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Decoding Retail Terminology: Your Essential Reference Guide to Retail Terms and Acronyms

Retail Terms and Acronyms


Welcome to the Woodridge Retail Group blog, where we delve into the intricate world of retail with expert precision. In this post, we bring you an indispensable glossary of retail terms and acronyms designed to empower you with the knowledge needed to navigate this dynamic industry confidently.

As a seasoned retail professional or an aspiring entrepreneur, you understand that staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies is paramount. However, the sheer volume of abbreviations and industry jargon can sometimes feel like an insurmountable barrier. That's why we're here to demystify the retail code and provide you with a comprehensive resource that deciphers the complex language of the retail world.

Within this blog post, we have meticulously curated an extensive reference list of the most commonly used retail terms and acronyms. Our goal is to equip you with the tools to communicate effectively with industry peers, comprehend intricate reports, and stay well-informed on the ever-evolving retail landscape.

Whether you're seeking clarity on RFM (Recency, Frequency, Monetary) analysis or looking to grasp the concept of "Endless Aisle," our comprehensive blog post will guide you toward a fluent understanding of retail language. With this knowledge, you'll gain the confidence to navigate industry discussions, interpret complex concepts, and make informed decisions.

Stay tuned for our upcoming blog posts, where we will unravel the mysteries behind some of the most widely used retail terms. Together, we will delve deep into the foundations of retail language, enriching your expertise and broadening your professional horizons.



AM Account Manager – Employee focused on managing the relationship with the retailer

AOV Average Order Volume – what is predicted. The lower the AOV, the higher the conversion must be

ASP Average Selling Price – Average price that a retailer sells a product for over a period of time


B2B Business to Business

BGO Blinding Glimpses of the Obvious

BOB Best of Breed

BOM Bill of Materials – Basic list of materials and costs to build a product

BUYER Retailer employee focused on all aspects of buying & managing a category


CE Consumer Electronics – CE retailers sell stereos, TVs, audio, PCs and other electronics products

COGs Cost of Goods Sold – All of the costs associated with building a product to sell, including licenses and royalties

CPFR - Collaborative Planning Forecasting Replenishment – New standard codes and process for exchanging data with retailers

CRM - Customer Relationship Management

CTR Click Thru Rate – sessions/impressions % of users who clicked an ad

CTS Cost To Serve – All of the variable costs associated with selling through a retail account


DFI - Deducting From Invoice

DMM - Division Merchandising Manager – Retailer employee focused on managing multiple categories of products

DOJ - Department of Justice (US Government)


E3 - Excellent Execution Everyday

EDI - Electronic Data Integration – A standard way of exchanging sell‐in, sell‐through & inventory data with retailers

EDLP Everyday Low Price – A retailer policy of “no sales” and having the same price every day, pioneered by Walmart

EOL End of Life – End of product life cycle when product is scheduled to be replaced on the retail shelf

EOM - End of Month

EPC Electronic Product Code – Electronic coding of information about a product coded on a RFID chip

EULA - End User License Agreement


FASB Financial Accounting Standards Board – Creates standards and definitions for accounting, recent rulings on marketing expenses

FPP Full Packaged Product – Products packaged to sell one at a time off of a retailer’s shelf

FSI Free Standing Insert – A stand-alone retailer ad – Typically referred to as a “circular” that is distributed in weekend papers

FY Fiscal Year


GM$ Gross Margin – A way to measure gross profit calculated as the difference between the selling price and cost

GM% Gross Margin expressed as a % – Calculated by dividing the Gross Margin $ by the total sales $

GMM General Merchandising Manager – Retailer employee focused on strategy, management & profit of a broad

spectrum on products

GMROF Gross Margin Return on Floor – Gross margin or profit returned per floor space usually measure in gross margin per square foot

GMROI Gross Margin Return on Investment

GMROI Gross Margin Return on Investment

GMROII Gross Margin Return on Inventory Investment – Gross Margin $ returned for every $ invested in inventory (and inventory costs)

GNP - Gross National Profit


HQ - Head Quarters

HO - Home Office


IPQ - Initial Purchase Quantity


KPI - Key Performance Indicator


LCM Life Cycle Management – Time & processes required to manage the product from launch to end of life

LOS Level of Service – Metric measuring % of the time a vendor has pre‐determined weeks of supply in all stores identified

LY - Last Year


MASS Mass Merchant – Typically refers to a large national retail chain that appeals to the “masses”

MDF Market Development Funds – Marketing investments are given to retailers for specific ads, promotions, and events


OOS Out Of Stock – Physically means no product to sell or no product on the retail shelf, which can be estimated from the store

inventory data

OPS Typical abbreviation for Operations

OPM Operations Product Manager – Responsible for the launch of the product

OSP Outlet Sales Productivity – Sell-through measured at the retailer store level

OTB Open To Buy – A retailer process and metric for calculating shipments needs based on current inventory and forward sell‐through forecasts


P&L Profit and Loss Statement – Generic term covering the financial evaluation of profit & losses by item or nature of expenditure or revenue item

POP Point of Purchase – Typically refers to all materials and physical setup in a retailer, in and around where the product is displayed

POS Point of Sale – Typically refers to materials, brochures, signs at point of sale, or can refer to point of sale cash register

POSA Point of Sale Activation – Process by which software becomes activated, useable, at the point of purchase

POV Point of View


PR Public Relations

PRM Public Relations Management


RDF Retailer Development Funds

RFID Radio Frequency Identification – A microchip containing electronic product information & identification

ROI Return on Investment – Generic term indicating profit returned or remaining after all investments (costs) are accounted for

ROP Run of Press – Retailer ad that appears within a newspaper ‐ e.g., an ad printed within a business section

R&R Roles & Responsibilities

RSM Release Services Manager – Process and system that enables product release to Manufacture

RTV Return to Vendor

Rule of 100 Retail Rule of 100 – An estimate of retailer profitability calculated by Gross Margin (%) times turns


SAM Strategic Account Management

SCM Supply Chain Management

Sell‐in Sales or shipments to a retailer

Sell‐out Sales or shipments to a distributor

Sell‐thru Sales out to a consumer through a retailer

SG&A Sales General & Administrative Costs – Typically refers to a "standard" way of calculating all major costs associated with selling a product

SKU Stock Keeping Unit – A retailer term used to identify each individual product at a unique model and part number level

SOHO Small Office Home Office – A general way of classifying a group of consumers who buy products for a small business or work at the home office

SOV Share of Voice – Share your products' ad space relative to competitor products in the same ad

SW Software


Ts&Cs Terms and Conditions – Specific details on how each party will do business as specified in a contract or contract addendum

TO Turnover or Inventory Turns – Calculated by dividing the sell‐through for the period by the average inventory for the period

TY This Year


UPC Universal Product Code – Unique product code assigned to every product so that a bar code can be used for POS scanning


VP Vice President – Position level in any organization


WOS Weeks of Supply – How long inventory will last (in weeks) based on sell-through rates – Reciprocal of Turns = 52 weeks divided by turns


YTD Year To Date

YOY Year Over Year

About Us

Woodridge Retail Group is a sales & marketing agency focused on accelerating business growth online and in stores. We meet clients where they are and commit to growing their businesses. That commitment is core to who we are.

From national retailers like Walmart, Target, CVS, and online giant Amazon to regional retailers like Texas’ H-E-B, Woodridge is with you every step of the way. Need help? Let's talk.



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