News Room






Protect Purchasing And Sales Data

September 12, 2013

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The malt and brewed beverage industry is constantly changing and there will always be new challenges to your business. Probably the most ominous recent challenge has been grocery stores and other outlets attempting to break into the business of selling malt and brewed beverages in Pennsylvania. It is important to protect the market niche that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has recognized exists for beer distributors in Pennsylvania. One aspect of this protection includes preventing competitors from accessing your internal purchasing and sales data.

There is no doubt that prospective competitors such as grocery stores, convenience store and big box outlets are actively trying to expand into Pennsylvania’s beer industry. These businesses have limited information regarding buying and selling beer in this state, mainly because they historically have not sold beer in Pennsylvania. It is critical that beer distributors protect their purchasing and sales data to prevent this information from getting into the hands of competitors. This information is valuable to grocery stores and other outlets because it provides insight into the industry which could otherwise take years to accumulate.

It is common for grocery stores, convenience stores and big box outlets to utilize their largest suppliers within a particular category of goods to determine how much of a particular product to carry and where to place it on their shelves. Many of these suppliers gather “intelligence” from other customers which, in the malt and brewed beverage context, means from beer distributors.

Be cautious of your wholesalers and suppliers attempting to gather data on your purchasing and sales habits with the intent of sharing this information with your competitors. You may even want to tell your wholesalers and suppliers that you do not want any of your purchasing or sales data shared with third parties. If grocery stores and convenience stores are unable to utilize your data, they will have to make their own decisions on what products to carry, how much to order and where to shelve the products.

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