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How to revitalise failing categories in your store

Sometimes, sales in a certain product category might drop in store. The betterRetailing team finds out how retailers can drive interest back up

Grocery shelves aisle categories

There are a variety of reasons why sales in a particular category might start to slow in a convenience store, from rising costs or wider customer purchasing behaviour to far more nebulous and specific issues with your store’s layout, pricing, availability or customer demographic. 

However, one thing retailers shouldn’t do is stand by and do nothing if they see a category needs revitalising. Regularly analysing a store’s EPoS data enables retailers to notice dropping sales far sooner and act in time to reverse fortunes and revitalise interest and profits. 

For some retailers, the answer to flagging sales is to start with price promotions, working with their symbol group or searching elsewhere with other suppliers to lower prices and then making sure to shout about it to their customers. 

“Putting PoS in place and communicating the value message of a particular product or section can work wonders,” says Jeet Bansi, from Londis Meon Vale in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

Others recommend looking at changing the make-up of the category itself, bringing in different products to see if they can have a positive effect on customers. 

By keeping an eye out for product launches or emerging customer trends, retailers can add colour to a mainstream range with a few choice additions to it. 

This is an important strategy to employ not just when a category is suffering poor sales, but even when it’s doing well to ensure it remains on a strong footing. 

“There’s no point standing still,” says Atul Sodha, from Londis Harefield in Uxbridge, Middlesex. “You need to revisit all categories regularly because there’s so much evolution. Ambient grocery is a huge one for me, for example. 

“The trends that changed during Covid-19 have changed again to what we need to be stocking now to focus on value perception.” 

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