The grocery industry is losing millions in sales by not offering category management training to recruits or implementing defined processes, according to IGD's Welcome to Category Management report.

A survey of those new to category management indicated 68% had not had formal training, with most of these learning on the job.

Meanwhile, although 32% said they were implementing a full strategic approach to category management, 30% admitted they were using category management with informal processes and an emphasis on "quick wins".

"Companies are losing sales, hampering trading relationships and potentially failing to manage risk by not practising category management strategically ," said Karen Bevan, head of consumer and category management at IGD.

Category management was growing strongly ­globally, especially in developing countries such as India and in central and eastern Europe, she said , which meant companies needed to consider implementing it with defined processes.

"If companies are to derive maximum benefit from category management then it must be seen as a strategic driver for the business rather than as a support function."