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  • This is the grocery ice cream aisle.

    這是間超市的冰淇淋走道。

  • And this is a witness hiding behind a screen to protect their identity and their business.

    而這是位躲在屏幕後面來保護自己的身分和生意不會暴露的證人。

  • The two are connected.

    這兩件事情是有關聯的。

  • This is a frost-covered door to a world of delicious treats, and this is John Kerry in September 1999, listening to a witness whose voice is scrambled to preserve their anonymity.

    一邊是通往充滿著美味甜點世界的結霜大門,一邊則是 1999 年 9 月約翰·凱瑞聽著聲音經過後製處理的證人陳述意見。

  • "It’s not about the product."

    「重點不在產品本身。」

  • Really weird voice-scrambling here, by the way.

    順帶一提,這個變聲處理真的有夠奇怪的。

  • There is a war going on in the aisles of grocery stores.

    在超市的走道之間正進行著一場戰爭。

  • A lot of grocery shelf space is bought by companies selling you stuff, long before you see it while youre shopping.

    許多超市的貨架空間是早在你採買並實際親眼看見這些商品之前,由賣給你商品的公司們所買下的。

  • It can cost as much as $5 million dollars to get your candy bar near the checkout in a bunch of grocery stores.

    要讓你的糖果棒鋪貨到數間超市靠近結帳櫃檯的位置,便可能得花上高達 500 萬美元。

  • And even if you know about these so-called slotting fees, the arguments for and against them might surprise you.

    如果你本來就知道有這些所謂上架費的存在,支持與反對上架費雙方的論點仍可能會讓你感到意外。

  • Slotting fees say something about the hidden transactions that let buyers and sellers work togetherand occasionally fear each other, too.

    上架費背後隱藏著使得買家和賣家可以共同合作的隱藏互動,而偶爾也會使兩者相互畏懼彼此。

  • Imagine youre a new ice cream maker and you want to sell delicious Generic Ice Cream, the ice cream with delicious generic bits.

    假設你是一名新進的冰淇淋製造商,想要販賣你美味的「超普通冰淇淋」,裡面含有超普通的巧克力碎片。

  • You can’t just start selling your ice cream. If you want to be in a major grocer, you have to pay.

    可是你不能就這樣直接賣冰淇淋。如果你想要鋪貨到主流超市,便得先付錢。

  • Journalist Gary Rivlin recently wrote about the slotting fee economy in a report for the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

    記者 Gary Rivlin 最近在一篇為美國公共利益科學中心所寫的報告中,描寫了上架費經濟。

  • His story of a real ice cream brand called "Clemmys" is a guide to what might happen to your Generic Ice Cream brand.

    他的故事圍繞著一款名為「Clemmys」的真實冰淇淋品牌,並能夠作為你的超普通冰淇淋可能會發生什麼事的參考。

  • To get Generic Ice Cream inside a freezer door, you’d have to pay $30,000 to get in 350 storesand that’s at a discount.

    為了要把超普通冰淇淋送進超市的冰櫃裡,你得先付上三萬美元才能鋪貨到 350 間店鋪,而這還是折扣過的價格。

  • Once you got in, sometimes you’d have to pay up to stay on the shelf.

    在上架之後,有時你還得繼續付錢才能保持在架上。

  • And youre competing against giants like Nestlé and Unilever.

    你還要和像是雀巢和聯合利華等產業巨頭競爭。

  • Rivlin reports they control basically 90 percent of the freezer doors because they’d already paid up.

    Rivlin 的報告指出,由於他們已經事先付款完成,他們基本控制了超市冰櫃中百分之 90 的位置。

  • For giants like them, a $30,000 fee isn’t a lotfor you, however, it might be a major cost.

    對於像是他們這樣的產業巨頭來說三萬美元的費用不算什麼,但對你而言卻可能是筆鉅款。

  • Even then, paying for your Generic Ice Cream to get on the shelves wouldn’t necessarily give you control.

    而且就算你付了錢來讓超普通冰淇淋得以上架,卻不代表你能就此控制它會出現在哪裡。

  • Instead, category captains, the big guys who pay the most, draft where every item goes, which can determine how well things sell.

