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Negotiation in mass retailing: the law of the strong

Negotiation is at the core of any job connected with mass retailing.  From the onset negotiations between suppliers and mass retailers have the reputation of being some of the most difficult. The high concentration in the sector (brands have regrouped in super centralised purchasing) has created instability in the balance of power and the stake of competitive pricing constantly pushes distributors to obtain even lower prices… at any cost.  

In the digital era, historic stakeholders are going through a major crisis. The omnipotence of the Brand is teetering, and their survival is threatened by web giants that are more innovative with their distribution models. When faced with these new stakes, mass retailers need to cling onto what they can to save their skin.  

The rigorous and detailed investigation made by the journalist Rémi Delescluse reveals a realist vision of the brutal practices in mass retailing: interviews in tiny cubicles with temperatures that have been tampered with, chairs made to wobble on purpose, sexist discrimination, verbal violence… Negotiation in these circumstances is contentious, complex, competitive, global, international, and always under pressure. 

The negotiators from ADN Group have been assisting manufacturers – SME and multinational corporations – in their negotiations with mass retailers for years. They are present for each step of the negotiation – preparation, carrying out, closure and debriefing – and train their clients in complex negotiation methods and techniques. 

See the documentary “Hypermarket, the fall of an empire”

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