Shelves are the skeleton of a store, where everything is presented to the customer. As such, they need to be maintained to the highest possible standards, whether that’s keeping them clean, tidy and in good nick or ensuring there are never any gaps in the line-up.
At a time when availability and pricing issues dominate conversations, any gaps in the shelves will be spotted by customers and may damage your store’s reputation for having what they need at any convenience.
With this in mind, it might be better to have something on the shelf than nothing at all.
Staff need to be trained to be constantly surveying the store, monitoring shelves for signs of wear and tear, and restocking any gaps that appear, being particularly careful to ensure that stock is rotated properly to present products nearest 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 facings of products we can get.
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“The one impression we don’t want to give customers is that there are availability issues because it makes us look disorganised,” says Samantha Coldbeck, from Wharfedale Premier in Hull.
More than simply being a place where you put your products, shelves can also act as promotional tools. Whether it’s attaching other products or holding signs that point to complementary items, the way you stack, place and promote your shelves can have a major impact on the customer journey and their final basket spend.
“You’ve got to look at your store layout and take advice from people like Booker,” says Jason Birks, from Moscis Convenience Store in Peterlee, Co. Durham.
“They offer planograms and merchandising advice that will help you to make your shelves as appealing as possible.”