Proponents of third-party merchandising services point out again and again that the mere presence of a person in-store to shelve out the merchandise can cause out-of-stocks to fall and promotional lifts to rise. It seems simple -- close the loop, count the profits. But as other observers point out, pitfalls lurk in this activity. "Third-party merchandising organizations do a very good job at what they do, but there is a definite list of things they do do and things they don't do," says ...

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