a remote processor.
  • dump display: Massive amounts of product displayed in bulk, in baskets, or in shipping containers.
  • dump table: A display table where products are haphazardly piled rather than neatly arranged.
  • dust collectors: Slow-moving products.
  • DV: Daily value.
  • E 
  • EAN: European article number.
  • early bird allowance: A manufacturer's incentive offered to retailers who order seasonal or promotional items before the season or event begins.
  • earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT): A performance indicator.
  • EAS: Electronic article surveillance.
  • ECR: Efficient consumer response.
  • EDI: Electronic Data Interchange – the electronic communication of business documents (called transaction sets). The data format of EDI documents can be proprietary (defined by an individual organization) or standard (defined by the ANSI ASC X.12 committee). Each industry may have a variant of the X.12 standard—the retail industry has VICS.
  • EDI event: An occurrence of an EDI transmission to transfer EDI files. EDI events are scheduled with the Scheduler.
  • EDI file: A file containing one or more interchanges. Each interchange contains a number of transaction sets.
  • EDI-INT: A standard to exchange EDI information over the Internet. Trading partners exchange their EDI files directly with each other at any time over the Internet without the need for an intermediary (VAN). AS2 is a common type of EDI-INT in the retail industry. 
  • EDI transaction: The EDI data that corresponds to a complete business document, such an Invoice or Purchase Order. Also called a transaction set.
  • EDI session: The process of exchanging EDI data electronically with the VAN or trading partner's computer. 
  • EDLC: Everyday low cost.
  • EDLP: Everyday low pricing.
  • EDP: Electronic data processing.
  • efficient assortment: An ECR method to maximize store volume and gross margins. Its key drivers are category and space allocation targeted by store, quicker adjustments of product in response to changes in customer purchases, identification and emphasis on higher volume/margin.
  • Efficient Consumer Response (ECR): A collaborative industry strategy to reduce the costs of goods throughout the system by automatic replenishment shipments to control inventories and better maintain store conditions. Distributors and suppliers work cooperatively with the goal of reducing efficient product introductions: An ECR initiative used to accurately time the introduction of new products that are more directly related to consumer needs.
  • efficient promotion: An advertising strategy that causes an increase in sales and an improved competitive position for the retailer.
  • efficient replenishment: A core ECR strategy that integrates data throughout the food distribution system to automatically reorder, transport, and restock products.
  • EFT: Electronic Funds Transfer – the electronic transfer of money between trading partners. The 820 transaction is used to transfer money and to transmit the payment detail.
  • EIS: Executive information system.
  • electronic marketing: The use of shopper programs to reward frequent customers for their loyalty. Uses a scan card to monitor customer purchases and provide electronic discounts on special products.
  • electronic shelf labels (ESL): Liquid crystal display (LCD) shelf tags linked to a backroom computer and POS system that automatically display price changes.
  • electronic shopping: Digital shopping via the World Wide Web (WWW) on the Internet.
  • electronic signature capture: A liquid-crystal touch screen that records a signature as a digital image, which reduces paperwork.
  • end aisle display, end cap, end display or ends: A massive merchandise display at the end of an aisle which is a prime selling location for high margin, impulse items.
  • end of month (EOM): An accounting term that designates the last calendar day of a month as the final date for payment of bills.
  • eService: Retail Velocity’s Internet-based application for convenient exchange of inventory data and other vital information collected during store visits. Reps in the field use PalmOS® based handheld computers to exchange information with the main office. Data collected via eService is fully integrated with the Velocity database.
  • ESL: Electronic shelf labels.
  • estimated inventory: A physical inventory method used to calculate the total cash value of a store's inventory. A product count is multiplied by the retail price. The estimated gross-profit margin is subtracted from that figure to get an estimate of the worth in dollars of it.
  • european article number (EAN): A European, 13-digit bar code that identifies products and shipping containers, which is compatible with U.S. and Canadian UPCs, although there are differences in format.
  • event merchandising/event marketing: A store or community wide promotion of targeted products through a series of related activities or using a particular theme.
  • every day low cost (EDLC): A manufacturer's pricing strategy in which the cost of goods is consistently low.
  • every day low price (EDLP): A retail pricing strategy in which the product prices are kept consistently low. 
  • exception count: A physical inventory verification procedure to identify stock conditions outside predetermined limits. These limits generally relate to shelf capacity and back stock, i.e., too much, too little or out-of-stock.
  • executive information system (EIS): Computer software used to summarize operational data and prepare executive reports.
  • expense: Overhead costs that include salaries, supplies, advertising, depreciation, and maintenance.
  • expert systems: Software used to interpret data and highlight key events, enabling a category manager to focus on the most relevant problems.
  • extended dating or extended terms: An accounting term that allows longer than usual payments for products.
  • extenders: Shelves, tables or baskets used along with permanent fixtures to increase display space in a department.
  • eye level: A merchandising strategy to increase sales of a product by placing it at a customer's eye level.
  • F
  • face-up: A shelf's-edge arrangement of merchandise to make a display shelf look full.
  • faced: The pulling forward of product to the edge of the gondola shelf to make the display appear fully stocked. Also known as face-up or facing up.
  • facings: The number of units in width an item occupies on the front row of a store shelf.
  • fact sheet: A manufacturer's promotional sheet for sales calls.
  • factory pack: A standard-sized shipping carton.
  • failure fee: A manufacturer's payment to retailers for merchandise that does not sell as expected and is being dropped from the retailer's inventory.
  • featured special: A product featured in advertisements.
  • features: Products featured in a current advertising promotion to attract customers.
  • field representative: A manufacturer's or wholesaler's representative who sells products and services accounts.
  • FIFO: First in, first out.
  • fill-ins or fill-in order: A supplementary order needed to replace product that was either forgotten, not delivered or out-of-stock.
  • final order date: The last date to place an order to receive product allowances.
  • final ship date: The last date to ship an order to qualify for product allowances.
  • first in, first out (FIFO): An inventory rotation system to sell older products before newer products.
  • fiscal year: A 12-month period that a company or government uses for bookkeeping purposes.
  • fixed dating or fixed terms: An accounting term that sets a payment date.
  • fixture (fixturing): Displays, such as grocery shelves, a freezer case, a magazine or card rack, used to exhibit merchandise.
  • flagship store: The prototype for a retail store chain.
  • flanker: A manufacturer's product modification for an established product., e.g., blue M&Ms.
  • flash sheet: A manufacturer's promotional summary to promote selected sale products to retailers. Also known as a sell sheet.
  • flats: Platforms used to store products.
  • flexible allowance: Choice given to a retailer to select the payment method
  • float: The amount of time that a check is in circulation; the period between the time a check is written and when it is cashed.
  • floor merchandiser: A movable, free-standing fixture, such as: a spinner, which revolves; a rack; a fixed, portable unit; a floor stand; a disposable, cardboard unit; a prepack; a disposable display with products inside; and folding tables; for special displays.
  • floor stock: Merchandise stored by a retailer to replenish shelves between deliveries. Also known as back stock.
  • floor stock protection: An agreement to protect a retailer from a loss if a product's price goes down in a certain time period.
  • flow through distribution: A form of cross-docking; products are broken down into individual cases which are sorted, transferred and put on pallets to ship to retail stores.
  • flyer: An advertisement that is mailed or inserted into newspapers.
  • food/drug combo: A combination superstore-drug store under a single roof that share checkout lanes. General Merchandise/Health and Beauty Care (GM/HBC) represents at least one-third of the selling area and a minimum of 15 percent of store sales.
  • footballing: A competitive strategy to rapidly increase sales volume by sharply cutting prices.
  • footprint: The amount of square footage in a store used by a piece of equipment or display unit.
  • forced distribution: The total allotment of product that a retail chain automatically distributes to its stores without specific orders. Also called a force out.
  • forecast: A projection of sales volume.
  • forklift: A vehicle with projecting prongs that slide under a pallet to move merchandise in a warehouse or store.
  • forward buy: A retail practice of holding products until the end of a promotion to increase profits. Also known as a buyout.
  • four-way pallet: A pallet accessible by equipment from all four sides.
  • franchise: A contractual agreement on a brand, service, name, operation or procedure.
  • franchise store: An independently owned store affiliated with a wholesale group and sharing a common name. A license to use a chain's name.
  • franchised department: A  leased department.
  • franchised label or franchised brand: A label, name, or design that a sectional distributor may use as its private label in an assigned area.
  • free goods promotion: A manufacturer's incentive to retailers or wholesalers that offers free product in exchange for the purchase of a specific quantity.
  • free standing: A store located by itself or in an unplanned shopping area.
  • free standing display: A display built straight from the floor and not attached to a fixture.
  • free standing insert (FSI): A manufacturer's advertisement and coupons put into a separate section of a newspaper.
  • free time period: The time period allocated to load or unload a truck or rail car without incurring additional charges.
  • free trader: A retailer with access to capital who buys in high volume from many suppliers on a cash basis.
  • freight bill: A receipt showing the total cost of a shipment. Shippers pay for prepaid freight bills and receivers pay destination freight bills.
  • freight paid: An expense added to a product's retail price.
  • freight rate: The transportation costs for shipping products by rail, truck or other means that may be based on a formula of total weight, revenue and mileage.
  • frequent shopper program: An electronic marketing program designed to reinforce customer loyalty. A scan card used to capture customer shopping patterns and to generate product discounts (clipless coupons). fronts: The number of shelf facings for a product.
  • full-line drug: A store that sells general merchandise (GM), health and beauty care (HBC), over the counter (OTC) and prescription drugs.
  • full-line wholesale grocer: A wholesaler who provides a complete selection of products and services to retailers, such as accounting services, retail training modules and services, MIS information and reporting and newspaper ad layouts.
  • full service: Merchandiser arrangements with retailers in which product prices include all services, such as order writing, pre-pricing, delivery, shelf merchandising and guaranteed sales.
  • Functional Acknowledgment: This transaction set indicates the receipt and syntactical acceptability of data transmitted according to X.12 standards
  • G
  • gateway: The computer system used in a store to transmit orders and payroll to the Office/Distribution Center and receive price changes, PPUM Tags and delivery schedules from the Office/Distribution Center.
  • general merchandise (GM): Products other than food that are sold in supermarkets and require special buying, warehousing and servicing; GM classes are: hardlines, softlines, reading/writing lines, health and beauty care (HBC) and services.
  • giveaway: A promotion of an item in which customers get one free if they buy one or more products.
  • Global Location Number (GLN): A unique identifier of a store no matter what retailer owns it. No two stores for the same customer may have the same GLN and no two retailers may share the same GLN (also known as GLN).
  • Global Trade Item Numbers: Global Trade Item Numbers – The Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN) code superseded the UPC code on January 1, 2005. The GTIN uses company prefix numbers of varying lengths, so the GTIN should be viewed in its entirety. These codes are controlled by the UCC (Uniform Code Council). See the UCC web site for more information. 
  • GMDC: General Merchandise Distributors Council.
  • GNP: Gross national product.
  • go backs (backshop): The products that accumulate around a checkstand and require reshelving. Also known as back shop, shop backs and returns.
  • gondola: Display shelves and racks that form aisles in a retail store. 
  • graphical information system: A computer program that analyzes trade areas to help select a site to build or buy a store.
  • graphical user interface (GUI): A user-friendly, non-text way to present and to navigate World Wide Web pages using icons and pictures and to hyperlink to other Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).
  • gravity feed: A display fixture that uses a product's weight to drop products down or move them forward as an item is removed.
  • green sheet: A weekly, in-store ad sheet of specials, located at the front of a store for customers' convenience. The Green Sheet may include coupons.
  • gross: A unit of measure for packaged products; 144 items or 12 dozen.
  • gross margin: An accounting term that refers to the difference between retail selling price and the cost of goods sold, expressed as a dollar amount or as a percent of retail sales. Gross margin percentage is computed by dividing gross margin dollars by retail sales.
  • gross national product (GNP): The total value of all goods manufactured in a country in a calendar year.
  • gross profit: An accounting term that refers to a profit figure calculated by subtracting the cost of product from its selling price; expressed as a percentage or as dollars and cents. 
  • gross sales: The total dollar sales for a day, week, month or a year.
  • group advertising: Retailers that advertise together to save money. 
  • group numbers: The standardized classification systems used for products.
  • guaranteed sale: The agreement to return product if items do not sell within a certain time.
  • guaranteed sale program: A program that assures customers a full refund if not satisfied.
  • GUI: The graphical user interface of a World Wide Web page.
  • H
  • handbill: A hand-delivered advertisement or promotional piece distributed to consumers in a trading area.
  • hand-held terminal: A portable computer terminal used for numerous in-store operations, such as price checks or placing orders.
  • handling allowance/charge: A manufacturer's discount paid to a wholesaler in return for handling promotional products and/or cash coupons.
  • handling unit: A term used to describe goods or an aggregation of goods bundled together for distribution and logistical purposes.
  • hang tag: A hanging tag, also known as a shelf talker.