    取而代之的是付了最多錢,被稱為「品類首領」的大公司們,能夠安排每一件商品該擺放到哪裡,進而影響到商品能賣得多好。

  • Drawings like these, called planograms, help stores keep things organized. See, Generic Soda goes here, Generic Energy here.

    這樣被稱為貨架圖的規劃圖能幫助店鋪整理商品。比方說,超普通汽水要放在這裡,超普通能量飲料則要放在這裡。

  • But they also help retailers sell space. Each spot comes at a cost.

    但它們也能幫助零售商販賣貨架空間。每個位置都有各自的價位。

  • The same is true of most of what you see in the candy, cookie, chip, and soda aisles.

    你在糖果、絣乾、洋芋片與汽水走道上看到的商品都遵循著一樣的道理。

  • To writers like Rivlin, it’s no better than a bribe.

    對於 Rivlin 等作家來說,這與賄賂無異。

  • Soda and candy pays up, and consumers have limited choice.

    汽水與糖果廠商付錢上架,而消費者僅有有限的選擇。

  • Your delicious Generic Ice Cream never hits the shelves.

    你美味的超普通冰淇淋永遠都無法上架。

  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms banned stuff like this for alcohol in 1995.

    美國菸酒槍炮及爆裂物管理局在 1995 年時禁止以這種方式販賣酒類的貨架空間。

  • And if youre a regular reader of Frozen & Refrigerated Buyer, youll know vendors are constantly fighting against these slotting fees.

    而如果你是《冷凍與冷藏商品買家》雜誌的忠實讀者,便能得知供貨商一直都在與上架費鬥爭。

  • So why are vendors resigned that slotting fees are here to stay?

    既然如此,為何供應商卻仍向上架費低頭了?

  • Imagine youre the grocery selling that Generic Ice Cream. There are a lot of reasons for slotting fees.

    假設你是販售超普通冰淇淋的一家超市。有許多的原因會讓你想要收取上架費。

  • There’s only so much shelf space to sell from, and food makerslike Genericthrow too many products at them.

    貨架空間有限,而像是超普通牌這樣的食品製造商卻像它們供給了太多種類的產品。

  • Slotting fees help the store prioritize.

    上架費能幫助店鋪設下優先順序。

  • Mary Sullivan wrote early studies defending slotting fees.

    Mary Sullivan 寫過一些擁護上架費的早期研究文章。

  • See this chart? It shows how many new products that manufacturers came up with in the 80s, thanks to technological advances like scanners that made it easier to spin off new products.

    看到這張表了嗎?它顯示了由於像是掃描機等的科技進步使得製造出相仿產品更加容易,讓製造商們在 1980 年代產出了大量的新產品。

  • Retailers needed to cut through the glut. Some argue that slotting fees help the store prioritize.

    零售商於是需要處理這樣的供過於求。有些人表示上架費能夠幫助店鋪設下優先順序。

  • And as this chart from the Federal Trade Commission shows, slotting fees are typically higher where space is scarcer, like the ice cream aisle or the candy bar aisle near the checkout.

    而這張來自美國聯邦貿易委員會的圖表則顯示出上架費在貨架空間稀少的品項上通常更加昂貴,例如冰淇淋走道或是結帳櫃台旁的糖果走道等等。

  • The purple ice cream here in this chart is clustered at the higher end of the slotting fee scale.

    在圖表中以紫色顯示的冰淇淋在上架費中位居偏高的價格。

  • The FTC and a range of academics have found that for retailers, slotting fees don’t just cull the offerings, but they also help them see that a manufacturer is willing to put their money where their mouth is.

    聯邦貿委會與許多的學術機關都發現對於零售商來說,上架費不僅能篩選商品,更能幫助他們觀察製造商是否願意真心花費資金投入自己的產品。

  • If you threw $30,000 into a slotting fee for Generic Cookies and Cream, it might signal to the retailer that youre able to guess, thanks to market research and other testing, that the product will succeed.

    如果你為了超普通餅乾巧酥冰淇淋花上三萬美元的上架費,便可能使零售商覺得你可能因為市場研究與其他的測試而對產品的成功有信心。

  • The retailer might then decide it’s worth a try, which is important, since 80% of new products fail.

