If the customer is king, in the supermarket or convenience store the shopper reigns supreme. Whatever the economy is doing, the first commandment in grocery retailing remains the same – excite the shopper with new products and promotions that weren’t there last time, and draw their attention to lines and offers they didn’t see before, and they’ll keep coming back for more.
From the food to go section and displays of other fast moving items at the front of the store through to the furthest fixtures from the doors, merchandising and display are one of the keys to building shopper traffic, footfall and keeping shoppers returning to your store rather than going somewhere else.
Consumers are a jaded, cynical bunch. They’ve seen it all before, but if they’re in your store, they’re in a buying mood. You need to win them over. You need to entertain them with in-store theatre.
First you need your cast – the right products, with the optimum range and balance. These days it’s as much a science as an art. At fixture level suppliers and retailers have been working for several decades using sophisticated software tools to design and plan their fixtures and sections, based on sales figures for that store.
If the products are the stars, then the store needs to be seen as a theatre and set up so the products perform to the best of their potential. After you’ve got your cast, you need the set, the hardware to furnish the store. Through the Shop and Display Equipment Association you can access thousands of shop fittings and display systems, props, accessories, point of sale, signage, visual merchandising and other equipment and services.
Then you need to dress the set. Make the maximum use of suppliers’ branding and point of sale material to make their products stand out on shelf. Put their muscle to work for you, pulling consumers in to buy their products. Bring neglected sections to new life with point of purchase advertising. ‘
Even the humble crate is a retail star these days. Returnable transit packaging these days has a higher aesthetic level than it used to, with bread boxes and vegetable crates communicating instantly where you are in the store: brown means the bread section, see green and you’re in the veg section. Throw in retail-ready palletised cases, which are now being used creatively and effectively to sell promotions, and the store becomes an exciting environment all round.
The Grocery Trader