How to optimise shelf space across your entire store

Shelves are the skeleton of a store, where everything is presented to the customer. As such, they need to be held to the highest possible standards, whether it’s keeping them clean, tidy and in good repair or ensuring there are never any gaps in the lineup.

at a time when availability and pricing issues dominate conversations, customers will spot any gaps in the shelves and can damage your store’s reputation for having what they need at any given time.

With this in mind, it might be better to have something on the shelf than nothing at all.

Staff must be trained to constantly inspect the store, monitor shelves for signs of wear, and replenish any gaps that appear, taking special care to ensure that stock is rotated appropriately to feature products closest to their sell-by date at The front. .

“It’s making sure staff are aware that if there’s a product we can’t get, they’re making more coatings on products we can get.

“The only impression we don’t want to give customers is that there are availability issues because it makes us look disorganized,” says Samantha Coldbeck of Wharfedale Premier in Hull.

More than just being a place to display your products, shelves can also act as promotional tools. Whether it’s enclosing other products or holding signs pointing to complementary items, how you stack, position and promote your shelves can have a huge impact on the customer journey and the final spend of your basket.

“You have to look at the design of your store and take advice from people like Bookersays Jason Birks of Moscis Convenience Store in Peterlee, Co. Durham.

“They offer planograms and commercialization tips to help you make your shelves as attractive as possible.”

Don’t take up shelf space

Samantha Coldbeck of Wharfedale Premier in Hull

Samantha Coldbeck, of Wharfedale Premier in Hull, has always prioritized double liners wherever possible, in the opinion that it is better to over-represent certain products than to have empty spaces.

“Making sure that we’re trying to duplicate the row for any product makes it pretty easy to triple or quadruple the row if a gap appears,” she says. “Prior to pandemic We thought there were so many lines that we could cut down, but since then, the shop seems to be completely full 99% of the time because we are constantly rearranging and filling spaces.”

Above all, keeping shelves stocked with alternatives is better than making room for products that may not be available. “Where we have had 10 spaces for five Lucozade flavors, we now have two products across them. It’s easy to think ‘Should we leave that room for when the flavor comes?’, but we don’t know when it will,” says Coldbeck.

keep it professional

Sasi Patel owner of four convenience stores in and around Greater Manchester

“I’m pretty picky about our screens,” explains Sasi Patel, who owns four convenience stores in and around Greater Manchester. “I don’t do in-store theater because I feel like it takes attention away from the product.”

Instead, Patel makes sure its displays have clear black-and-white tickets and that all products face forward. If a product is on sale, Patel and his team will double-place the product in the store’s promotional space.

“I’m not a big fan of decals, which is why a promotional bay is so effective,” he says. “I think the stickers can make the screen look damaged.”

If a product is out of stock, Patel and his team flip the shelf labels over, so staff know to reorder, and place the product double-sided side by side.

“By putting a product on two sides, we keep our shelves full and don’t risk the unavailable line being accidentally delisted.”

Make sure there is a variety

Capel News store in Dorking, Surrey

What’s important to Mukesh Patel when it comes to stacking shelves at his Capel News store in Dorking, Surrey, is offering his customers choice. This means different brands within categories and products. The choice is usually made around price, with premium products positioned next to the value options to allow customers to treat themselves with an up trade or save some money with a down trade.

If options are available, Patel fills in the gaps with more cheaper options because there is still a good variety of options and they are more in demand.

“I would go for price tag packages and private label products to fill in the gaps. Due to the cost of living crisisPeople are looking for those cheaper options,” he says. “So we normally have a good variety of private label products from Better way and Booker as Happy Shopper.”

increase your space

For retailers with smaller stores, like Jason Birks of Moscis Convenience Store in Peterlee, Co. Durham, maximizing space ensures you get as many options in front of your customers as possible.

It does this first by making sure your store doesn’t suffer from any availability issues through a combination of Booker deliveries and two or three visits a week to the store. cash and carry.

In addition to this, you make even more room for your products by attaching clip strips to the edges of your shelves, allowing you to hang additional lines from your shelves, enticing customers to make additional purchases.

“This works especially well with confectionery,” he says. “Essentially, it allows you to put additional candy on the shelf and you can get more incremental sales from it. You have to utilize the space in the best possible way.”

Line up your team

While Chaz Chahal would rather not have gaps on his shelves at SimplyFresh – The Forge Shop in Worcestershirehe also makes sure his staff understands what he would rather be up there.

“Staff may put something in to fill an empty space, but that can mean that when something you really want in there becomes available again, they won’t put it in because there’s no space now,” he says. “If you’re in the store every day, you can be on top of it because you know what you’re doing and what you want on the shelves, but if you’re not, you need to have the disciplines to make sure things don’t go wrong by plugging the gaps. There has to be a system.”

Sometimes, Chahal even accepts gaps in their shelves in lieu of having the wrong products, especially now that shelf gaps are becoming more common, even in multiples.

Top tips for smart shelving

1HAVE A BACKUP PLAN FOR UNAVAILABLE STOCK
Shelf gaps don’t build customer confidence, so if a product isn’t currently available, replace it with a similar or double-sided line of your products to fill those gaps.

2CONSIDER ELECTRONIC SHELF LABELS
Consider whether the introduction of electronic shelf labels (ESL) would be a good investment for your store. ESLs can drive efficiency as price changes are instantly managed through your EPoS and give your shelves a smart look.

3MAKE THEM STAND OUT
Clean and well-maintained shelves are a must to give your store the right look in the eyes of customers. Shelf promotions, shelf clips and more can add to the overall effect, or a more matched approach can make stock look neater and easier to navigate.

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