Master of Business Administration
Faculty / School
Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)
Syed Akhtar Mahmud, Visiting Faculty, Department of Marketing
Committee Member 1
Mr. Akhtar Mahmud, Visiting Faculty, Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi
MBA Research Project
Abstract / Summary
The project involves understanding the retailing landscape for LMTs in Pakistan, specifically for FMCGs. The understanding of opportunity areas in LMTs for improved customer engagement has led towards recommendations and development of in-store visibility tools.
With this project, Unilever aimed to step up their game in in-store merchandising activities in the LMT landscape and understand areas of improvement compared to their competitors.
To conduct primary research, the team members visited 75 LMT stores and collected data according to the pre-defined parameters. The data was organized and processed to carry out further analysis. Complete methodology of execution of retail audit is explained in Chapter 3 of this report.
Key observations of retail audit are as follows:
- Competitors (Nestle, P&G & RB) are visible in and out of store, with unique and engaging designs of POSM. However, Unilever is behind the competitors in its merchandising execution to engage shoppers.
- Unilever lacks in areas like attractive gondola / FSU design, wall / beam / pillar branding, full category branding, lighting of shelves, text on POSM, color scheme etc.
Details of findings are incorporated in Chapter 5 of this report.
A questionnaire was developed with the help of our dependent and independent variables to conduct survey (Refer Appendix B). Data was collected from 307 respondents who frequently shop from LMT stores. Target audience was identified by using used a filtering question in the beginning of the questionnaire to ensure relevant responses only. The data collected was structured followed by tests conducted on SPSS to prove the hypothesis of our research. SPSS analysis along with interpretation is available in Chapter 5 of this report.
To study about the current trends in in-store merchandising an in-depth secondary research was performed by going over papers published on POSM and in-store branding.
The gaps and opportunity areas were identified with the help of primary and secondary research and presented to Unilever.
Key recommendations presented to Unilever are as follows:
- Engaging and unique POSM designs, based around digitization which incorporates technology
- 3D Stickers, projection lighting, scent / aroma marketing to be implemented along with improvement in the text / message display and color contrast.
- Placement position of in-store marketing material.
- Addressing those retailers who do not allow POSM in shops.
The recommendations presented to Unilever were discussed and the top 3 feasible and unique ideas with mutual understanding were shortlisted. These ideas were taken up further with the professional merchandising agency of Unilever – ‘Yellowork’ for design, development and practical application. Recommendations details are available in Chapter 6 of this report.
Three global case studies relevant to our market were presented to Unilever to support the ideas presented for Pakistani LMT landscape. Here relevance indicates continental markets, like Iran, India and UAE which share a similar cultural bond and market structure like Pakistan.
Khalid, A., Shoaib, B., Farooqui, E. N., Rahman, H. M., & Aidrus, S. S. (2020). Bringing disruption to in-store merchandising (Unpublished graduate research project). Institute of Business Administration, Pakistan. Retrieved from https://ir.iba.edu.pk/research-projects-mba/30
Available for download on Saturday, December 05, 2026