What a difference a couple of years can make in the Efficient Consumer Response-driven 1990s. In 1994 it was big news when brand marketers such as Lever Bros., Dial Corp. and Procter & Gamble said they had cut sales forces and outsourced in-store merchandising tasks to third parties on a national basis. In 1996, such outsourcing has become widespread, even commonplace, among manufacturers, especially those supplying the grocery trade. With national merchandising companies gaining ...

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