    於是零售商便決定這個商品值得一試,而這點是很重要的,因為有 80% 的新商品最後會失敗。

  • The argument’s that slotting fees don’t just offset the costs of adding new products to the system, but they also show if a manufacturer thinks a product is a winner.

    這個論點的重點在於上架費不只能彌補將新的產品添加到銷售系統中所需的花費,更能顯現出製造商是否認為該產品有贏面。

  • It's a conundrumthe closer you look, the more supermarkets seem rigged, but at the same time, the more that rigging makes sense.

    這是個難解的問題,越是仔細端詳,便越覺得貨架都經過了刻意安排,但於此同時卻也越發覺得這樣的安排是合理的。

  • The only thing that’s certain is that behind those freezer doors, and behind that screen, there is a war going on.

    唯一能夠篤定的是,在這些冷凍櫃玻璃門,以及在會議室屏障的背後,一場戰爭正悄然進行著。

  • The Food Marketing Institute, which represents grocers, told me that Rivlin’s article "seriously mischaracterized the legitimate food industry practice of slotting fees."

    代表超市的食物行銷學會告訴我 Rivlin 的文章「對合法食品產業中對於上架費的實際運作方式做了嚴重的錯誤描述。」

  • Meanwhile, Rivlin and advocates like him want the FTC to look at slotting fees again.

    於此同時,Rivlin 以及與他類似的倡議者們則希望聯邦貿委會再次檢視上架費的運作。

  • Each retailer has their own strategy—A Walmart spokesperson told me they don’t charge slotting fees because they believe it raises prices.

    每個零售商都有各自的策略。一名沃爾瑪超市的發言人告訴我他們不會收取上架費,因為他們認為這會使售價上升。

  • Whole Foods reportedly has a similar stance, preferring free trials of goods to cash.

    全食超市據稱也有著類似的立場,比起現金更偏好免費測試銷售情況的商品本身。

  • Both sides have solutions: Sellers would rather retailers opt for more test stores to give products a chance, instead of demanding high slotting fees.

    兩方都有對此的解決方案:供貨商希望零售商能夠選擇開放更多的測試店鋪來給產品一個機會,而不是索取高額的上架費用。

  • And grocers, well, they often say slotting fees are necessary to "recoup the labor, spacing and shelving costs entailed in marketing new product lines."

    而超市們則表示上架費對於「彌補行銷全新產品線所需的人力、空間與貨架成本」來說是必要的。

  • They also push in-store brands to take more controlthink Trader Joe’s or your grocery’s branded sodaand that makes space scarcer for manufacturers.

    他們也推展了店內自有品牌來取得更多控制權,想想 Trader Joe's 或是常去超市的自有品牌汽水吧,而這又讓製造商們所能使用的貨架空間更為稀少。

  • Only a few things are certain: Your grocery aisle, where you see happy cereal boxes and yummy ice cream, is oddly tense.

    只有幾件事情是確定的:當你在逛超市走道的時候,在那些包裝歡快喜悅的穀片和美味的冰淇淋背後,隱藏著一場異常激烈的戰爭。

  • Hide-behind-a-screen tense, because large groceries have the ability to keep your product off the shelves with just a snap of their fingers.

    是證人得躲到屏障後面那種程度的激烈,因為大型超市有能力在一個響指之間,便把你的產品通通下架。

  • Selling your Generic Ice Cream is a lot more complicatedand controversialthan you might have realized.

    販售你的超普通冰淇淋背後可能比你想像得還要更複雜-而且更具爭議性。

  • And maybe, now, buying it is too.

    而在你知道了背後秘辛的現在,購買它也是如此。

  • Slotting fees are ultimately a form of negotiation, and even if you don’t pay them, you still might be making compromises.

    上架費是談判的終極形式,就算你不用附上架費,或許仍得做出妥協。

  • You could sell your Generic Ice Cream in Trader Joe’s, but if you do, you might have to sign a strict non-disclosure agreement,

    你能在 Trader Joe's 販賣你的超普通冰淇淋,但如此一來便可能需要簽署一份保密協議,

  • promising not to reveal that it’s your ice cream that Trader Joe’s is selling under their own brand.

    保證你不會揭露 Trader Joe's 以它們自家品牌販賣的冰淇淋其實是你的產品。

This is the grocery ice cream aisle.

這是間超市的冰淇淋走道。

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