“Fineline” refers to a group of items within a department that show similar sales patterns.

Each product is in a fineline – and only one fineline. It’s essentially a way of classifying goods based on shopper behavior.

We can classify products in many different ways, after all. Prices, ingredients or materials, peak season, size, color, long or short sleeves, country of origin — there are thousands of possibilities. When you’re forecasting sales, though, you don’t want to rely on your gut feeling about what seems like the most logical way to break down a category. Finelines are determined by sales patterns.

Walmart assigns a four-digit number to each fineline. This is called the “fineline number,” sensibly enough. Walmart finelines can be found in DSS under the Items filter and then drilling down into the department.

It’s essential that each product be placed accurately within a fineline to maximize sales. Suppliers are, in the end, responsible for noticing and alerting Walmart partners when a fineline classification needs to be corrected.

Just as you must be able to work with SKUs and categories, you need to be able to work with finelines in Retail Link. If it all begins to run together in your mind, you should sign up for Sales and Inventory Analysis or  Supply Chain courses with 8th & Walton.

Retail Link provides a wealth of data for Walmart suppliers, but your business with Walmart will only benefit if you can unlock the information and learn to apply it.