CHICAGO - Given the current brutal retail environment, manufacturers and housewares retailers need more cooperation and less confrontation to survive, an official of Coopers & Lybrand said at the International Housewares Show in Chicago. One result will be better forecasting, said Thom Blischok, managing director of the firm's retail consulting business. In a keynote speech, Blischok touted the Great Performance Alliances offered by the National House-wares Manufacturers Association, which has issued a set of ``Best Practices,'' a model for negotiations between manufacturer and retailer. A draft was presented at the housewares show.
More than 2,000 stores will close their doors by the end of the year, Blischok said.
NHMA has done detailed research on what motivates consumers to shop. The No. 1 reason consumers shop at a particular store, cited by 90 percent of respondents, is because items they want are in stock. Other key factors cited were a liberal return policy and full assortment of merchandise.
Not having products on store shelves frustrates both manufacturers and retailers.
``The out-of-stock situation hurts us all,'' said William Denton, group president of Newell Co., which owns Anchor Hocking Plastics in St. Paul, Minn.
``I know my blood pressure will go up 30 points when I walk through a retail store and it is out of stock of our products. I don't know whether to be upset with the retailer or with our people for not sending products in.''