Get the most out of your gondola ends

Setting up a business that maximises sales per square metre should be every retailer’s goal.

There are areas in your store where you need to merchandise effectively, and there are areas where you need to display effectively. The key is to get the correct mix, using both skills.

In my last article I focused on the value of the power display location. The next most important areas after this are the displays on the ends of gondolas. They should turn stock at least as twice as fast as all other merchandising areas, apart from your power displays.

There are skills that you need to apply to make sure these locations are maximised. I prefer not to see more than three product categories here. Keep it simple and you will sell more.

Make sure shelving is at the correct height for customers to see your products. The “sight and take” position is crucial to making a sale – this is chin to belly button on the average consumer and is the shelf area where most sales are made. As soon as consumers have to stretch or bend to obtain products, sales start declining.

Another essential selling technique when you are looking at a gondola end display is to measure as high as product and the width of display on the shelf. This should be the height of the product at the very minimum.

Gondola ends also allow you to indicate to customers what is on the shelving behind and enable you to tell a story based on the range of products that are merchandised adjacent to and adjoining them. They help consumers find products. Remember customers often don’t read signs.

I would use impulse items whenever possible on a gondola end and place my “purpose products”, the items customers come in for, at the rear of the store, to make sure consumers shop my whole store.

My local newsagent used to place his newspapers at the front of his store. Every week I would go there, pick up a newspaper (my “purpose product”), pay and leave. I never knew what else he sold. Then the store was redesigned and newspapers were relocated to the rear.

As a result, I had to walk past the gondola end displays and see products I did not previously know he stocked. I, for one, am spending more money in our local newsagent and I suspect other consumers are doing the same.

Placing purpose lines in the right location and then developing a gondola end policy that encourages impulse sales can make a big difference to your bottom line.

Take a critical look at where you locate your products and ask yourself if you are putting the correct products in the most profitable locations.

Your average sale can go up simply by relocating key product categories to the correct place. Make consumers search out purpose categories while they walk past impulse categories.


  • Create a gondola end display policy
  • Do not crowd too many product groups on these displays
  • Make sure customers have to search out purpose products
  • Get them to walk past as many gondola ends as you can
  • Fill these displays with impulse items


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