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US: Re-design of produce department drives sales

BY: Marieke Hemmes | DATE: July 07, 2015

"People select to shop at a grocery store based on its produce offering," says Mark Chenoweth with Carlson AirFlo.  It's the big driver of sales at the grocery store. "This department is a very competitive market place and we support the retailer in merchandising its products well. Our equipment can be found in about half of US grocery stores," adds Chenoweth.

Increased sales and reduced shrink

"Our customers see the immediate effects of merchandising produce well," said Chenoweth. "First of all, with our equipment more attractive displays are created which results in higher sales numbers. Additionally, our equipment supports retailers in controlling their inventory better. They don't have to put too much produce out in the store for a display to look attractive. For our equipment we use anodized aluminum, which keeps temperatures at desired levels and reduces shrink." 

"By upgrading their produce merchandising, it's not uncommon for retailers to see 5 to 25 percent increases in their sales. Recently, one of our customers shared that their produce sales increased by 18 percent and their shrink went down 13 percent after installing equipment at multiple store locations", mentioned Chenoweth.

Trend of vertical merchandising

"In the past four years, we have seen a majority of retailers going vertical, creating abundant looking displays which maximize the holding power of the cases.  With an ever-increasing number of SKU's and the trend in organics, retailers need additional space within the cases, vertical merchandising is a way to accomplish this," added Chenoweth.

Glass door merchandising

"Over the past few years, we have worked with many retailers around the country installing glass door merchandising due to the energy and food safety benefits as glass doors contain better temperatures.  We feel that all retailers will eventually be guided into using glass doors as governmental regulations from the Department of Energy and the EPA become more stringent on case manufacturers to improve case efficiency," said Chenoweth. "Retailers have challenged the AirFlo team with developing solutions to keep product faced, easily accessible and to prevent shrink from excessive product being loaded into the deep cases."  

Retailers around the country have started installing glass doors in their produce area, from California to Iowa to North Carolina. "A majority of the retailers have found that their sales volume per store is not affected by the installation of glass doors, in fact, their produce areas are more profitable from reduced energy, reduced wear on their refrigeration equipment / less maintenance and a substantial reduction in shrink.  One retailer told me "for the first time in my company's history, I can honestly state that our bagged salads are at temperature."  

Re-design is overnight

Changing the look of the grocery department doesn't take much time. Overnight, a retailer can swap out the old equipment with new, exciting equipment which elevates the department and the store is ready to open the next morning. "Premium grocery stores as well as low-end retailers are doing quite well," said Chenoweth. "It is the mainstream retailers that are struggling with their grocery departments and would like to make a change. Ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 we can dramatically change the look of the produce department," Chenoweth added.

Photo collection helps with decision-making

Retailers have different options for the re-design of their produce department. A collection of photos can be checked out on Carlson's website. "People are very visual and usually make a decision for their re-design based on photos. Our staff of engineering experts uses the equipment of the customer's choice and plugs it into a drawing. That way, the customer can immediately see the end-result."

Link to full article:  http://www.freshplaza.com/article/142619/US-Re-design-of-produce-department-drives-sales?utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_medium=ed1&utm_source=s

 
 
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