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Market Share and Product Distribution: Re-Tested and Extended

32 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2012  

Michael W. Kruger

Dominican University; Information Resources, Inc.

Brian Harper

Information Resources, Inc.

Date Written: June 5, 2006


In Marketing Science’s review of empirical generalizations in marketing, Reibstein and Farris (1995) provide a model for the relationship of market share (MS) and product distribution (D).

The relationship is generally convex, with high share brands having more share points per point of distribution. This paper tests this relationship across many categories and across six years from IRI’s Infoscan Reviews database. Most, but not all, categories follow the general pattern. We present evidence on the generality of the model, show how many consumer packaged goods categories follow the general pattern, show how stable the model is when estimated for multiple cross-sections, and assess whether cross-sectional convex models are consistent with changes seen over time for brands with substantial changes in share and/or distribution. We investigate alternative models incorporating both breadth and depth of distribution and show these provide more insight and better prediction.

Keywords: Marketing, distribution, consumer packaged goods, supermarkets

JEL Classification: M31

Suggested Citation

Kruger, Michael W. and Harper, Brian, Market Share and Product Distribution: Re-Tested and Extended (June 5, 2006). Available at SSRN: or

Michael W. Kruger (Contact Author)

Dominican University ( email )

7900 West Division Street
River Forest, IL 60305
United States


Information Resources, Inc. ( email )

150 N. Clinton St.
Chicago, IL 60661
United States
3124742524 (Phone)


Brian Harper

Information Resources, Inc. ( email )

PO Box 6157
Woodbridge, VA 22195

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