We had an opportunity to leverage our point of purchase design experience to improve the merchandising effectiveness in a growing chain of convenience stores in the Northeast. The primary advantage that this chain had over its competition was store size. Its stores average 4500 square feet compared to less than half of that for its competitors. Because of their larger format stores, they viewed Wal-Mart and dollar stores as their direct competition in addition to their smaller format convenience store rivals.
What we found interesting about their strategy was their approach to increasing the average spend per customer. Unlike a lot of convenience stores and retailers in general, they really didn’t care about gross margin. Instead, they focused on gross margin dollars. Therefore, they priced their products very aggressively to ensure they are always offering “value,” but they wanted to sell a 5 lb. bag of candy instead of a 12 oz bag. Whereas competitors might sell an item for $9.99, they would sell it for $7.99. Their strategy of combining convenience and value enabled them to thrive relative to the competition.
From a merchandising standpoint we saw three immediate opportunities for improvement. We’ll discuss the first opportunity today and tackle the other two opportunities in our next two blogs. The first opportunity was to utilize one of our stock displays to merchandise soda and other items that they had been stacking on the floor. These stacks of boxes on the floor were the first thing a customer saw when entering their stores. You can see how they stacked the soda on the left in the picture below.
Our 4-sided SFL pinwheel display proved to be an effective and highly versatile solution to the cluttered entrances of their stores. Not only did it enable the stores to get product up off the floor, but it provided a way for them to merchandise a wide range of products to customers immediately upon entering the store. You can see in the pictures below the range of different products they merchandised on these units. You can also see the larger sized bags and packs they offered as a part of their strategy to increase the average purchase per customer.
Our customer decided to use 2 SFL pinwheel units in a side-by-side configuration to increase the presence and impact of these POP displays.
In our next blog we will discuss our solution for improving the candy and snack section of the store.