Putting a new product on the shelf is no easy task. It requires coordination among trading partners and the numerous departments within them, all operating under a precisely timed promotion schedule. Even if all these elements work perfectly, new-item failure rates remain high. Even if more products were successful -- and one recent study suggests that the new-product failure rate is closer to 25% than the 95% that has long been accepted as the industry standard -- the process itself could ...

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