There's the pitch. And he's ... out! A buyer's response to a product representative's hard sell can be that fast, sound and definitive, thanks to growing use of decision-support tools for category management. "I'll give you a perfect example," said a category management executive at Kroger Co., Cincinnati. "I had a vendor in this morning and he presented a new item, an item we didn't carry." After hearing how well the product performed for other retailers, the category manager turned to ...

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