  • hardlines: General merchandise that includes appliances, automotive supplies, barbecue items, batteries, brooms, cookware, cutlery, furniture, gardenware, hardware, photography film or supplies and toys.
  • header card: A sign used to identify products.
  • health and beauty aids (HBA): A category now called Health and Beauty Care (HBC).
  • health and beauty care (HBC): Cosmetics, toiletries and home remedy products sold in food stores. Formerly called health and beauty aids (HBA).
  • held at store: Unprocessed invoices at the time of inventory; a list is made to account for outstanding invoices.
  • hernia-size: Extra-large sizes of packaged goods, such as dry pet foods.
  • hi-cone packaging: Single products packaged together to make a multiple unit, such as beverages and small bags of chips.
  • high-low pricing: A marketing strategy in which a product maintains a high retail price, but is frequently offered as an ad special with a deep discount (low price).
  • historical margin: The profit margin figured on a product or category of products.
  • holding power: Shelf capacity.
  • holistic pilots: Test projects in which trading partners implement one or more aspect of ECR across multiple disciplines and functional boundaries within the companies. They document the experience and measure its success.
  • home delivery: Direct delivery of groceries to a customer's home by a retailer or separate delivery service.
  • home health care: A store that sells medical supplies, bathroom safety equipment, physical therapy needs, wheelchairs, walkers, etc.
  • home office: The headquarters of a company.
  • home page: The main entrance to a World Wide Web site.
  • home shopping: Electronic shopping on the Internet.
  • honor system: A practice of receiving merchandise without systematically counting the product or checking the contents of cases, but rather trusting that the vendor and shipper have complied with the order. 
  • horizontal display: Stocking a line of similar products so they form a horizontal pattern across a single shelf. Also known as Horizontal Set, Horizontal Arrangement. 
  • horizontal selling: A wholesaler's marketing plan to sell to all types of related industries, retailers, commissaries, institutional and food service. 
  • host computer: A computer's processor that each week sends new and sale items to scanning stores.
  • house brand or house label: A private label brand of products offered by a wholesaler or manufacturer.
  • house organ: A company's employee newsletter.
  • housekeeping: Operational procedures to ensure cleanliness, safety, sanitation and maintenance for a store or warehouse.
  • housewares: General merchandise items used in a kitchen and home, e.g., baking pans, mops.
  • hundred-weight (CWT): A transportation measure used to determine transportation charges in 100-pound increments.
  • hypermarket: A combined supermarket and discount store, at least 200,000 square feet or larger, that sells a wide variety of food and general merchandise at a low price.
  • I
  • II2of5 code: A standard bar code that's used on a master carton ("standard carton") of items.The bar code contains a 14-digit number that identifies the items in the carton and the number of units.
  • IMPACT: Inventory management program and control technique.
  • impact: A measurement of customer reaction to advertising and merchandising.
  • impulse buy: An unplanned purchase promoted by visual or other sensory stimulation.
  • inactive: A master item, customer item, company, or store that's no longer involved in new sales, but may still have activity.
  • in-ad coupon: A manufacturer's cents-off coupon appearing in a retailer's ad.
  • in-and-out promotion: A retail promotion for a limited selling period that features product types or quantities not regularly stocked (e.g., lawn mowers, Christmas ornaments).
  • inbound: The path customers follow as they enter a store and begin shopping. The term can also refer to the flow of products into a warehouse prior to order selection.
  • incentive plan or incentive program: Monetary compensation to employees for meeting and/or exceeding sales, and other profit performance goals.
  • income statement: See operating statement.
  • incremental: An increase in product sales volume attributed to a special promotion or merchandising plan.
  • independent store: A retailer with 1-10 stores with similar operational policies and programs.
  • index: An alphabetical list of products and prices handled by a wholesaler.
  • indirect account or indirect buying group: A retailer purchasing products directly from a wholesaler, rather than manufacturers. 
  • indirect chain: A group of retail stores that purchases products from a wholesaler instead of operating its own warehouse.
  • indirect expense: An expense that does not directly relate to a specific segment of the business operation.
  • indirect selling: A sale of goods by a manufacturer to a service merchandiser or other wholesaler, who in turn sells the products to chain store companies or independent stores.
  • industry trade association: A nonprofit organization that represents members and provides services, e.g., referrals, direct purchases, lobbying, education services.
  • informal display: A haphazard product display, purposely jumbled in bins or on tables to project a buy-me, well-shopped image. See dump display; jumble display; mass display.
  • information technology (I/T): Integrated computer systems that provide information for business decisions.
  • in-line product: Products that are permanently ordered and stocked for a store.
  • inner pack: An "inner pack" of items, or a quantity of items that are packaged in less than a case, and then packed into a case. Inner packs are the smallest quantity that your customers can order, although they may or may not be available for retail purchase. If you pick and pack mixed product into cartons to replenish individual stores, the inner pack is the smallest pick quantity.
  • inner-level code: An item code that represents an inner pack of items with its own bar code, typically a UPC. The code must be different than the unit-level code.
  • in-pack promotion: A coupon packaged with a product.
  • inset: A drop-in fixture used to modify standard grocery shelving. Used to break up the monotony of gondola shelving.
  • inside sales rep: A salesperson at a wholesale operation who takes telephone orders for merchandise and also contacts customers to alert them to upcoming promotions, new items and other services.
  •  
  • inspection report: A lost/damage claim describing the condition of the product.
  • instant redeemable coupon (IRC): A coupon located with or attached to a product for the customer to use immediately or save for future use.
  • institutional advertising: Advertising conveying a company's general image or philosophy as opposed to specific product information. Also known as image advertising.
  • institutional and industrial buyers: Hospitals, restaurants, schools and other institutions that buy food and supplies from a wholesale grocer for consumption, not for resale
  • in-stock: Products regularly carried, currently stocked on the shelves and available for purchase. 
  • in-store advertising: Signage used by a retailer to merchandise products within a store.
  • in-store banking: A franchise department in a retail store that provides full or partial banking services to customers.
  • in-store coupon: A coupon only offered to customers who shop in the store.
  • in-store demonstrators: An employee or temporary person conducting tastings, samplings, and product preparations to encourage impulse buys from customers.
  • in-store processor (ISP): An in-store computer system that operates the various systems., e.g., point-of-sale register system, ATM cards, inventory.
  • in-store signs/promotions: Signage used by a retailer to merchandise products and displays within the store.
  • integrated approach: Creating opportunities for solution selling of products throughout all departments in a store.
  • integrated EDI (electronic data interchange): A term applied to the direct entry of information received electronically into the recipient's computer system (e.g., the entry of a transmitted invoice directly into the accounts payable ledger). Integrated EDI eliminates manual checking, saving time and money.
  • integration: General merchandise and health and beauty aids shelved in aisles with food, not in a separate store area.
  • interchange: A batch of EDI transactions sent from a company to one of its trading partners. Typically, retailers only send one type of transaction in each interchange, but it is possible to group different types of transactions within an interchange.
  • intermodal: Transporting products by a variety of transportation vehicles.
  • internal borrowing rate: The rate at which money can be borrowed within the company.
  • International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Assoc. (IDDBA): P.O. Box 5528 313 Price Place, Suite 202 Madison, WI 53705-0528 (608) 238-7908
  • Internet: A global computer network. The system allows you to send and receive communications; conduct research; access public or private databases and advertise products and services.
  • Internet coupons: Electronically redeemed coupons using the Internet.
  • interstore transfer: An invoice showing a transfer of merchandise or wages between separate stores.
  • intervals: An interval is a time period data for a specific customer, such as a day, week, or month. 
  • intranet: An internal computer network to facilitate corporate communications with access limited to a company.
  • introductory allowance: One-time manufacturer's discount for an initial purchase of a new or existing product.
  • introductory offer: A manufacturer's incentive on a new or improved product. 
  • inventory: Stock-on-hand. An analysis of inventory in the store which provides the company with valuable information regarding shrink, inventory level and management performance.
  • inventory carrying cost: The total dollar value of all products carried by a retailer.
  • inventory control: The management of product-flow through the retail/ wholesale system.
  • inventory loss: A condition that occurs when there is less product on hand than should be; resulting in lower sales and shrink.
  • inventory management program and control technique (IMPACT): A purchasing software program that facilitates inventory control, including ordering, shipping and distributing products.
  • inventory turnover: The rate at which products must be restocked because of customer sales.
  • Invoice: An itemized statement of products received showing items shipped, price and total amount billed.  The transaction set represented by the X.12 transaction code 810. 
  • invoice adjustment: Plus or minus on an invoice due to damaged goods, shortage, etc.
  • IPH: Items per hour.
  • island display: A free-standing retail display built in the center of wide aisles to divert traffic. Products may be case-stacked on the floor or placed on portable tables or fixtures.
  • ISP: In-store processor.
  • IT: Information technology.
  • item: A product that you sell. Each product is represented in Velocity as a master item. For each retailer that carries a product, there must also be a customer item. 
  • item code: An item code is a string of characters that represents an item. There are several different kinds of item codes in Retail Velocity products, including the SKU, UPC and manufacturer’s codes, as well as codes identifying different levels of packaging.
  • item maintenance: An EDI transaction, UCS 888, used by sellers to electronically provide customers with physical product parameters for consumer item, unit of sale, unit, and unit load. Parameters include identification codes, size, weight, cube and descriptions.
  • item pricing: Attaching the retail price to each product.
  • item re-order point: A designated inventory level at which additional product should be ordered. Re-order points are generally related to shelf capacity and item case pack.
  • items per hour: An average amount of items checked/scanned in an hour by a cashier.
  • J
  • j-hook: A wire clip-on hook that attaches to the front edge of a grocery gondola and is used to display high-impulse products and gadgets, usually packaged on punched cards. Also called profit hooks or profit pegs.
  • jack: A wheeled device with lifting capabilities, used to move pallets or heavy loads of product (often onto skids or pallets).
  • JIT: Just-In-Time – a manufacturing concept that reduces inventories by coordinating the delivery of materials so that they arrive just before they're needed in the manufacturing process.
  • jobber: A full-line wholesaler capable of providing a variety of retail services including product distribution, ordering, stocking, advertising, financial information and reporting. 
  • journal: A printed tape inside a cash register that records all ongoing customer transactions. Also known as Journal Tape.
  • jumble display: A dump display of a variety of similarly priced products. 
  • just-in-time delivery (J-I-T): An inventory control system that replenishes and delivers products to a retailer just as a current supply is depleted.
  • K 
  • key account: A wholesaler's or manufacturer's primary customer that provides the majority of sales volume.
  • kiosk: An interactive, video terminal featuring recipes or product locations for customer service
  • kites: A price list that includes wholesale/retail costs and advances.
  • kwik-indexes: A list of the leading 200 supermarket operators and the top 50 convenience store companies, ranked by sales volume.
  • L 
  • label gun: A tool used to price merchandise.
  • label peeler: A device used to remove price labels from merchandise when re-pricing due to a price change.
  • labor: All employees except managers that work at a retail store or distribution center.
  • labor scheduling software: A computer software program that creates weekly work schedules for employees and departments. The software program inputs company parameters such as vacation, holidays, work availability, hours of operation, peak sales periods, etc.
  • lacing: A shelf display of overlapped, bagged products to form an attractive arrangement.
  • LAN: Local area network.
  • last in, first out (LIFO): The most recently acquired product is the first sold.
  • layer: A row of similar products stacked on a pallet or shelf.
  • layer-loaded unit load: A pallet loaded with different layers of products
  • layer quantity: The number of similar product cases used to make a pallet layer.
  • layout: The design and lay-out of floor space and the placement of fixtures within a department or retail store.
  • layover: A shelf-stocking technique that displays the top of a product to customers.
  • LCI: Learner-controlled instruction.
  • LCL: Less-than-carload.
  • lead time: The time between an order and a delivery.
  • learner-controlled instruction (LCI): A self-paced, training method.
  • lease-back: A process of financing a building; then selling it to an outside company and paying rent. Options and protective clauses apply to the tenant.
  • leased department: A retail department that is leased to, and operated by, a separate company. Also known as a franchised department.
  • leased inventory: An accounting method used to finance the opening inventory of a new retail store. Product is leased to the operator and secured by the wholesaler's lien on daily cash receipts.
  • leased line: A dedicated, private telephone line used for data transmission.
  • letter of authority: An agreement for a wholesaler to order, deliver and bill promotional products to a retailer.
  • letter of intent: A legal promise to perform some activity at a future date in return for money received beforehand.
  • liabilities, current: Money or obligations owed to other companies or individuals, which must be paid in a year or less.
  • liability: A debt owed by a business to creditors.
  • liability policy: A manufacturer's or wholesaler's insurance policy to cover legal expenses in case a customer or retailer sues.
  • library: A storage/retrieval site in a computer program
  • license plate: An identity label assigned to a container making that container unique from any other container. Typically used for tracking unit loads, but may be used on cases and trailers.
  • LIFO: Last in, first out.
  • limited assortment store: Food stores restricted in size, services, fixtures and variety in order to reduce operating costs and sell goods at the lowest possible prices. Also known as: box stores, no-frills stores.
