|Budget Amount *help
¥3,300,000 (Direct Cost: ¥3,300,000)
Fiscal Year 2003: ¥1,000,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,000,000)
Fiscal Year 2002: ¥1,000,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,000,000)
Fiscal Year 2001: ¥1,300,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,300,000)
The research project is to explore the actual conditions of manufacturer-led marketing in the UK, and the relationship of marketing practice with competition policy by the government. The research focuses on three industries, that is, impulse ice cream, automobile, and domestic electric goods.
In the ice cream industry marketing of impulse ice cream is controlled by the large-sized manufacturers such as Unilever (BEW), while marketing of take-home ice cream is performed by large-sized multiples. The manufacturers of impulse ice cream provided exclusive freezers with CTNs, most of which are petty retailers. The freezer exclusivity actively makes these petty retailers into the manufacturers' exclusive dealers. Unilever, being different from other manufacturers, also organises wholesalers as exclusive agents. The Competition Commission (the Monopolies and Mergers Commission) opposes these exclusive activities.
In the automobile industry, the manufacturers have adopted the SED (selective and
exclusive distribution) system. The manufacturers control the dealers in many aspects, and the so-called fleet customers are favorably treated. The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry ordered to prohibit discrimination between fleet customers and others, and restriction on advertising, while the Competition Commission radically recommended abandoning the SED system altogether.
In the industry of domestic electrical goods, the manufacturers of the 'brown' goods are mainly the Japanese companies such as Sony and Matsushita, while the suppliers of the 'white' goods are basically the European manufacturers. On the retailer side, some leading multiples, Dixons and Commet, have large market shares in both brown and white goods. Almost all the manufacturers adopt the selective distribution system, which is accompanied by withholding of supply to particular retailers. The Competition Commission finds that the refusing to supply the warehouse clubs functioned as price-fixing at retail selling. In addition, almost all the manufacturers suggest or recommend the retail prices of their products. Because of this practice, large multiples negotiate frequently before publishing the recommended retail prices by the manufacturers. Furthermore, almost all retailers use the recommended prices as the starting point of their discount. The Competition Commission recognizes the 'complex monopoly situation' including both of supplier's and retailer's sides, and concluded that this was against the public interest. The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry gave the order in 1998 that prohibited the suppliers from publishing the recommended retail prices.
In short, the manufacturers who are the marketers in the UK prefer marketing strategy that establishes exclusive or 'keiretsu' marketing channels, refuses to supply discounted retailers, and maintains retail prices by publishing the recommended retail prices. Although it has been said that these features in strategy are unique to Japanese marketing, they are more or less shared by the UK marketers. Nevertheless, the strict attitude by the UK Competition Commission prevents these features from being put into practice. As a result, the actual form of marketing becomes different between the UK and Japan. Less