Sri Lanka Nieslen retail store audit continued by PepperCube

ECONOMYNEXT – Colombo-based PepperCube Consultants said it will conduct a nation-wide retail store audit (RSA) from March 2021 having bought the Sri Lanka rights from Nielsen, a market research firm.

The firm also plans to conduct a nation-wide retail census in mid 2021. PepperCube estimates Sri Lanka to have 270,000 retail stores.

“We know this a mammoth exercise by any means, but we consider it necessary to provide the most accurate picture in 2022 reflecting the changes in the retail space post Covid-19,” Atheek Marikar, Managing Director and Chief Executive of PepperCube said in a statement.

“We will conduct the census using the latest technology which will help in geo-tagging all outlets in Sri Lanka and bringing them onto a digital platform for the first time.

PepperCube said it had already been tracking over 35,000 retail outlets for its Pepper-eX service for 10 years, before purchasing RSA data from Nielsen.

“Therefore, moving to RSA is a natural extension as we have the expertise and infrastructure to provide high-end retail measurement services to clients,” Marikar said.

PepperCube said fieldwork for the Retail Store Audit will start in February and reporting will start from March.

PepperCube has put in place technology and experienced talent for the research. With Nielsen allowing the past census data to be purchased, local and global customers who were using the RSA can expect continuity.

“..[T]hey will not be losing the trends and suffering from data blackouts during a very important time in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market,” Marikkar said.

“I was part of the RSA launch team in Sri Lanka 23 years ago and have managed the business in Sri Lanka and Australia for many years with Nielsen.

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“My team and I hope to get the basic service up and running in the first quarter and thereafter start adding more value to clients using modern technology and analytics.”

PepperCube will engage Dwight Watson, a British Consultant who was previously managing director of Nielsen Sri Lanka before moving on to South Africa, America and Switzerland.

“Many clients have reached out to us already and we are in the process of finalising the proposals and agreements with them,” Marikar said.

“This was somewhat easy as most of the clients are already partnering with us in the trade, quantitative and qualitative research space.

“We will track all product categories requested by clients moving from Nielsen to us, so there won’t be any disruption to the continuous trends.”

PepperCube Consultants was set up in 2010. PepperCube is in retail tracking, quantitative surveys, qualitative research, and brand consultancy.

PepperCube says it has in Sri Lanka and in some Asian and Pacific markets. (Colombo/Jan24/2021)

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