  • limited distribution: An introductory offer on a new national or branded product introduced in a specific geographic area.
  • linear shelf feet (running feet): The length of a shelf or shelves upon which a product or product group is displayed.
  • line number: A manufacturer's processing key that identifies a product and its pack size.
  • line of credit: The amount of money that a company may borrow from a bank.
  • list price: The price at which items are listed for sale before discounts or allowances.
  • listing: One line about a product in a retailer's newspaper ad.
  • listing allowance: Money that a manufacturer/wholesaler gives a retailer to advertise a product.
  • loading sheet: A shipping list of all products in a railcar or truck trailer.
  • load strap: A restraint in a cargo vehicle used to secure product during shipment.
  • local area network(LAN): A small, computer network of terminals and processors.
  • lockout: An agreement between competing companies to close during a strike, or an arbitrary suspension of operations during a contract dispute with a union.
  • logistics: Activities associated with the procurement, warehousing and transportation of goods for sale.
  • loose-loaded: A shipping practice of loading and unloading products by hand on a trailer. Also known as a dead-pile loaded; floor-loaded; loose-case-loaded.
  • loss leader: An item sold with little, if any, markup, or at a loss, to attract shoppers. 
  • loyalty marketing/cards: Customers' plastic store cards used to reward frequent shoppers and to collect data on purchasing habits.
  • LP: Liability policy.
  • LTL: Less-than-truckload
  • lug: A gray, plastic tub used to transport and store products.
  • lumpers: Temporary employees of motor carriers, shippers or receivers, hired to load or unload trucks.
  • M
  • magnetic stripe reader: A peripheral hooked to a computer that reads magnetic strips on the back of bankcards and credit cards.
  • mailbox: The set of information required to communicate with each VAN or a trading partner's computer. For most VANs, a mailbox is a separate account through which you can send or receive EDI files.
  • mailer: An ad circular direct mailed to customers.
  • mail-in blanks: An order form used by retailers to obtain advertising or promotional materials from a manufacturer.
  • mail-in premium: A point-of-sale promotional offer in which a customer receives a bonus for mailing a coupon or label to a manufacturer.
  • mainframe: A non-networked, large computer, the predecessor of personal computers.
  • main-line: A store's primary display area, which has permanent display fixtures.
  • maintenance cost: An average inventory's storage expense.
  • management information services (MIS): A computer system, based on a mainframe or minicomputer, designed to provide managers with current information about a company's performance, e.g., inventory and sales.
  • mandatory recycling: A requirement by jurisdictions that residents dispose of used plastic, paper and aluminum in separate collection bins or centers in order to reduce the waste that goes to dumps or landfills.
  • manifest: A shipping list of all products in a railcar or truck trailer.
  • manufacturer brand: A manufacturer's product distributed by more than one wholesaler or retailer in a territory.
  • manufacturer's coupon: A magazine advertisement or direct mail coupon for a product..
  • manufacturer's representative: A sales representative responsible for the sales and distribution of manufacturer's products.
  • MAP: Modified atmosphere packaging.
  • margin: The difference between the cost and the retail selling price of goods.
  • margin blending: A combination of higher- and lower-margin products to achieve an overall margin figure.
  • markdown: A price reduction of merchandise to sell older merchandise or for a specific sale period.
  • market, market area: A population center or metropolitan area with similar demographics, buying patterns and expectations.
  • market development funds (MDF): A manufacturer's money offer to retailers in a market to advertise or introduce their products.
  • market profile: A marketplace analysis that describes the number and types of customers in a retail area and other retail stores.
  • market research: A study of product performance or consumer acceptance; a basis for marketing plans and decisions.
  • marketing: The strategy or creating of an image, designed to attract customers to buy specific products or services or shop in particular stores.
  • marketing plan: A strategy to increase sales and profits on a product or brand, using ads, signs, displays, promotional incentives and certain performance criteria.
  • marketing system: The path merchandise travels from a producer to a customer.
  • markup: The percentage of increase in a wholesale price when sold at a retail price. 
  • mass display: A large display of items, used to create an impression of abundance and value.
  • mass merchandiser: A general merchandise retailer offering a large quantity of products at low prices.
  • master attribute: An attribute that represents a group of master items, as defined by your organization. 
  • master broker: A broker supervising other brokers that represent the same manufacturer. 
  • master item: A product that you produce that is uniquely identified by its UPC and your item code (manufacturer’s item number).  The master item record includes your standard pricing, description, and packing information for that item, plus your codes (vendor codes) and universal codes.
  • MDF: Market development funds.
  • meat tonnage: The total amount of meat that the meat department processes.
  • membership club store: A large retail store (100,000 square feet or more), that sells only to members who pay an annual membership fee. Also referred to as a membership club store, warehouse club store or wholesale club.
  • merchandise mix: The selection of products and categories that comprise a basic store set or distribution center layout. Competing brands within a category.
  • merchandiser: A person who designs a store's layout, selects and prices products and decides which signs to use to maximize sales volume. Also, a movable, free-standing fixture.
  • merchandising: The creative handling and presentation of products at the point of sale to maximize their sales appeal.
  • merchandising allowance: A manufacturer's incentive offered to wholesalers and retailers to advertise and display products for a specific period of time. Also known as a Performance Agreement.
  • merchandising calendar: The annual merchandising schedule of the food industry coordinating seasonal, ethnic and traditional events.
  • merchandising committee: A retailer/wholesaler management group that selects new products and accepts manufacturer's allowances and special promotions. See advisory board; buying committee; plans committee.
  • merchandising department: A division of a food store company that procures products and develops retail sales programs.
  • merchandising technique: An attractive shelf display of products, e.g., hand-stacked; case-packed; tray-packed; lacing.
  • merchant discount: A processing fee that retailers pay banks for credit card transactions.
  • microbe: A microorganism that can cause disease. Bacteria, molds and yeast that can grow on various food and equipment surfaces; the main cause of discoloration in meat and food poisoning.
  • micromarketing: A marketing plan focused on a defined segment of the marketplace, rather than the entire marketplace.
  • microwave oven: An oven that cooks foods quickly using microwaves.
  • middleman: An intermediary in the purchase and/or flow of products from producers to customers.
  • mini-club: A scaled-down wholesale club, which carries about 60 percent of the SKUs offered in a larger store.
  • minimum carload weight requirement: A minimum weight or quantity needed to qualify for a railcar shipping rate.
  • minimum order requirement: A minimum quantity, set by a manufacturer or supplier, for a retailer or wholesaler to order at a time to qualify for a certain price or discount.
  • minimum truckload weight requirement: A minimum weight or quantity required to qualify for a truckload shipping rate.
  • MIS: Management information services.
  • mis-pick: An improperly slotted or selected item that results in the wrong item being shipped and/or billed to a retailer by a wholesaler.
  • mis-redemptions: A cashier's mistake processing a coupon, such as credit for the wrong item, an expired coupon or over/short on the exchange amount.
  • mis-stock: An item stocked in the wrong place or incorrectly stocked.
  • mix: A variety and size of products comprising the total assortment of products that a retailer offers for sale.
  • mix-and-match: A display of various items to offer a selection for a single price point, e.g., five for $1.
  • mixed car or mixed truck: A shipment of a variety of products by rail or truck to a specific location that qualifies by weight as a railcar load or truckload.
  • mobile: A hanging sign that moves with air flow or is powered by electricity.
  • mode of shipment (MOS): The means used to ship items, such as a railway or truck line.
  • model stock: An item’s ideal stock level at a store. The model stock could be set at a constant number, updated manually, or vary based on the item’s current forecast.
  • modem: Modulator/demodulator; a telephone-like device that transmits and receives data.
  • modified atmosphere packaging (MAP): A packaging technique that uses a gas-flushing process to reduce oxygen and maximize a product's shelf life.
  • molding, shelf: A grooved strip on a facing of a gondola shelf used to attach price tags and shelf-talkers. Also called shelf channel.
  • movement: A tracking of a product's sales by units or cases for a certain time.
  • movement allowance: A case allowance given to a wholesaler for turning products through the warehouse within a specific timeframe.
  • multideck: A display case/fixture with shelves placed vertically, one above the other.
  • multipack: A multi-item pack of products with the same UPC.
  • multiple pricing: A pricing policy based on the theory that pricing of two or more units for a single price (e.g., 3/$.99) encourages multiple purchases.
  • multiple-unit sales: Selling in lots of more than one.
  • multipoint private network: A networking system that links the computer systems of a number of stores on a single leased line. Also called multidrop.
  • N
  • NACDS: National Association of Chain Drug Stores.
  • NACS: National Association of Convenience Stores.
  • NASFT: National Association for the Specialty Food Trade.
  • National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT): 8 W. 40th St. New York, NY 10018 (212) 921-1690
  • National Association of Wholesale -Distributors (NAWD): 1725 K St., N.W., Suite 710 Washington, DC 20006 (202) 872-0885
  • national brand: A product distributed and sold nationwide. Usually nationally advertised with strong customer loyalty.
  • NAWD: National Association of Wholesale Distributors
  • near-pack premium: A special premium offered to customers who buy a product that is displayed close to that product or at the front end of the store.
  • neighborhood shopping center: A planned center that has several stores, anchored by a supermarket .
  • net profit: The difference between gross profit and the cost of doing business. Commonly expressed as a percentage of sales. The dollar amount that remains after goods are sold and all costs are subtracted. Usually reported two ways by corporations: before and after 
  • net property and equipment: The value of all property, plant and equipment, including capital leases minus accumulated depreciation and amortization.
  • net sales: Gross sales minus adjustments and returns. The final figure.
  • Network Exchange (NEX/UCS): An electronic communication, utilizing public telecommunications networks, that facilitates the exchange of data and information between office-based computer systems. 
  • neutralizing charge: A fixed weekly fee, charged to retailers who are stockholders in a wholesale operation, that covers an increased cost of service that was not billed on an original invoice for merchandise.
  • new distribution: An authorization to receive and stock a new product.
  • new product information sheet: A buyer's data sheet listing product and promotional information and allowances that must be completed by the seller at the buying office.
  • niche marketing: Advertising and marketing tailored to a specific demographic population with similar purchasing behaviors. Also known as target marketing.
  • night crew: A group of retail associates who restock merchandise after normal store hours or at night when business is slower. Also known as night stockers.
  • no frills: A limited-assortment store, which does not provide customer services.
  • no-name brand: A generic item with no brand association.
  • nonfoods: General merchandise sold in food stores, e.g., appliances, electronics, hardware, toys.
  • nonsponsoring wholesaler: A wholesaler that does not offer memberships that serves single or multi-unit retailers.
  • normal stock: An amount and mix of products that a retailer needs to meet normal sales volume for a specific period of time, i.e., day, week, month.
  • not authorized: An item that a store is not allowed to carry.
  • not-on-file: A product not entered into a store's inventory file, therefore it will not scan at checkout.
  • O
  • occupancy: The costs associated with a building (either a distribution center or store), including lease payments or amortized capital outlay, plus all maintenance and utilities.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): A federal agency that sets workplace safety standards and inspects facilities for safe working conditions.
  • off-invoice (OI): A method of payment for a manufacturer's trade deal or promotion where the amount of the allowance for merchandise is deducted from the manufacturer's invoice.
  • off-label: A special label affixed to a package or can that indicates a lower-grade of product.
  • off-line: A condition when the computerized system goes down and the back up system is utilized to continue processing data, e.g., register system, printing invoices.
  • off-shelf: A special product display that is not part of the regular store set, e.g., seasonal merchandise or promotion items.
  • one-stop shopping: A store that provides a wide variety of products and services at one location.
  • online debit: Accessing a customer's checking account for payment in real-time.
  • on-pack promotion: A coupon or premium attached to a product.
  • on-premises bakery: An in-store bakery that produces a variety of baked goods from scratch or by bake-off procedures.
  • on sale items: An item that is temporarily reduced in price, advertised or not advertised, and marked by in-store signs.
  • on-the-job-training (OJT): An instructional method to teach employees skills as they work.
  • O-O-S: Out of stock.
  • open account: A business or person with a line of credit that is not backed by collateral.
  • opening funds: The money on hand the first day of a week or at the start of a cashier's shift.
  • operating expenses: The costs of operating a business.
  • operating income: Net sales minus all direct and indirect operating costs and before deducting the cost of capital, extraordinary items and taxes.
  • operating statement: An accounting statement that itemizes revenues, expenses and profits of a department, store, division, company or other business unit. Also referred to as a P&L statement or income statement.
  • operations: A division responsible for overall store operations and performance, including personnel, finance, warehousing and distribution.
  • operator: A retailer who owns and operates a grocery store.
  • opportunity cost of capital: A possible rate of return on the next best use of dollars invested by a company.
  • optical fiber: (fiber-optic cable). A tiny (smaller than a hair) cable made of glass and plastic.
  • order book: A printed catalog of products in stock and a price listing used to place orders with a wholesaler and distributor.
