Merchandising

As retailers we all know that optimizing product mix and store layout can create a powerful impact to the bottom line. Most retailers rely on their wholesale suppliers to help determine which products to carry and on what gondolas they will be placed.  Some wholesale suppliers have very sophisticated tools to help determine what products and merchandise to carry, some use local area demographics to help make product recommendations, others have teams that specialize in new store set up, others still rely on the manufacturers to provide them with planograms that they then provide to you.  At Prairie State we’ve found that wholesalers can be a valuable resource to the operator in making recommendations for product mix and placement, but we’ve also found that most cases that is simply the first step.  Many operators don’t understand the basics of merchandising and how that can positively or negatively affect your bottom line.  Are all of your products priced?  Are they full and clean, fronted and faced?  We’re happy to help whether this is your first gas station or your next one!

After mastering the basics gaining an understanding and analyzing how to determine such things as what your ‘power’ isles are, what items are truly destination items, or even how to properly locate the products in your cooler doors, will affect sales and profitability.  As new products or promotions come in, how will that change affect your existing set?  Will those changes impact any contracts that you may have with a competing vendor?  How often does your wholesaler come through and re-evaluate your product mix and placement?

While there are some universal truths when it comes to merchandising, such as items at eye level sell better than those at knee level, there are many unique challenges and opportunities facing each individual store.  Prairie State can help identify the fundamental elements to successful store layout and product mix initially and then work to tweak and optimize profitability through re-evaluating product mix and placement down the road.