Merchandising with the masters: The results (3/3)

In July, Wrigley and Retail Express visited three retailers to help them improve their merchandising skills and boost sales.

In July, Wrigley and Retail Express visited three retailers to help them improve their merchandising skills and boost sales. Each retailer was given an action plan to grow sales of mints and gum, and improve their Independent Achievers’ Academy merchandising score by applying what they learned across the entire store.

Eight weeks later, we re-visited Paul and Gail Mather, Steve Hammond, and Ian Handley to find out what happened after Wrigley made improvements to the location of this key category, ranging and in-store theatre via a change in merchandising.

increase in sales of mints and gum across the 6 week period

Gail & Paul Mather, Sherston Village Stores, Wilts

The store

Action plan

Remove the old fixture and replace it with a new customised unit from Wrigley. The shelves are modern, designed to accommodate bestsellers and the latest launches, and fits perfectly underneath the cash register.

Add stickers and point of sale material to the fixture to help customers navigate it with ease and get access to new products.

Add Extra Ice Mints in a tin to the range as they are a growing brand.

There were lots of innovative ideas in place in Paul and Gail’s fantastic rural store, from locally-sourced products to excellent merchandising. The mints and gum range was fairly strong, but the fixture wasn’t in the best possible location.

The outcome

The project went very well with sales up by 20% in value and 30% in volume,” says Paul.

“The new display stand looks fantastic and, although customers probably didn’t notice it, having it in the new location definitely prompted more impulse sales.

“Stocking the right range also made a big difference. Extra Ice White became our third best-selling product and value sales went up significantly because we started stocking the £1.99 bottles.

“We will, without a doubt, continue with the new fixture. In fact, we are waiting for a second one.  We want to keep the momentum going and maintain a good relationship with the sales rep as this is the best way to keep on top of launches.”


Ian Handley, Handley’s Newsagents, Cambridgshire

increase in mints over the six week period

The store

Wrigley’s approach to this already exceptionally well-presented shop was to create some additional in-store theatre. The mints and gum range was already spot-on, but some of the best-selling lines were in the second of two fixtures, which was in a less accessible location.

Action Plan

Add a top unit for the new bottles of Extra Ice, along with shelf edge labels to make an eye-catching display.

Replace the existing shelves with new, wider ones that increase the number of outers that fit on one shelf from three to four to allow additional lines to be stocked.

Stock best-selling products in both stands so customers can access them, regardless of which queue they are in.

The outcome

I felt very enthusiastic and positive about the project after Wrigley’s visit. I enjoyed listening to the advice from the experts and everything made sense. Sales of Extra Peppermint jumped dramatically, as well as some of the new lines, which is very encouraging. 5 Electro, for example, sold very well and I think adding theatre to the display stand helps because it makes customers notice it. The 46 pellet bottles that I introduced on Wrigley’s recommendation after the visit, stand out very well with the PoS. I will definitely be keeping the in-store theatre for the time being and I hope sales will pick up now the schools have gone back; sales are quite often quieter over the summer holidays. It has been a good learning experience and I will continue to stock best-selling products in both fixtures too.”


Steve Hammond, Prestbury Village Stores, Cheshire

increase in sales of mints and gum across the six-week period

The store

Steve’s mints and gum fixture had a lot of the best-selling lines in stock, but was missing a few key products. It was on a shelf away from the till, along with other confectionery, rather than near the tillpoint where it is more likely to attract impulse sales.

Action Plan

Stock new products such as new Extra White Bubblemint and bottle packs to improve sales and appeal to different parts of the market.

Stock gum at the till point to drive impulse sales.

Price clearly to allow customers to see, at a glance, the cost of their purchase.

The outcome

I was pleasantly surprised by the results; sales have more than doubled on some of the new gum lines introduced as a result of Wrigley’s visit. Two of the lines we’ve recently introduced – 5 Flood and 46 pellet bottles – have become two of our five bestsellers. Not only that, customers are now finding the gum range unaided, whereas before we were constantly being asked where it was. We won’t be moving the fixture back to its old position. The new lines will stay permanently too. Although not all of them have sold in huge numbers yet, we’ll keep them because there’s potential there given more time. Overall, I’ve learned the importance of being open to new ideas. Sometimes I like to think I know better but actually the experts have really great advice to give.”


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