  • order code: A product's number used to order items from a warehouse.
  • order fill rate: The rate per hour that a selector or a shift of selectors assembles orders in a warehouse.
  • order form: A form used to list products to be ordered, along with sizes, quantities and prices.
  • order lead time: The time lag between receipt of a retailer's order by a wholesaler or vendor and delivery of the products to the store; the time needed to process, select, load and transport. 
  • order padding: An increase in a retailer's order without his/her permission, approval, or confirmation.
  • order picking: Selecting and assembling an order at the warehouse or distribution center for loading.
  • order point: The amount of inventory on hand in a warehouse or store used to determine when to purchase replacement stock.
  • order-to-order credit: A transaction term that means that payment in full is required before a second order can be placed.
  • orientation: In electronic space management, product placement and positioning on the shelf.
  • OS&Ds: Overs, shorts and damages.
  • OTC: Over-the-counter.
  • other assets: All assets except property and equipment with a life exceeding one year, e.g., investment in other companies, long-term receivables.
  • other current assets: Assets with a life of less than one year, e.g., cash accounts receivable, prepaid expenses and short-term investments.
  • other income: All non-operating income, e.g., interest income, gain on sales of securities.
  • outbound: The direction and flow of customer traffic just prior to entering the checkout aisles and leaving the store. Also, the flow of products out of a warehouse after order selection.
  • out-of-stock (OOS): A product temporarily oversold and unavailable in a retail store. Also, product not in supply in the warehouse. In wholesaling, it is a customer service standard used and measured as a percentage of orders placed that cannot be filled. Also known as Outs.
  • outside salesperson: A wholesaler's marketing employee who visits retailers to order products and services, to provide management reports and to do merchandise displays.
  • over & under: A management standard for cash-register receipts and for inventory discrepancies, e.g., breakage, price adjustments.
  • overhead: The basic direct and indirect costs of a business operation, such as labor, rent, utilities and insurance. Total operating costs, including fixed and variable expenses.
  • override: The management authorization needed to continue operating a cash register once preset HALO or LALO levels are exceeded. Usually done by inserting a key and entering code numbers.
  • over-ring: The ringing or scanning of the price of a product higher than its shelf price.
  • overstock: An excessive amount of product purchased in anticipation of increased sales volume.
  • overstoring: A concentration of too many retail stores that saturates a market and cuts into the profits of each store.
  • overs, shorts, damages (OSDs): A discrepancy between products ordered and those received.
  • overwire hanger: Hanging signs visible on both sides to customers.
  • P
  • P&L Sheet: Profit and Loss Statement.
  • pack: A standard number of items in a case.
  • pack box/repack: A large case of merchandise broken down and combined with other products into smaller case packs for distribution to retail stores.
  • pack date: The date on which a product was made or packaged for sale.
  • pack quantity: The number of units inside a case.
  • packing slip: A handling slip that tracks shipping and loading of merchandise.
  • pack out: Placing merchandise on shelves from cases or containers to maximize shelf capacity. Total capacity of a shelf in units when fully stocked.
  • paid outs: Money paid out for goods or services, usually in cash at a store.
  • pallet: A standard-sized base for assembling, sorting, stacking, handling and transporting goods as a unit. The industry standard is GPC-spec-4-way entry, 48" x 40" hardwood pallets.
  • pallet display: A manufacturer's display unit that is shipped to a retailer on a pallet, which when placed on a sales floor serves as a free-standing, advertising display that saves time and labor.
  • pallet factor: The number of cases on a pallet.
  • pallet jack: A hand- or battery-powered device used to move pallets or products.
  • pallet shipper: A combination of different products stacked together and shrink-wrapped on a pallet for shipment to a retailer.
  • palletized shipment: See unitized shipment.
  • palletizing: Storing and/or shipping of products on standard sized pallets.
  • parcel pickup: A driving lane in front of a store where customers pick up their purchases.
  • parity pricing: Pricing products at the same margin as competitors in an area.
  • Partners On Line: Target's web-based system for their vendors to retrieve POS information for their products. Only chain-level sales and inventory information is provided. This is not the same system as Target's more comprehensive InfoRetriever system.
  • patronage dividend or rebate: A wholesaler's refund to a member retailer to distribute profits. Determined by totaling purchases for a given time period or of specified items.
  • pay directs: Coupons refunded directly to a retailer.
  • pay for performance: A manufacturer's requirement that a retailer must prove performance for a promotion before reimbursement.
  • payback, payoff: A profit made by a retailer on a special program.
  • payload: A trucking practice; after delivery of a shipment, a trucker picks up another shipment before returning to a warehouse. Also known as backhaul.
  • pegboard: A display used for small products or individual items.
  • pennant: A display poster with three visible sides.
  • percent of profit: The selling price of an item minus its cost, expressed as a percentage of its selling price. Also referred to as margin or percent of margin.
  • performance allowance: A manufacturer's allowance to a retailer on completion of a promotion.
  • performance requirements: Specific promotional activities that a manufacturer requires before a retailer can receive a performance allowance.
  • perimeter department: An outer wall of a retail store.
  • perpetual inventory system: A system that maintains an expected inventory level within a store that reflects all physical product movement sales, deliveries, credits, etc.
  • Pet Food Institute (PFI): 1101 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Suite 700 Washington, DC 20036 (202) 857-1100
  • pet foods and supplies: An area of the grocery department designated for food and supplies for domestic pets. Often considered a profit center.
  • PFI: Pet Food Institute.
  • pharmacy: A place where prescription medicines are compounded and dispensed.
  • pharmacy only: A store that generates at least 95 percent of sales from prescription drugs.
  • physical distribution: The process of planning, storing, order picking, and shipping of products through the supply chain.
  • physical inventory: A written accounting of salable stock on hand as of a specified date, valued at actual or replacement cost.
  • pick ticket: A small label that warehouse selectors use to select items to be shipped.
  • pick to belt: Warehouse selectors select items or cases, apply price labels, place them on an automated conveyor to the dock to ship to a retailer.
  • pick to light: A lighting system that guides warehouse selectors to the correct products.
  • pick to pack: A selector at a warehouse finds, prices and packs small items in totes and transports them to the dock for shipping.
  • pickup (cash): The removal of surplus cash from registers to prevent losses.
  • pickup allowance, CPU allowance: A manufacturer's discount offered to wholesalers who pick up orders at the manufacturing site or distribution center rather than having them delivered. See customer pickup.
  • pickups: An out-of-stock product purchased to complete scheduled orders or to fill a store shelf until a scheduled delivery arrives.
  • piece count: A receiving method for checking a load against the invoice by counting cases instead of each item.
  • piggyback: The transporting of a loaded truck trailer on a flat railcar. 
  • pilferage: Shoplifting, theft of money, or product tampering by employees or customers.
  • pilot store: A prototype store used to test management practices, systems and products.
  • pipeline: The stock flow s from producers to consumers necessary in all inventory locations throughout the channel to keep product on the retail shelf available for customers to purchase.
  • pitch book: A salesperson's loose-leaf notebook that lists prices, product specifications and other selling information.
  • placement: The initial selling and subsequent establishment of a product brand or pack on a store shelf that previously did not stock or purchase it; a "new sale."
  • placement allowance: A manufacturer's allowance for ordering new or promotional products.
  • planogram: A department, shelf, or display schematic for allocating products by the number of facings and/or the depth of the display.
  • plans committee: A management group that approves product mix, formulates advertising and merchandising programs and projects sales volume. See advisory board; buying committee; merchandising committee.
  • PLMA: Private Label Manufacturers Association.
  • PLU: Price look-up.
  • plus out: A forced distribution of products from the warehouse to the retail stores of a chain operation.
  • PM: Push money.
  • PM allowances: Promotional money paid by vendors for advertising allowances.
  • PO: Purchase order.
  • point-of-purchase: The locations within a retail store where a customer purchases products. Point Of Sale (POS) data received from retailers contains sales information collected at retail check-out lanes plus information about inventories, orders, and other store and warehouse activities.
  • point-of-sale advertising: Signs, recorded messages or gimmicks in a store that direct attention to products on sale. They may be either supplied by a manufacturer and mention specific brand names, or they may have been made by the retailer himself to call attention to a special.
  • point-of-sale system: An electronic register system that scans purchases and collects data.
  • pole display: An advertising display that is mounted on a pole and placed above a product, e.g., produce displays, meat signs, coffin cases signs.
  • pool car: A rail car shipment of the same brand of products, shipped to one geographic area, but delivered to different retailers.
  • POP (P-O-P): Point-of-purchase signage. See point-of-purchase.
  • POP radio: Advertising a particular product on radio.
  • portion pack: A product package of single-service portions.
  • POS: Point of sale.
  • posting bills: The entering of all transactions onto the proper receiving records at a store.
  • positive check authorization (velocity-based): A database management system that allows a company to track and manage check authorizations through or with an electronic POS system.
  • power wing: Gondola extensions used to display promotional products.
  • PPO: Preferred provider organization.
  • PPUM: Price per unit measure.
  • pre-built display: A shipping container designed to display products on a retail sales floor.
  • preferred provider organization (PPO): A healthcare provider group that offers reduced medical costs to members.
  • preorders: Future advertised items that are ordered in advance from the warehouse.
  • prepack: A shipping container designed to display products on a retail sales floor. Also called a shipper, pre-built display or display case.
  • prepackaging: A manufacturer's packaging and pricing of products before delivery to the retail store. e.g., display-ready packs of produce and meat.
  • prepricing: Items priced by a manufacturer before delivery to the retail store, e.g., produce and meat.
  • preprint order form: A printed inventory guide for a warehouse that lists current inventory available to retailers for ordering.
  • prescription drugs: Medicines that can be obtained only by means of a physician's written order.
  • price book: A manufacturer's or a wholesaler's printed current list of products and correct prices.
  • price brand: A featured brand of product on sale to attract customers.
  • price card: Display signs indicating the cost of a featured product.
  • price changes: The reduction or increase in the selling price of a product.
  • price discrimination: Discounting a product's price for one customer and not for others within a trading area.
  • price fixing: An illegal practice among competitors of setting the same price for a product. Also known as price gouging.
  • price leader: A brand of product featured at a low price point to increase sales volume.
  • price list: A manufacturer's listing of all products by UPC and price.
  • price look-up (PLU): Codes assigned to products that are normally not bar-coded, such as fast-moving items and weighed produce, to allow for fast and accurate pricing.
  • price maintenance: The upkeep of a central pricing database to ensure accurate and consistent pricing.
  • price marking: Placing the retail price on a package using labels, stamps or other means.
  • price per unit measure (PPUM): A label used on items stocked on shelves. Used for ordering and to help customers compare prices.
  • price protection: A manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer agreement to maintain a product's price for a set period of time.
  • price verification: A cross check of a product's shelf price compared with the scanned price at the register.
  • price war: A price war among retailers designed to retaliate against each other for price reductions.
  • price zones: Price categories in an area that reflect a local market's competition and local warehouse costs.
  • pricing integrity: A matching of the price of a product and the price charged on the electronic scanner at the checkout.
  • pricing office: An area in-store where scanning coordinators change prices, enter new items, maintain the item file on the computer database and generate reports.
  • pricing zones: See zone pricing.
  • private label: A product line exclusively distributed by a wholesaler/ retailer, which may be manufactured under contract for the private label user. See controlled brand; franchised label; house brands.
  • Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA): 369 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 10017 (212) 972-3131
  • private network: A frame relay network.
  • processor: A company that produces consumer products from raw goods or materials. Also known as a packer.
  • productive labor: An accounting term used for the hours charged to the normal operation of the store.
  • productivity measures: Standards or benchmarks used to improve productivity, business processes and organizational performance.
  • product liability: A legal term in tort law that means consumers can sue manufacturers, distributors or retailers for defective or unsafe products
  • product line: A group of products with similar uses and characteristics.
  • product lookup number: A number assigned to a coupon or produce product that, when entered into the register, retrieves a product's name and price.
  • product mix: A variety and size of products comprising the total assortment of products that a retailer offers for sale.
  • product movement: An item's rate of sale.
  • product movement record: Data showing the volume of each product's sales by day, week, period and/or quarter.
  • product recall: The mandatory withdrawal for public safety reasons of a product that is for sale.
  • profit and loss statement (P&L): A financial statement of gains and losses for a specific time period.
  • profit items: Products that have a high profit margin.
  • profit opportunity: Products that enjoy a higher gross margin. Creative displays of such items will return a larger than average margin of profit.
  • profit sharing: A company's incentive program whereby employees share a percentage of net profits.
  • profitability: A calculation of the profit of a product by the number of product turns and gross profit.
  • projections: The process of determining what and how much product will be sold at what price during a predetermined time period.
  • promotion: A marketing campaign to increase sales through advertising, merchandising, signage, and special events.
  • promotion allowance: A discount offered by manufacturers to wholesalers and retailers to advertise, reduce the price of, or provide a special display of a product during a sales promotion period. See advertising allowance.
