IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/inm/ormnsc/v56y2010i10p1739-1765.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Competitive Consequences of Using a Category Captain

Author

Listed:
  • Upender Subramanian

    () (School of Management, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas 75080)

  • Jagmohan S. Raju

    () (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104)

  • Sanjay K. Dhar

    () (Booth School of Business, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637)

  • Yusong Wang

    () (School of Management, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, People's Republic of China)

Abstract

Many retailers designate one national brand manufacturer in each product category as a "category captain" to help manage the entire category. A category captain may perform demand-enhancing services such as better shelf arrangements, shelf-space management, and design and management of in-store displays. In this paper, we examine when and why a retailer may engage one manufacturer exclusively as a category captain to provide such service and the implications. We find that demand substitutability of competing brands gives rise to a service efficiency effect--service that expands the category is more effective in increasing a manufacturer's sales and margin than service that shifts demand from a rival's brand. We show that the service efficiency effect may motivate a category captain to provide a service that benefits all brands in the category even though doing so is more costly. We further show that, in categories that are less price competitive, there is higher competition between manufacturers to become the category captain. Consequently, a retailer may obtain better service by using a category captain than by engaging both manufacturers simultaneously. Our findings may help explain why a retailer may rely on a category captain despite concerns regarding opportunism and why there is limited empirical evidence of harm to rival manufacturers.

Suggested Citation

  • Upender Subramanian & Jagmohan S. Raju & Sanjay K. Dhar & Yusong Wang, 2010. "Competitive Consequences of Using a Category Captain," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(10), pages 1739-1765, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:56:y:2010:i:10:p:1739-1765
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1100.1211
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1998. "Exclusive Dealing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 64-103, February.
    2. J. Jeffrey Inman & Leigh McAlister, 1993. "A Retailer Promotion Policy Model Considering Promotion Signal Sensitivity," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 12(4), pages 339-356.
    3. Shailendra Gajanan & Suman Basuroy & Srinath Beldona, 2007. "Category management, product assortment, and consumer welfare," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 135-148, September.
    4. Gérard P. Cachon & A. Gürhan Kök, 2007. "Category Management and Coordination in Retail Assortment Planning in the Presence of Basket Shopping Consumers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(6), pages 934-951, June.
    5. Nirvikar Singh & Xavier Vives, 1984. "Price and Quantity Competition in a Differentiated Duopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 546-554, Winter.
    6. Daniel P. O'Brien & Greg Shaffer, 1997. "Nonlinear Supply Contracts, Exclusive Dealing, and Equilibrium Market Foreclosure," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 755-785, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Mümin Kurtuluc{s} & Alper Nakkas, 2011. "Retail Assortment Planning Under Category Captainship," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 13(1), pages 124-142, March.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:56:y:2010:i:10:p:1739-1765. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/inforea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.