What Is the Difference Between a Shipper and an Assortment?

Assortment and Shipper are terms used to describe more than one item with different UPC codes grouped together for shipping and replenishment purposes.

The Prime or Parent is the Walmart item number representing the container of the individual items to be ordered. An individual item in the grouping or container, previously called a Child, is now called Content Item.

Both types can be configured as a Case (shelf-ready retail box) or as a feature pallet, half pallet, or quarter pallet for Action Alley.

There are two classifications:

  • Assortment
  • Shipper

So what’s the difference?

An Assortment is a container or group of similar items. Example: 10 desk fans in two colors — pink and blue.

The Content Items (formerly called Children) must follow these rules for an Assortment:

  • Be set up as a 1/1 configuration
  • Have its own GTIN/UPC
  • Have the same Cost and Retail
  • Share the same Supplier Number
  • Share the same Buying Region Code

Sometimes called an Unlike Assortment, a Shipper can include different items with different Cost and Retail. An example of this would be a group of 5 desk fans, 10 box fans, and 5 oscillating fans. It’s important to note that the items in a Shipper can also be “Like” items.

One key difference between these two classifications is how your buyer wants the items to be replenished.

If an Assortment needs to be replenished, the buyer will typically order the same total pack quantity as the previous order, sending in the same mix of items, e.g., mix of colors. However, assortments are often not replenished. Think Halloween or Valentine’s Day.

Shippers can be replenished; however, instead of the entire Shipper pack being ordered, each individual content item can now be replenished. If one item outsells others, for example, that item can be replenished and other items (those not selling well) would not be replenished.

Additional rules for Item File Creation.

  • The Content Items (formerly called Children) must be built (the UPC of each item must have a WIN assigned to it) prior to creation of the Shipper or the Assortment.
  • The Parent or Prime GTIN/UPC must start out with a zero and be unique to that PDQ or container.

Let’s take a look at an earlier example.

You have an assortment of 10 desk fans – pink and blue. Within time, Walmart has sold all the blue fans, but the pink fans are not selling. In this situation, it’s most beneficial to group the items as a Shipper, so Walmart can reorder more blue fans, rather than both colors.

Here’s an easy reference sheet:

Assortment v Shipper

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