  • promotion money: A manufacturer's incentive to wholesalers to actively market their products. Usually payments are based on the number of cases sold.
  • promotional business: A product that is sold under promotional allowances or other price considerations as a buyer's incentive to support a specific merchandising program. 
  • promotional licensing: A marketing agreement between a manufacturer and a celebrity to use his or her image in promoting a product.
  • proof of performance: A retailer's certification to a manufacturer that promotional performance requirements were met and allowances should be paid.
  • proof of purchase: Evidence used by a customer to verify the purchase of a product and mailed to a manufacturer to receive a premium, refund or rebate.
  • proportionate shelving: A space management procedure that utilizes share of sales to determine the number of facings for a product on a shelf.provider. The side of a trading pair that supplies products and/or services to the requestor. 
  • pull down: Organizing merchandise so lower product layers are full on the shelf.
  • purchase allowance: A manufacturer's deal to retailers and wholesalers to lower the case price if an order is received during a promotional time period.
  • purchase order: The transaction set represented by the X.12 transaction code 850. Purchase Orders can be either "standard orders" or "spreadsheet orders" (includes quantities per store). Purchase orders can also specify direct shipment or cross-docking.
  • purchase order acknowledgment: A form used to order products.  The X.12 transaction code 855 can be used to acknowledge orders and inform the customer how many units of product will be shipped, back ordered, or cancelled. It can also be used by the vendor to generate an order in a VMI relationship.
  • purchase order change: The transaction set represented by the X.12 transaction code 860. 
  • purchase order change acknowledgment: The transaction set represented by the X.12 transaction code 865. 
  • purchasing power: A measure of a family's or individual's disposable income.
  • push items: Products that receive maximum marketing and merchandising attention to increase their sales volume.
  • push money (PM): A manufacturer's incentive to wholesalers to actively market their products. Usually payments are based on the number of cases sold. Also called promotion money or a spiff.
  • push/pull: A marketing concept in which product is "pushed" by a manufacturer with a special promotion (advertising, merchandising) and "pulled" out of the store through customers' demand created by the promotion.
  • put-away: Re-shelving items not purchased by customers in a store.
  • pyramid: A hand-stacked, triangular display.
  • Q
  • qualifier: A code that specifies the type of ID. Most identifiers and codes (such as item codes, trading partner IDs, container types) have a qualifier that defines what type of code it is and what it means. For example, the item code’s qualifier of “UP” indicates that the item code is a UPC.
  • qualifying ad: A retailer's newspaper or radio ad placed to meet a manufacturer's performance requirement.
  • quality discount: A promotional discount offered to wholesalers and retailers in which progressively lower prices are available for progressively larger orders.
  • quantity discount: A manufacturer's or wholesaler's discount based on the quantity of cases purchased in a single order or over a specified time period. See bracket pricing.
  • quick response (QR): A partnership strategy in which manufacturers and retailers work together to respond rapidly to fill a product order on demand and within a short period of time.  A program that combines UPC bar codes, point-of-sale scanning, and EDI to quickly replenish the inventory of fast-moving goods.
  • quota: A benchmark used to establish the quantity of product expected to be sold during a promotion.
  • R 
  • rack: A floor or counter display unit with shelves and hooks for merchandise.
  • rack jobber: A wholesaler or vendor that orders and delivers product and services a non-food department in a food store on a contract basis, e.g., health and beauty care (HBC).
  • railcar: A railroad car.
  • raincheck: A slip that stores give customers for sales items that are sold out. It allows the customer to return at a later date and purchase the item at the sale price.
  • rebate: An advertising allowance or refund that reduces a retail price for a product if a customer mails a proof-of-purchase. 
  • rebuyer: A person in a distributor's organization responsible for routine reorders of product.
  • receivable: Bills or invoices for goods or services; money owed by a customer.
  • receiver: An authorized associate of a warehouse or retail store who receives and checks deliveries for condition and an accurate amount. The first handler of the delivery receipt or invoice.
  • receiving: A door or dock of a warehouse or store designated for receiving merchandise from a supplier. The procedure for physically and legally accepting a shipment of product.
  • receiving log: The record or listing of products received with appropriate entries.
  • reclaimed goods: Unsalable product at the time of delivery that is returned to a wholesaler/vendor for reclamation.
  • reclamation center: A distribution center department that sorts and processes damaged or outdated products, sent by stores, for reimbursements.
  • recondition: To repair or restore a product's appearance, e.g., trimming, re-crisping, taping on labels or other method.
  • reference daily intake (RDI): The standardized daily vitamin and mineral intake needed by the average adult diet.
  • refrigerated case liner: A disposable sheet placed under Vexar, which helps keep a case clean and aids in housekeeping.
  • refund: A consumer promotion in which the purchase of a product entitles a consumer to a cash refund, a discount or a coupon good for a discount on a next purchase.
  • refund offer: A manufacturer's promotion that reimburses a customer for all or part of a product's retail price with a proof-of-purchase.
  • regional chain: A group of retail stores owned and operated by the same company, and located in the same area of the country.
  • register: A cash register that adds up the sales of goods, holds money, and provides a display of the sales for the customer.
  • register balance: To verify a cashier's till amount against the register reading.
  • regular stock: Normal inventory carried to maintain store conditions and sales volume. 
  • related items: Products consumed or used together, e.g., wine and cheese.
  • related item tie-in: Merchandising compatible products together that are often consumed or used together to encourage the sale of both items, e.g., pie shells and canned fillings, tortilla chips and salsa. 
  • remodel: To modify or enlarge a retail store or department, i.e., expansion, new equipment, new sign package.
  • reorder point: The inventory level established to trigger a buyer's replenishment order.
  • repack: To use loose items to make up a case of products.
  • repeat: A customer's repeat purchase of a product.
  • replenishment order: The transaction set represented by the X.12 transaction code 855. When a vendor manages the replenishment of inventory for a retailer, the vendor sends the 855 transaction to state what the order will be. The retailer treats the order as its own Purchase Order.  The 855 is also used as a 
  • Purchase Order Acknowledgment.: reps: Manufacturer's representatives, food brokers or vendors selling products on commission.
  • requestor: The partner of a trading pair that orders products and/or services from the provider. Normally, this is the customer of two trading partners. For a banking relationship it is the trading partner sending the money to the bank with an EFT. Orders flow from the requestor to the provider; products and/or services flow from the provider to the requestor.resale price maintenance: Using a manufacturer's suggested price as the retail price.
  • reserve stock: Product that is not on display and is instead stored in the cooler, freezer or back room.
  • reset: To totally remerchandise a category or department according to a planogram.
  • restock: To fill or replenish a product to the normal stock level.
  • restore: The process of retrieving data that has been archived so that it can be used again.
  • retailers' service program: A wholesaler's marketing program designed to assist retailers with economies of scale resembling a chain operation, e.g., advertising, deal promotions, merchandising.
  • restricted items: Products restricted from sale in a state or location and sold legally in another state.
  • retail audit system: A retail computer system that tracks and analyzes store conditions, e.g., pricing, stock levels, out-of-stocks.
  • retail cooperative: A group of retailers that purchase, warehouse and advertise together to achieve economies of scale.
  • retail display allowance (RDA): Monies paid by a manufacturer to have their products on display, usually in a certain location.
  • RetailLink®: Walmart’s web-based system used by their vendors to retrieve various reports and POS information about their products at Walmart and Sam’s Clubs.
  • RetailLink® import directory: The directory that contains the data files downloaded from RetailLink that you want to import into Velocity.
  • retail representative: A manufacturer's marketing employee that provides services to retailers, including promotional deals, ordering, merchandising techniques, etc.
  • retail unit: The typical product size offered for sale.
  • retail value: A product's regular retail price.
  • retailer: A store owner or operator who sells products directly to customers, sets or implements retail policies and procedures and is responsible for store conditions and profitability.
  • retailer-controlled brands: Brands and/or private label products exclusively sold by a retailer in a market area.
  • return on assets (ROA): A ratio in dollars of a company's net profit in relation to its net worth, calculated by dividing the company's net profit after taxes by its net worth.
  • return on equity: Earnings divided by net assets.
  • return on inventory investment (ROII): A performance index that identifies the number of dollars returned each year for each dollar invested in inventory. Calculated by dividing total gross profit dollars by the cost of the average inventory on hand. It relates profits to the money used to pro.
  • return on investment (ROI): The total gross profit that one dollar, initially invested in inventory as it is depleted, will return during a period of time. Computed by dividing the total Gross Profit generated by the item by the amount of the initial investment in inventory.
  • returns: Unsold, damaged, or defective merchandise sent to a supplier or distributor for credit or refund.
  • returns (to warehouse): An authorization by the warehouse to return merchandise on a certain date indicated.
  • rework: (For Perishables:) To crisp or trim a product that looks case-worn. (For Grocery To re-affix labels. To refine a category or shelf set.
  • re-wraps: Products that are removed, reconditioned (if salable) and displayed with limited sell-by dates.
  • RF: Radio frequency.
  • ribbon: A shelf merchandising technique of arranging size, color, flavor and/or brand vertically on a shelf. See billboard.
  • ring: Scanning a product or tabulating a retail price on a register system.
  • ring up: To scan and complete a customer's transaction at the front end.
  • riser: A shelf that extends above the normal top shelf to give a higher profile
  • .ROA: Return on assets.
  • Robinson-Patman Act (1936): Federal legislation that prohibits discrimination through price discounts, special terms or services, or other means, e.g., false brokerage payments; promotion allowances for certain customers.
  • ROI: Return on investment.
  • ROII: Return on inventory investment.
  • roll-out: A marketing campaign to introduce a new product.
  • roller: A conveyer that moves merchandise cases.
  • rolling stone: A food store on wheels from which a retailer sells merchandise house-to-house. Usually found in rural areas.
  • rotation: A shelf-stocking procedure that ensures first-in, first-out by pulling older stock forward and placing newer stock at the back during restocking. See stock rotation.
  • rotation list: A manufacturer's marketing process of featuring certain products at the same time each year.
  • rotisserie: A rotating grill with an electrically turned spit that cooks meats.
  • roto (rotogravure): A colorful; circular that advertises a retailer's featured sale items, included inside a newspaper or delivered directly to homes.
  • roto ad: A corporate level ad generated for an entire company and distributed throughout a trade area, e.g., newspaper, home delivery.
  • route list: A daily list of retail stores on a delivery schedule.
  • rows: The number of units in width an item occupies on the front row of a store shelf.
  • S
  • safety stock: A back-stock of products kept to replenish shelves.
  • sales: The dollar amount of products or services sold.
  • sales analysis: An analysis of sales by week, month, period or year to project trends, identify problems and measure a retailer's performance.
  • sales area: An area designated in a retail store to display and merchandise products, provide customer service and check out. It does not include the back room, coolers, (stock area) or maintenance areas.
  • sales log: A sales record by store and department, which provides sales trends, competitive factors, staffing, weather, holidays, etc.
  • sales per associate hour/sales per labor hour (SPAH/SPLH): A productivity measure that quantifies the total dollars of sales
  • for every labor hour used.
  • sales per square foot: A measure of store and department profitability. Calculated by dividing the daily, weekly or monthly sales by the number of square feet of floor or shelf space.
  • sales projection: A sales forecast based on sales for the same period last year.
  • sales representative: A marketing person employed by a manufacturer or wholesaler to represent certain product brands within a given sales area.
  • sales representative's premium: A premium or prize given to a manufacturer's or wholesaler's marketing person for achieving benchmark sales.
  • sales service: Fee-based services for retailers provided by a manufacturer's or wholesaler's marketing staff on a fee per service basis, e.g., merchandising the store, advertising, management information services (MIS).
  • sales service representative: A marketing person who provides services for a fee to a retailer, e.g., merchandising, advertising, or layout.
  • salvage: Product containers/shippers (bales, pallets, containers) that must be returned or recycled to defray operational costs.
  • sampling: A marketing program used to prompt impulse buying. Particularly useful in the Deli and Bakery Departments. The customer is encouraged to sample products from a prepared sample tray.
  • satellite network: A communications system that utilizes satellites to relay data and information. Also known as Satellite Communications.
  • satellite stores: Retail stores that are serviced by the same distribution center; or outlying stores in a shopping center.
  • SBT (Scan Based Trading): In Scan Based Trading programs, the retailer pays the vendor for merchandise when products are scanned at the register. The vendor owns the retail inventories until they are purchased by the consumer. Vendors ship merchandise whenever they deem necessary to replenish shelves. SBT eliminates purchase orders and invoices and the process of receiving inventory.
  • scaling: The pricing of merchandise on the basis of weight and retail price.
  • scan bars: The standardized coding system (Universal Product Code) that encrypts individual product pricing and identification information
  • within a series of vertical lines.
  • Scan-based trading: A new way of doing business between direct store delivery manufacturers and retailers. It incorporates daily point-of-sale data to pay for product, electronic communication technologies to eliminate discrepancies and inefficiencies, and various store-level operating improvements, such as open delivery windows and elimination of check-in, to speed product flow." 
