houseName: Vip Panchmatia

  • Store: Wharf Convenience Store (Mace)
  • Location:  Stroud, Gloucestershire
  • Size: 2,000sq ft
  • Open since: October 2014
  • Years retailing: 30
  • Years in the IAA: 9

Stocking the right products is one thing, but offering them in a way that highlights promotions and demands your customers attention is the art of in-store display. The IAA’s Chris Dillon joined Mondelez International’s Susan Nash at Vip Panchmatia’s new Gloucestershire store to find out how it’s done.

Vip's challenge:

Vip has a problem with making the most of the space in store. His bakery is located in two different places and some pillars make displays difficult to create.

IAA advice:

1. Create great promotional feature displays that will draw shoppers to products you want to sell in high traffic areas.

alcoholSusan’s attention is drawn to how the store has been divided into sections using different flooring, for example wood in the alcohol section, to create defined areas. She compliments the bright energy-saving LED chillers and shelf barkers promoting the latest deals.

Susan advises Vip to try evening meals together  with meal deals as he says a lot of shoppers are female professionals popping in after work.

Susan and Vip turn their attention to what customers experience as soon as they enter the store and find that shoppers are immediately drawn to the right, meaning that the magazine display is unnoticed. Vip says because of the layout he feels this area should be a specialist section such as an ice cream parlour and Susan agrees.

2: Refresh your displays to reflect seasonal and local events.

easter-eggsVip says he is looking to get involved in local events and he ensures his stores really get involved in seasonal opportunities.

“The staff all wear bunny ears and we position the chocolate eggs so they are in your face as soon as they enter,” he says.

Vip has his Easter cards positioned close to the till. Susan recommends moving them to somewhere more prominent to let people know that they are in stock. Vip immediately puts them in the window, so that customers know they can stock up for Easter in store.

Stepping outside, Susan is impressed by the seasonal spring flower display but recommends turning it around so that the display can attract would-be shoppers from the road.

3. Co-ordinate with suppliers and make disciplined use of category advice to maximise sales and improve customer relationships.

confectionerySusan is pleased with Vip’s confectionery feature but adds that he should consider lifting up items on the top shelf so they can be easily seen. Moving over to the hot drinks section, Susan notices that there is a mix of brand quality across the shelves and suggests organising them so that the value range is on the bottom shelf and the premium drinks on the top.

“This aisle would really benefit from PoS that reminds shoppers of other items they need, such as milk or sugar,” she says.

Towards the end of the visit Vip prints off his EPoS data and runs through it with Susan to see which categories need improvement. She points out that many of his customers only seem to buy three items, and says a dedicated snacking display and meal deals could drive that up.

What we learnt

susan nash“It’s always good to get out to stores and see display and merchandising principles in practice. While we have guidelines for each category we operate in, every store is different and has its own challenges, so it is great to see how the principles are applied and adapted. In-store display is critical to driving business with both planned and additional purchases.”
Susan Nash, Trade communications manager, Mondelez International.

vip“This visit has given me a clear idea of things I need to do over the next three months. It’s backed up a lot of my own ideas and has given me the conviction to make some exciting changes. I’m looking forward to seeing what effect moving my snacks together will have. We’ve known for a while that we needed to create a meal deal and now we can start to trial one and see how it goes.”
Vip Panchmatia, Wharf Convenience Store (Mace), Stroud.

bulbVip's action plan

  1. Create a dedicated snacking display, bringing together different types of single serve snacks.

  2. Introduce a meal deal display, particularly for evening meal deals.
  3. Arrange hot drinks by good / better / best.

pencilYour action plan

  1. Go to betterretailing.com/IAA to download the free tools to improve your store
  2. Complete the benchmarking form by 26 June to enter the IAA and be in with a chance to receive a mystery shop visit
  3. Download your free digital copy of the IAA’s Retail Profit Guide.