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Retail Price Maintenance (RPM)

Retail Price Maintenance (RPM) is a practice employed in the retail industry to establish and maintain a fixed resale price of a product for all retailers. It refers to an agreement or policy between a manufacturer and its retailers to set a minimum selling price for a specific product. This practice ensures uniformity in pricing across different retailers and helps maintain brand value and profitability for both the manufacturer and the retailers. RPM can also be known as Resale Price Maintenance or Minimum Resale Price (MRP) maintenance.


Retail Price Maintenance (RPM) is a crucial concept in the realm of retail and business finance. It entails an agreement between manufacturers and retailers that sets the minimum price at which a particular product can be sold to end consumers. The purpose of RPM is to maintain a consistent pricing structure across various retailers and prevent price competition that could potentially harm the brand’s image, product value, and profit margins.

Under an RPM agreement, manufacturers establish a minimum resale price for their products, which all authorized retailers are obligated to adhere to. This implies that retailers cannot sell the product below the predetermined price; doing so would violate the RPM agreement and potentially result in penalties or termination of the manufacturer-retailer relationship.

The practice of RPM has several benefits for both manufacturers and retailers. Firstly, it allows manufacturers to exercise control over the pricing of their products and prevents retailers from engaging in aggressive price wars that could harm the reputation of the brand. By setting a minimum resale price, manufacturers ensure that their products are sold at a price that reflects their value and quality, thereby maintaining a premium brand perception in the market.

Additionally, RPM helps create a level playing field among retailers, as it ensures that all authorized sellers have equal opportunities to generate profits. Without RPM, aggressive discounting by some retailers can lead to an uneven competitive landscape, potentially discouraging smaller retailers from participating in the distribution network. By setting a minimum price, RPM fosters healthy competition and encourages retailers to focus on value-added services and customer experience rather than engaging in price-focused strategies.

Moreover, RPM can lead to more stable profit margins for both manufacturers and retailers. By preventing excessive price fluctuations, RPM helps sustain profitability in the long run. It enables manufacturers to invest in research and development, maintain product quality, and undertake marketing initiatives that enhance brand recognition. For retailers, a stable resale price ensures consistent profit margins, facilitating better financial planning and business growth.

It is important to note that RPM is subject to legal regulations in many jurisdictions. Some countries have specific laws and regulations that govern the practice to prevent potential anti-competitive behavior. While RPM is generally legal in the United States, certain restrictive practices associated with it may be subject to scrutiny under antitrust laws. Therefore, it is essential for manufacturers and retailers to understand and comply with the legal framework governing RPM within their jurisdiction.

In conclusion, Retail Price Maintenance (RPM) is a practice that allows manufacturers to set minimum resale prices for their products, ensuring uniformity and consistency in pricing across retailers. It benefits manufacturers by maintaining brand value and profitability, while also enabling retailers to compete on factors other than price. Understanding the legal aspects of RPM is critical to ensure compliance with antitrust regulations.