  • scan down: Data obtained from a secondary source, e.g., A.C. Nielsen or Information Resources, Inc.
  • scan integrity: The quality of the inventory and pricing data that ensures that items have been added, deleted and correctly priced.
  • scan ratio: An inventory correction calculation to adjust for physical inventory differences based on the percentage of items scanned to the total items sold.
  • scannable coupons: Coupons with a scannable bar code used to identify the promotional program and product and to deduct the correct value from a customer's receipt.
  • scanner: An electronic register system that automatically records the product description and retail price for an item by reading a UPC code with a laser.
  • scanner allowance: A manufacturer's performance criteria based on the number of products scanned during a promotion.
  • scanning: A process of moving items over a laser in order to record a transaction.
  • schematic: A department, shelf, or display schematic for allocating products by the number of facings and/or the depth of the display. Planogram.
  • scratch: A product deleted from a retailer's order because the warehouse is out of stock. Also called a short
  • . seal program: A security procedure for truck deliveries. Each truck is padlocked and sealed with a slim, numbered metal strip. The receiver breaks the seal and records the driver's name and the seal number in a log.
  • seasonal calendar/planner: A seasonal, schedule created to simplify planning around holidays and specific selling periods, i.e., merchandising, display building, ordering, scheduling staff.
  • seasonal item: Products associated exclusively with a holiday or specific time of the year. Also known as Seasonal Merchandise.
  • seasonal promotions: A marketing plan of in-and-out promotions for seasonal events, such as Christmas, Back-to-School, Spring Clean-up, Halloween, Valentine's Day.
  • secondary display: A promotional display of an item in a retail store in addition to a product's regular shelf location.
  • secondary packaging: A master package that contains several inner packs; which are normally the unit of sale.
  • secondary supplier: A vendor or wholesaler that supplies a retailer with a small volume of products.
  • section: An area in a retail store that contains one category of products.
  • section reset: To totally remerchandise a category or department according to a planogram.
  • security deposit: A retailer's cash deposit with a wholesaler to secure credit.
  • segregation: Locating general merchandise products (GM) in a well-defined area of a store rather than in aisles next to or across from food products.
  • selective discounting: Price reductions on fast-moving products to give a low- price image.
  • selective merchandising: The elimination or minimizing of duplicate brand products.
  • selective selling: A wholesaler's marketing practice of selling only to retailers who meet various criteria, e.g., sales volume, type of store, location and style of operation. 
  • self-facing fixture: A rack or shelf that uses either gravity or mechanical means to replace an item when one item is removed by a customer.
  • self-insured: An insurance policy within a company where revenue is generated for insurance from associates and company contributions rather than paying premiums to an outside insurance company.
  • self-liquidating premium: A manufacturer's premium in which the product's cost is recovered through a retail sale of the product.
  • self-service: A retail store with few service employees to assist customers other than at the checkout.
  • sell-down: The amount of time it takes to sell all products on the shelf.
  • sell sheet: A manufacturer's promotional summary to promote selected sale products to retailers.
  • semi-liquidators: A customer's premium whose cost is only partially recovered by a manufacturer or retailer.
  • server: A central computer, which provides processing for several terminals.
  • service charge: In wholesaling, any charge above a transfer of goods. In retailing, an additional charge for providing service to a customer, e.g., check cashing. 
  • service department: A retail department that fills customer's orders, e.g., service deli; service meat; service seafood; service bakery; in-store pharmacy; video department.
  • service label: The in-stock position of a warehouse expressed as the percentage of orders placed that can be filled. The opposite of service label is out-of-stocks.
  • service merchandiser: A vendor or wholesaler who specializes in a product category. Also known as a rack jobber.
  • service store: A retail store with a high level of customer service, e.g., floral department, service deli, service bakery.
  • set: The layout of merchandise in an aisle or store.
  • set store: The process of properly setting up each department with approved products according to a Planogram or lay-out diagram.
  • setting up: The process of properly setting up a display of product according to a Planogram.
  • share of market: A product's percent of sales within a category. A retailer's share of total retail sales within a specific trading area.
  • shelf arrangement: The assortment and location of products on store shelves.
  • shelf capacity: The total volume of a shelf; also called holding power or pack-out.
  • shelf extender: A self-serve display that extends beyond a gondola to increase a shelf's capacity and draw attention to a product.
  • shelf label: A label that lists order code, description, and pack size of a product on a shelf, as well as its retail price. 
  • shelf life: The time period a product can be expected to maintain maximum quality and freshness.
  • shelf marker: A sign on a gondola. Also known as a shelf talker.
  • shelf molding: The outer edge of a gondola shelf used for signs, UPC codes, retail prices, etc.
  • shelf price: The retail price stored in an inventory file, shown on a shelf tag, and marked on an item.
  • shelf space: The amount of shelf space allocated to a product category and to each product within the category.
  • shelf stable: A processed food product that remains safe to eat without refrigeration.
  • shelf strips: A shelf sign for a product. Also known as a shelf talker.
  • shelf tag: A label attached to shelving which is used to identify and
  • describe a specific item.
  • shelf talker: Merchandise signs, attached to the shelf molding, used to draw customer attention to a product.
  • shelf warmers: Items that sell slowly. Also known as slow movers or slow-selling items.
  • ship notice/manifest: An EDI transaction in which the shipper notifies a customer of a pending shipment. Generically this is known as an advance ship notice (ASN). The ASN enables the customer to identify short shipments before receipt and plan warehouse receiving more efficient.
  • shipper: A company that transports and retains title to a shipment until a recipient accepts a shipment.
  • shipper or shipper pack: A shipping container designed to display products on a retail sales floor. Also called a shipper, pre-built display or display case.
  • shipping brackets: A manufacturer's or wholesaler's price points used to encourage retailers to order in large quantities in order to receive better discounts.
  • shipping container: An outer shipping case used to transport products.
  • shipping unit: The amount, size and style of product in its original case.
  • shop backs: Individual items accumulated at the front end during the course of a day's business that can be put back on shelves for sale.
  • shoplifter: A person who steals goods from a store, while pretending to shop.
  • shopping behavior: An observable pattern of consumer behavior, typically in response to sales displays or product price reductions.
  • shopping cart display: A shopping cart used as a free-standing display.
  • shopping center: A group of complementary retail stores with a common parking lot.
  • shopping service: A vendor who performs competitive price comparisons for a retailer within a specified market area.
  • short: An inadequate amount of products needed to fill a shelf or an order or to meet customer demand.
  • short or short ship: A product deleted from a retailer's order because the warehouse is out of stock.
  • shortage: A shortfall of a product's order or weight or of money.
  • shorts, scratches: A note on an invoice to a retailer of insufficient or out-of-stock products at a distribution center.
  • shrink, shrinkage: The amount of missing items due to poor management controls, receiving practices, shortages, spoilage, theft, breakage and other reasons.
  • shrink allowance: An estimate of loss of inventory, due to delivery errors (an incorrect item or the wrong amount), theft, damages or spoilage.
  • shrink-wrap: A process to stabilize a pallet load by wrapping stacked products with clear plastic film.
  • signage: Advertising signs of many sizes used to attract customers to a display or a shelf location.
  • signature items: Unique items that competitors do not sell, which differentiate a store or company from the competition. The items are advertised and promoted both in-store and through print advertisements.
  • SIL: Standard Interchange language.
  • single-unit pricing: Each product is individually priced. 
  • skid: A pallet or base used to transport and store products.
  • SKU: Stock-keeping unit. The retailer’s item code for your product that is used to order stock and report POS data.
  • sleeper: A slow-selling product that is packed by a manufacturer with a higher volume item. Also known as a slow mover.
  • slick: Camera-ready print ads, such as illustrations, company logos and copy, provided by retailers and manufacturers for newspaper advertisements.
  • slick allowance: A manufacturer's allowance stipulating that a retailer use a specific advertising illustration (slick) in newspaper advertisements.
  • slip-sheet: A thick sheet of cardboard used to ship products in place of a pallet.
  • slip-sheet unloading allowance: A manufacturer's allowance to cover labor costs of off-loading a product by hand off of a slip-sheet.
  • slot: A numbered location within a distribution center that indicates the location of products for storage, retrieval and inventory control. 
  • slotting allowance: A manufacturer's incentive to a wholesaler or retailer to stock a new product. Also called conversion allowance or service allowance.
  • slug: An embossed plate that, when inserted into certain scales, prints a descriptive label.
  • smart card: A micro-chipped stored-value card that can be used to purchase goods and services and is reloadable.
  • smock: A garment supplied to employees to be worn during working hours.
  • SO: Standing order.
  • soft goods: Clothing with the exception of suits, dresses, coats or shoes.
  • soft shell lobsters: Lobsters in the process of growing a new hard shell, enabling them to grow larger.
  • solution selling: The concept of grouping related products together in the supermarket in order to offer consumers a simplified shopping experience.
  • sore-thumb display: An intriguing and unusual merchandising display.
  • softlines: The classification of general merchandise that includes apparel, bedding, hosiery, linens, shoes, etc.
  • SOR: Standard operating reports.
  • space allocation: The method of allocating more space to faster moving items to prevent out-of-stock conditions. See space manager; velocity; Planogram.
  • space management: The allocation of space for products, based on sales volume and product profitability.
  • space management system (electronic): Space utilization software that plans and analyzes product categories, determines shelf allocation, and graphs planograms.
  • space manager: A person who assigns shelf space for a product category, department, or store. 
  • SPAH/SPLH: Sales per associate hour/sales per labor hour.
  • special allowance: A wholesaler's discount offered to retailers as an incentive to increase sales of a product. Also called a special purchase.
  • special display: A display for featured products on a free-standing rack in addition to a regular shelf display.
  • special pack: A shipping unit of a sales promotion product. Also known as a deal pack. 
  • specials: Products sold at a reduced price or as part of a promotion to attract customers.
  • specialty sales representative: A manufacturer's or broker's representative that markets to retailers, presents promotional programs, takes product orders and arranges shipment by a retailer's preferred wholesaler.
  • speculation: The purchasing practice of maintaining a minimum stock of products in order to increase return on capital invested.
  • spiff: A manufacturer's incentive to wholesalers to actively market their products. Usually payments are based on the number of cases sold. Also called promotion money or a spiff.
  • split case: A product that is shipped in half-case quantities or less.
  • split palletload, split unitload: A shipment of two different kinds of products on a full pallet. Each product makes up approximately half the pallet load.
  • split shift: A peak sales period of a day, week or holiday season during which the largest number of employees possible are scheduled to work.
  • spoilage allowance, breakage allowance: A manufacturer's allowance to a wholesaler/retailer for breakage or spoiled products.
  • spoils: Goods that cannot be sold for which a retailer receives a credit from a supplier. Also called stales.
  • spot display: A product display in a high traffic area of a retail store.
  • spread: Gross profit. 
  • spreadsheet order: An order in which items are shipped to one location, usually a cross-dock or flow-through facility, but the products are coded and packaged for eventual delivery to multiple stores.
  • slotting allowance: Fee for introducing a new product: a fee paid by a manufacturer to a retailer for shelf space and the other tasks that accompany the introduction of a new product.
  • square down: To straighten products on a shelf or display.
  • square foot: A size measurement of floor space occupied by a product or product group, display fixtures and its share of aisle space.
  • SRP: Suggested retail price.
  • stack: A column of products consisting of one or more unit loads placed on the floor with the total height limited to a vertical opening or the compressive strength of the individual unit loads.
  • stack card: A sign used to identify products.
  • stales: Goods that cannot be sold for which a retailer receives a credit from a supplier. Also called stales.
  • stand: A fixture used to display merchandise.
  • standard case merchandiser: A standard display case for service departments, used in the produce, meat, deli and bakery departments.
  • standard grocery shelving: Adjustable shelving in a standard frame. Also called a gondola.
  • standard interchange language (SIL): A computer language standard developed primarily for the exchange of data between independent retailers and wholesalers.
  • standard operating procedures: A comprehensive book of a company's policies and procedures. Also called SOP.
  • standard operating reports (SOR): Profit and loss statements or projections reviewed weekly, by period, quarter or annually.
  • standing order (SO): A standard replenishment order placed by a wholesaler that allows a manufacturer to schedule production and shipping.  An order in which all the items are shipped directly to a single location, such as a distribution center or a store. Each line item has a single ship quantity.
  • standard pack: A unit of sale having a fixed number of like consumer units per container.
  • standard shipping container: A container of a single type of product or of a fixed configuration of multiple products used to ship items.
  • staples: A necessary or basic food, such as flour or sugar.
  • start-ship date: A kick-off date for a promotional campaign to begin.
  • starter gap: A merchandising technique in which spaces are left on a shelf to give the impression that demand is great for a product.
  • stock: To shelve products or to build a display.
  • stock capacity: The total volume of products that can be placed on a shelf, in a slot or on a rack.
  • stock code: A unique product identifier used instead of a UPC code, which is assigned at a warehouse or headquarters for ordering purposes.
  • stocking: A process of shelving products in a store.
