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Planograms: make your shelves shoppable


Watch this two-minute video and see how planograms can help build sales in your store!

Video by Brandon Gray.

Think of any positive shopping experience you’ve had. Its success was likely a result of how easily you found what you were looking for and how long it took to make the purchase.

This may seem like retailing 101, but being efficient is an increasingly difficult task in the convenience-gas channel, where customers are extremely time-pressed, and new SKUs constantly flood the market. But one key merchandising tool offers retailers a surefire way to simplify the in-store environment: planograms.

Planogramming basics

“Space is becoming an issue with the introduction of more and more new products, and efficiently managing space is necessary to accommodate them,” says Elisabeta Catana, category advisor for customer insights in the convenience, gas and wholesale channel for Mondelēz Canada.

“Suggested planograms from confectionery suppliers will ensure the right mix of products and assortment, appealing to a wider consumer base, with the right placement making it easy to shop. For example, 54% of consumers expect to find Halls on the top shelf. This will generate optimum sales, and help retailers grow their business.”

Simplify the shop by blocking your shelf by category, brand, format, and flavour when applicable, so your customers always know where to look and can find their favourite brands and SKUs without hesitation.

Also ensure your bestselling SKUs take top priority in your planogram, with the most shelf space and prime placement on shelf and/or close proximity to cash.

“An effective planogram should help maximize the ‘shopability’ of the section, which in turn will meet more consumer demand, and enhance basket size and customer loyalty,” says Catana, adding that retailers should also never lose sight of other basics like excellent customer service and a clean store.

Balancing act

Innovation is a major traffic driver in the c-gas channel, so keep bringing in new SKUs to create excitement. Remember, though, that your bestsellers contribute to 80-90 percent of your sales.

“With innovation comes pressure for space and merchandising,” says Catana. “Innovation has its place in the planogram, but retailers need to balance the space allocated to innovation so it’s not to the detriment of strong base sellers.”

Catana says engaging customers during this initial trial period is essential, and the first step is building awareness of these SKUs. “Visibility is key. Leverage POS materials such as innovation danglers for Stride Doodle and Trident Wondermint from, and create a dedicated secondary location for innovation, like a rack at or close to the cash to accommodate new products.”

Retailers should rely on their supplier and full-service distributor reps for up-to-date planograms, along with any other information about trends that will help them determine the best assortment for their customers.

Here are three planograms and top tips to ensure you’re making the most of each category:

Optimum Chocolate Planogram (under the counter)
8 ft. 4 shelf

Source: Nielsen MarketTrack, National C&G, L52 weeks, period ending Dec. 29, 2012.

How can you make the most of this category?

1. Promote trade-up. House king and family SKUs on the top shelf to encourage trade-up from singles.

2. Create a pattern. Brand block vertically, then horizontally to keep singles, king and brand extensions together on the shelf.

3. Emphasize bestsellers. Merchandise your core SKUs higher on the rack or closest to the cash.

4. Reel them in. Use flex space to highlight innovation, and use POS materials to draw attention to these exciting new SKUs.

Optimum Gum/Cough/Mint Planogram 4 ft. 12 shelf

Source: Nielsen MarketTrack, National C&G, L52 weeks, period ending Dec. 29, 2012.

How can you make the most of this category?

1. Offer variety. Bestsellers are key (the top 20 SKUs drive 54% of sales), but assortment is also critical to engage a broader consumer base.

2. Expand with candy. Save space on the bottom shelf for candy singles to provide consumers with more confectionery options.

3. Send in reinforcements. Double face top-selling SKUs to reduce the risk of out-of-stocks.


Optimum Gum/Cough/Mint/Chocolate/Candy Planogram

4 ft. 13 shelf

Source: Nielsen MarketTrack, National C&G, L52 weeks, period ending Dec. 29, 2012.

How can you make the most of this category?

1. Prioritize singles. Make room for a large variety of singles SKUs to ensure customers always have access to the wide assortment they want.

2. Track success. Allocate more space to categories and SKUs that perform best in your store.

3. Meet expectations. Block by category, placing each segment where consumers know to look (for example, cough should be on the top shelf).

4. Group gum SKUs. Block gum by format, brand and flavours to simplify the shopping experience.