chaz2Whether you’re a mini-multiple with a handful of convenience stores or a leading supermarket chain, successful merchandising and display comes down to using suppliers’ products and leveraging their marketing to maximise your fixtures’ appeal and your sales.

The current recession has forced retailers large and small to look again at their merchandising and display. Ultimately for grocery traders of all sizes, smarter merchandising and display involves improving the store offering by keeping fixtures in good condition, stocked with the best products for the store’s profile, and enlisting suppliers’ help to make shoppers want to buy.

For the retailer, merchandising and display starts with the hardware that holds the products – the fixtures and the fridges, chillers and freezers – and the store environment. The Shop and Display Equipment Association has been around for 60 years, and its members cover a host of display equipment manufacturers of different kinds, from fixtures to lighting, with wide experience in different sectors. The SDEA’s message is that there has never been a better time to revamp stores to ensure you come out on top of the current downturn.

The next part of the process is space management and range development. The major UK grocery retailers and their suppliers have been working together for decades on the ongoing process of developing and implementing fixture layouts featuring leading brands, bestselling products and new ones, along with promotions. The process involves microscopically detailed analysis of sales by fixture, across every product category and section.

The findings of this analysis spell life or death for products and decide their continued presence or otherwise on shelf. Retailers take the results and create fixture layouts that will sell the most products and deliver the greatest profit. The final element in merchandising and display is a host of activities under the catchall umbrella of in-store promotion and marketing, with the general objective of motivating shoppers to buy.

The big manufacturers spend fortunes every year on POS, in-store advertising, display material, store-ready packaging, in-store sampling, trolley advertising and a host of other activity. The common purpose is to highlight their brands and create a warm, friendly, and approachable atmosphere for shoppers. It’s not confined to big brands. Enlightened retail buyers will also encourage small manufacturers to adopt such merchandising and display tactics as clip strips and retail-ready cases in order to drive purchase from first listing onwards.

The Grocery Trader

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