  • stock-keeping unit (SKU): A number that identifies each separate brand, size, flavor, color or pack of a product.
  • stockout: A display that needs replenishment.
  • stock status report: A management report showing the current inventory level in-house or in-transit for a department, section or category.
  • stock turns: The number of times the total value of products stored in the distribution center at any one time is sold and replaced each year. Computed by dividing the annual cost of goods sold by average inventory on hand at cost.
  • stock-up: A temporary price reduction for items due to a manufacturers' allowance or a volume buy.
  • stocking allowance: A manufacturer's allowance to stock a new product.
  • stop-off charge: An additional shipping charge (rail or truck) for delivery of partial loads to several different locations.
  • store: Velocity’s term for a retailer location in which inventory is either sold or stored. Store records identify your customer’s retail stores, warehouses, and distribution centers.
  • store audit: A review of management procedures and processes, e.g., inventory, cash handling.
  • store brand: A private-label product carried by a retailer.
  • store bulletin: An operations newsletter regarding merchandising contests and promotional programs, new products, etc.
  • store coupon: A product coupon offered only in-store with fliers or an on-shelf dispenser.
  • store dollar net profit: The actual profit a store makes after overhead and losses are deducted.
  • store-door delivery: Products delivered directly to a store by the vendor, such as soft drinks, beer, bread and fresh baked goods, dairy products, potato chips and other fragile items.
  • store-door margin: A product's gross profit after deducting expenses, e.g., storage costs, delivery cost.
  • store format: The retail design or store layout based on size, services, prices, sales volume and SKUs, such as a convenience store, superstore or a conventional store.
  • store image: The customer's impression of a retail store or a department, i.e., products carried, advertising, promotion, decor, service-level.
  • store layout: The design and lay-out of floor space and the placement of fixtures within a department or retail store.
  • store loyalty: The degree to which a customer repeatedly shops a store for a majority of their purchases.
  • store manager: A person responsible for daily operations of a retail store who hires and supervises employees, oversees merchandising and customer service and meets sales goals. Also called a store director.
  • store perimeter: The departments located along the outside walls of a retail store, usually perishable departments.
  • store security: Methods used to provide a secure workplace and shopping area free of violence, burglary, shoplifting and employee theft.
  • store-specific pallet: A combination of different items on a pallet shipped to a store.
  • store stamp: A rubber stamp bearing a store's number and name. The imprint of the store stamp on an invoice or other business paper indicates correctness or approval. Stamps are kept under tight security.
  • store supervisor: An operations manager responsible for conditions, safety, product levels and cash handling procedures for several retail stores; a district manager.
  • store supplies: Materials and merchandise needed to conduct daily business by a retailer, i.e., grocery bags, brooms and mops.
  • store traffic: A customer count recorded by hour, day, week, month or holiday. 
  • storewide promotion: A thematic merchandising and promotional program with all retail departments within a store participating.
  • straight load: Merchandise delivered to retail stores in trucks carrying only one product group.
  • street money: Monies available for specific performance, conditions or purchases. Usually from a supplier or salesperson rather than directly from a manufacturer.
  • strip display: A horizontal shelf arrangement of like products.
  • subprimal cuts: Untrimmed, boneless cuts of meat, primarily beef.
  • suggested retail price: A manufacturer's recommended price for a product.
  • suggestive selling: A marketing technique in which retail employees recommend tie-in or complementary products, e.g., cake and coffee, deli ham and cheese.
  • super combo: An upscale grocery store with 80,000 to150,000 square feet, a full line of service departments and weekly sales of approximately $900,000. The store carries a wide variety of items, 60,000 or more, with at least 20 percent of sales attributed to general merchandise.
  • superstore: A large conventional supermarket with expanded service deli, bakery, seafood and non-food sections.
  • supervisor: A manager designated to supervise a certain area or number of stores.
  • super warehouse store: A warehouse store with a focus on low prices and a wide variety of perishable items, i.e., produce, deli, and bakery departments.
  • supplemental display: An extra display in a department in aisles or in spaces where fixed equipment will not fit, which makes merchandise more accessible.
  • supplier: A generic term for wholesalers who sell to and supply retailers directly and indirectly, e.g., manufacturer, vendor, broker, reseller.  For banking relationships, it is the trading partner that receives the money from EFT payments. 
  • supply: The quantity of merchandise in stock at a store or a warehouse.
  • supply center: The specific location in each department where supplies are kept.
  • supply chain: The process of fulfillment and movement of goods from producer or grower to consumer.
  • supply depot: A warehouse operated by a chain or a wholesale grocer that sponsors a voluntary group.
  • support office: A corporate office with accounting, accounts payable and receivable and advertising departments and other administrative support staff.
  • surprise buy: Usually 15 to 25 popular items featured at unusually low prices, found throughout the entire store.
  • survey letter: A notice from a wholesaler's or chain's headquarters to stores soliciting support and orders for an upcoming special promotion, so the buyer has a basis for determining an order for promotional items.
  • survey order: An order from retail stores, usually for new items or deal items, previously authorized by an account's headquarters. Also, potential orders at retail stores for an item before a manufacturer's salesperson or broker presents it at the headquarters.
  • sweepstakes/contest: A promotional contest for consumers, which features a chance to win prizes.
  • sweethearting: A form of theft, whereby a cashier gives illegal discounts to employees, friends, and/or customers.
  • swipe reader: A credit card or ATM card reader for cash register systems at the checkout counter.
  • syndicated data: Information gathered by a service or company for public release and sold by subscription.
  • T
  • TAB: Tabulation. Usually refers to research data.
  • table allowance: A manufacturer 's allowance to a retailer to display or highlight a product on supplemental tables, such as bottled catsup. Also called a Table Display Allowance (TDA).
  • table display: A type of supplemental display used to highlight seasonal or featured products, placed in a store's aisles to increase display space.
  • tabloid: A small format newspaper that reports the news in a condensed form.
  • tag: A message delivered live by an announcer at the end of a TV or radio commercial, usually to mention local stores that sell an advertised item.
  • tagging: A price or informational sign that highlights an item.
  • take: A retail store's daily receipts, e.g., cash, checks, credit cards.
  • tape: A register receipt given to a customer detailing the transaction, products, retail prices, coupons and payment.
  • tare: The weight of the packaging subtracted from the weight of the product, so the customer doesn't pay for the container. The allowance for perishable shrinkage between the weight marked on the item when packed and the actual weight when sold.
  • tear-off pad: Printed promotional materials that are bound into a pad and displayed next to a product or at the checkout.
  • tear-strip: A tape inserted into a package or case for easy opening.
  • telephone sales rep: A salesperson at a wholesale operation who takes telephone orders for merchandise and also contacts customers to alert them to upcoming promotions, new items and other services. Sometimes called an inside sales rep.
  • telxon: A combination of a portable electronic terminal and a wand. The wand reads the shelf ticket and identifies the product. Each pass of the wand (left to right) orders one case. If more than 3 cases are needed, a pass (right to left) is made and the quantity
  • temporarily out (TO): A manufacturer's identifier on an invoice when a product is out-of-stock, not delivered and not billed. The retailer needs to re-order the product on the next order.
  • temporary allowance: A manufacturer's price reduction to increase sales volume of a product for a specific time period.
  • temporary price reduction (TPR): A short-term price reduction to increase sales of a product for a specific time period..
  • terminal: A computer or cash register display.
  • test market: A market area representative of the average national demographics and buying patterns, which is chosen to test new products, promotions and to forecast sales. 
  • test store: A retail store used to test a product to determine buying and merchandising practices. 
  • text message: The transaction set represented by the X.12 transaction code 864. This is often used by retailers to send store addresses and store openings/closings.
  • third party: An independent organization that offers a service that links a supplier and a distributor in some way. The term can apply to providers of EDI, warehousing or logistics services.
  • third party reconciliation: A process of balancing insurance claims paid versus claims due from a third-party company.
  • throughput: The products received, stored and shipped by a distribution center.
  • ticket price (ticket): A product's retail price.
  • tie and high: The width and height of freight on pallets and warehouse storage racks. "Tie" refers to the number of dimensions of each tier (layer) of standard pack product while "High" means the total physical height of one or more "Ties" making up the unit load.
  • tie-in ad: A retailer's advertisements used to meet the promotional requirements of a manufacturer.
  • tie-in items: Merchandising compatible products together that are often consumed or used together to encourage the sale of both items, e.g., pie shells and canned fillings, tortilla chips and salsa.
  • tie-in merchandise: A multi-product display method in which a high-impulse item is linked to a staple or featured item.
  • tie-in promotion: A promotion in which two products are displayed together and one item is given away or sold at a lower price with the purchase of the other.
  • tie-in sales: A retailer's promotion of a product to meet manufacturer requirements during a specified time period.
  • time and attendance systems: An electronic system used to plan, monitor and report employees' work hours.
  • time and temperature monitoring (TTM) devices: Label-sized, chemical-filled packets that are attached to shipping cartons and indicate when the cartons have been exposed to fluctuating temperatures.
  • time clock: An instrument that records the time an associate begins and ends work. The time is usually displayed on a time card or electronic monitor. Used to calculate hourly wages or weekly wages for hours worked.
  • time lag: The time between the introduction of a new product and its availability in a retail store.
  • timetable: The delivery schedule and requirements for a new product promotion.
  • TOFC: Trailer on flat car.
  • toiletries merchandiser: A health and beauty care (HBC) rack jobber.
  • tonnage items: Low-gross profit items that have a high turnover rate. 
  • tonnage throughput: The number of tons of merchandise passing through a distribution center per labor hours for all workers in the center.
  • total distribution: A standardized process where marketing practices are coordinated to eliminate inefficiency and reduce cost.
  • total taxes on income: The federal and state taxes based on net income imposed on supermarket companies.
  • tote: A plastic container, usually used to ship merchandise such as HBC items.
  • touch screen: A computer screen with sensors that respond to touch.
  • TPR: Temporary price reduction.
  • trade: An industry term for the grocery industry which includes wholesalers, retailers, food brokers, vendors and associations
  • trade advertising: A manufacturer's advertisement directed toward the retailers or wholesalers who sell their products.
  • trade advisory board: Retailers invited to serve on an advisory board by manufacturers to discuss industry-related issues, solve problems, and provide input.
  • trade association: A nonprofit group that serves the information needs of a particular industry and represents its mutual interests, e.g., education, legislation, media relations.
  • trade deal: A buying arrangement or terms of sale that offer special purchasing incentives; a promotion or a trade deal.
  • trade discount: An off-invoice cash discount from a list or suggested resale price
  • trade letter: A manufacturer's notice describing a promotion, new products, contests, deals, etc. and the policies and procedures for implementation
  • trade margin: The difference between the cost and the retail selling price of goods.
  • trade name: A product's brand name.
  • trade promotion: A special manufacturer's offer made to retailers, such as allowances for advertising and/or merchandising.
  • trading area: A population center or metropolitan area with similar demographics, buying patterns and expectations. 
  • trading pair: Two trading partners that exchange information with each other. The trading partner identifies each company in the trading relationship. Every trading pair has a requestor (customer) and provider (supplier).
  • trading partner: A company, or department of a company, that exchanges information with you. Each trading partner is linked to a company. (There are four types of trading partners:  customer, vendor, me [your company] and bank. In order to perform EDI, you must combine trading partners into trading pairs, which establishes which trading partners can send and receive EDI with each other.)
  • trading stamps: Stamps given at checkout to encourage customer loyalty. Redeemable for cash or products.
  • traffic: In retailing: The number of people moving through a retail store or department. In warehousing: The number of product turns.
  • traffic builder: A product offered below retail price to attract customers.
  • traffic flow: The shopping pattern designed for a retail store or department.
  • traffic pattern: The shopping path customers take through a store or department.
  • trailer: A mail-in incentive attached to a product to increase the sales of a slow-selling product in an otherwise fast-moving category.
  • trailer on flat car (TOFC): A truck trailer placed on a railroad flat car for shipping. Also known as a piggyback.
  • trainee: An employee participating in a company-sponsored training program.
  • transaction set: The EDI data that corresponds to a complete business document, such as an Invoice or Purchase Order. Also called an EDI transaction. All transactions sets are identified by a number, according to the X.12 standard.
  • transfer credit: A form used to credit a store for merchandise that is transferred out.
  • transfers: Products exchanged between retail stores in the same chain.
  • tray: A container consisting typically of a corrugated or chip board, low walled, open box wrapped with plastic film.
  • tray-pack: A shipping package designed to be displayed by removing the top.
  • tree display: A freestanding display unit with a center pole and hooks/shelves that resembles a tree.
  • trend: A pattern of behavior. Also trend (movement) of sales.
  • trimming: Removing discolored or damaged leaves or spots to give produce a fresh and uniform appearance.
  • trim platters: Meat pans, or lugs.
  • truck farm: A local farm that provides fruits and vegetables.
  • truckload freight rates: The lowest transportation charged for shipping a full truckload.
  • truckload order: An order that can completely fill a dry or refrigerated truck trailer. Also known as a full truck.
  • turn business: Product replenishment during non-promotional selling periods with manufacturer's shipping volume closely tracking consumer purchases. 
  • turnover (stock turn): The number of times the total value of products stored in the distribution center at any one time is sold and replaced each year. Computed by dividing the annual cost of goods sold by average inventory on hand at cost.
  • turnover (employee): The rate at which employees are hired and terminated.
  • turnover buying: The purchasing practice of maintaining a minimum stock of products in order to increase return on capital invested. 
  • turnover, inventory: The rate at which the investment in inventory is converted to sales. In inventory, the term is sometimes used to mean the dollars in sales generated by each dollar invested in inventory (dollar sales divided by dollar inventories).
  • turnover order: A product order obtained by a broker and given to a wholesaler for shipping to the retailer. Also called a missionary order.
  • turnover, retail: The number of times the total value of products displayed in retail stores is sold and replaced each year. For example, if a store sells $5,000 worth of a product at cost to stores each year and maintains a $500 inventory, turnover is 10.
  • U
  • UUCC: Uniform Code Council. This organization issues the manufacturer's portion of a UPC. It also provides documentation on most of the retail industry's standards (VICS) for labeling and distribution. The website is www.uc-council.org
  • UCC/EAN 128: Uniform Commercial Code, European Article Number. (Also known as UCC-128.) A bar code system and data format used for primary and secondary product identification in Europe.
  • UCS: Uniform Communication Standard.
  • UCS II: A software program that facilitates the transfer of promotional announcements and price changes.
  • UCS ordering system: (Uniform Communications System) electronically transmits data, orders, promotional information and price changes between manufacturer and distributor.
  • unaffiliated retailer, unaffiliated store: An independent retailer who has no interest in nor is affiliated with voluntary merchandising groups sponsored by wholesalers.
  • unconcealed loss or damage: Obvious product damage and/or shortages that occurred during shipping to a retailer/wholesaler. 
  • under-ring: A cashier ringing a product at a price that is less than actual price.
  • understock drawers: Drawers that have excess stock stored underneath regulation shelving.
  • Uniform Code Council (UCC): The nonprofit administrative and education organization that works with American and Canadian industry to develop and administer product identification, bar codes and electronic data interchange standards.
  • Uniform Communication Standard (UCS): A set of standard transaction sets for the grocery industry that allows computer-to-computer, paperless exchange of documents and information.
  • uninterruptible power system (UPS): An emergency power unit used to back up a primary system.
  • unit: A standardized package or amount used in shipping, e.g., pallet, slip sheet.
  • unit of sale: A container with one or more consumer units, usually with a fixed count and identical product, that is bought and sold by trading partners. Unit of sale for grocery can range from standard pack units to planned promotional sizes.
  • unit load: One or more transport packages or other items held together by such means as a pallet, slip sheet, strapping, interlocking, glue, or plastic wrap making them suitable for transport, stacking or storage as a unit.
  • unit pricing: Additional information on a product price used by shoppers to compare the retail price of the item plus an additional price per measure, such as price per pound, per pint, etc.
  • unit sales: The total sales volume of a product for a specified time period. 
  • unit stocking: A shelf-stocking method that requires a stocker to handle each individual item separately.
  • unit-level code: An item code that represents a single item as sold at retail.  The unit-level code can be a universal code, a buyer code, or a vendor code.
  • universal code: An item code, such as a UPC or I2of5 code, that is based on a standard coding scheme and can be used as a bar code. Universal codes can be created for the unit level (individual saleable item), inner level (inner pack within a case), and case level.
  • United States Department of Commerce (USDC): A federal agency that oversees trade and competition.
  • unitized shipment: Product palletized or slipsheeted for easier shipping and handling.
  • unitized shipping: Shipping an item in case amounts standardized to the warehouse slot of the distributor.
  • Universal Code Council (UCC): The central data bank for identification numbers, education and support for the Uniform Communication Standard (UCS) program.
  • universal communication system: A computer system that uses uniform communications standards to enable retailers, wholesalers, and suppliers to communicate.
  • universal product code (UPC): A number and bar code that identifies products, which is scannable.
  • UNIX: A major multi-user multiprocessing operating system, which is the leading operating system for minicomputers. Bell Laboratories developed it in the early 1970s. It is written in a high-level programming language called C.
  • unsalables: Products unworthy of sale, e.g., damaged, out of date, spoiled.
  • unsalable allowance: A discount that is given to cover the anticipated amount of unsalable products, e.g., perishables.
  • unsalable center: A specific location in the retail store or department where damaged products are sent.
  • UPC: Universal Product Code – The UPC is a unique universal code for an item at any saleable level (unit, inner, or case). It is superseded by the Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN) code. A GTIN uses company prefix numbers of varying lengths and is represented by a 14-digit code. GTINs are controlled by the UCC (Uniform Code Council) and EPCGlobal standards organizations. See the UCC web site for more information. 
  • UpCharge: A wholesaler's charge for a product that is based on the product 's cost plus handling and storage costs.
  • UPS: Uninterruptible power system.
  • ups & downs: Prices that change both up and down on a weekly basis, directly relating to manufacturers' specials at warehouse level.
  • upstream trading partners: For the retailer, the upstream trading partners are the wholesalers, and, in other cases, the supplier. For the wholesaler, the upstream trading partner is the supplier.
  • V
  • value added network (VAN): A company that acts as a clearinghouse for electronic transactions between trading partners.
  • value-added reseller (VAR): A reseller of computer equipment whose services frequently include software integration
  • VAN: Value Added Network. A VAN is a company acting as an intermediary between trading partners. It provides communications equipment and file storage to facilitate the exchange of EDI data. Typically, a VAN appears to its users as a set of mailboxes used by a pair of trading partners to send files to each other.
  • VAR: Value-added reseller.
  • variable cost: Cost, Variable.
  • variable expense: An expense that is proportional to the amount of merchandise sold. Includes equipment and supplies used to price merchandise, as well as any special packages that customers need to take merchandise home.
  • variety: The practice of carrying a complete line of a brand and several different brands, so that customers will have the widest possible choice.
  • variety checklist: A list used by supervisors to ensure the store is carrying a complete variety of products.
  • variety/general merchandise stores: Stores that carry a diverse line of variety goods, usually at the low end of the price scale.
  • VDU: Video display unit.
  • vehicle scheduling: A transportation routing plan designed to maximize fleet utilization.
  • velocity: The sales movement of a product measured against the category.
  • vendor: A person or company that sells or delivers goods or services. 
  • vendor code: Your item code for an item that you sell. This can also be called a manufacturer’s item code. For each item, vendor codes can be created at the unit level, inner level, and case level. If you require separate item records for different levels of packaging (items vs. cartons), enter the carton item code as a unit-level code in its item record.
  • vendor coupon: A coupon initiated and refunded by a supplier or vendor.
  • vendor-managed inventory (VMI): A manufacturer's management of the inventories inside a retailer's store, including sales forecasting, promotional adjustment/ allowances, ordering and delivery.
  • vendor managed quick/continuous replenishment (VMQR): An ordering process based on the exchange of electronic data between a store and a distributor that indicates when a store is running low on a product and needs a new shipment of the item. 
  • version: A version of the ANSI ASC X.12 standard. It is referred to as a four digit number (4010, 4020, etc.) in which the first digit is the major release of the standard.
  • version A UPC: A U.S standard bar code system (11 digits) that identifies products.
  • version E UPC: A standardized bar code containing only seven digits, the zero is suppressed.
  • vertical arrangement: The merchandising practice of displaying a brand of products directly above and below each other, e.g., canned vegetables or soups. Also called a ribbon arrangement. 
  • vertical selling: A wholesaler marketing policy of soliciting only one segment of the trade, e.g., restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores, institutional buyers. 
  • Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT): Networks designed for satellite communication.
  • vexar: A red screen-like, plastic sheet placed on top of a rack in refrigerated cases, which allows cold air to flow through to products on top of the vexar sheet. Vexar also aids in housekeeping.
  • VICS: Voluntary Inter-industry Communications Standard—the non-food retailing industry's set of guidelines for implementation of the X.12 standard.
  • video conferencing: Communication between two or more parties that involves both a video and an audio link.
  • video display unit (VDU): A computer terminal.
  • VMI: Vendor Managed Inventory – a process in which a vendor manages its products at a retailer's distribution centers or stores. The vendor receives POS data (852) to track sales and inventory and sends replenishment Orders (855) to the retailer instead of receiving purchase orders (850).
  • void: The process of removing an item after an order is rung on a register.
  • volume: The amount of product sales by brand, category, department or store.
  • voluntary group: A group of individually owned retail stores that buy from the same wholesaler and achieve economies of scale, e.g., store name, private label brand, advertising, merchandising.
  • voluntary inter-industry communication standard (VICS): The electronic data interchange (EDI) standards for marking products and shipping containers in the mass merchandising, apparel and department store industries. VICS EDI is maintained by the UCC.
  • voluntary store: An independent retailer operating a store and achieving economies of scale, i.e., advertising, buying and merchandising patterns.
  • voluntary wholesaler: A wholesaler serving single or multi-unit retailers, often under a common program name, providing buying and retailing services.
  • VSAT: Very Small Aperture Terminal.
  • W
  • wagon jobber: A wholesaler that sells a limited variety and quantity of products from a truck.
  • wall shelving: Shelves attached to perimeter walls in a retail store.
  • WAN: Wide Area Network.
  • wand: A hand-held bar code reader used for ordering, price checking, etc.
  • wand scan ordering: The use of an electronic device (wand) to read shelf tickets, record quantities needed and thus prepare an order electronically.
  • want book: A preprinted order book at a retail store.
  • warehouse: A distribution center that orders, stores and ships products to retailers.
  • warehouse buying account: A direct account that buys full-case quantities of products directly from manufacturers to sell and ship to retail stores.
  • warehouse receipt: A list of products received and stored in a distribution center.
  • warehouse slot: Space allocated in a warehouse rack for a specific product. Also called a slot or bin.
  • warehouse stock: The amount of an item in a distribution center. See floor stock; floor stock protection.
  • warehouse withdrawal: The shipping of products to a retailer from a distribution center.
  • waste circulation: Readers of publications who are not prospects for an advertised product. Also, circulation in an area where the advertiser's product is not available.
  • waterfall display: A mass display that seems to flow from a case. Usually dummied and put up just prior to peak traffic periods to encourage sales.
  • waxing: Applying an edible wax to some fruits and vegetables to help maintain a fresh, bright appearance and to preserve product quality.
  • way-bill: A transportation company's shipping document showing origin and destination of a shipment, contents, weight and dollar value.
  • weekend specials: Products offered for sale at special prices during peak shopping periods, Thursday to Sunday.
  • weekly sales chart: A graphic representation of all weekly sales for the year and a description of the factors that affected them.
  • weekly sales forecast (weekly sales estimates; sales plans): A projection of expected sales for a given week. Based on past sales performance. Estimates are made from past weekly sales charts, weekly sales index charts, and weekly sales logs.
  • weekly sales log: A record of sales, by department, along with a description of the factors affecting those sales.
  • weeks-of-supply (WOS): The number of weeks that a wholesaler will stock an item based on the product turns.
  • weigh-out: The act of reaching the limit on the amount of product that can be shipped in a truck because of weight. 
  • what if analysis: Game-theory scenarios used by software to produce recommendations.
  • white space: Blank space in a print ad that is not occupied by copy or an illustration.
  • wholesale club/membership warehouse: A membership retail/wholesale hybrid store with a varied selection and limited variety of products presented in a warehouse-style atmosphere. These 90,000 plus square-foot stores have 60 to 70 percent GM/HBC and a grocery line dedicated to large sizes.
  • wholesale distributor: A company that stores, delivers, and sells specialty products to a retailer, e.g., candy, tobacco. Also known as a Candy and Tobacco Jobber.
  • wholesaler: A company that buys directly from a manufacturer and sells to retailers and is either affiliated (co-op or voluntary) or independent.
  • wide area network (WAN): A network that connects computers over distances, not within a building.
  • window banner: A point-of-sale sign hung in the window of a retail store.
  • Windows: A computer operating system by Microsoft.
  • wing display: A display located at the end of a gondola that features extensions to merchandise products. 
  • WINS: Warehouse information network standard.
  • work-back calculation: The price point at which a product is sold by a manufacturer to a wholesaler or retailer. The cost does not include retail/warehousing markups. Calculated when a new product is offered or when there is a substantial price increase on an established product.
  • Workbench: Kmart's web-based system used by their vendors to retrieve various reports and POS information for their products. 
  • WOS: Weeks-of-supply.
  • wrapper: A machine used to wrap products.
  • X
  • XX.12: The ANSI ASC X.12 standard, the most commonly used retail EDI standard in North America.
  • Z
  • zero suppression: The reduction of a product's UPC code from eleven to seven digits by taking out the zeros.
  • zone pricing: A price scale used to calculate all transportation costs, using criteria such as distance, revenue of the load and weight.
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