Merchandising – Academy in Action with Mars Wrigley

The IAA’s Stefan Appleby, Helen Tagliarini of Mars Chocolate and Steve Stafford of Wrigley joined John Green to explore how to improve merchandising.


  • Name: John Green
  • Location: Sawtry, Huntington
  • Staff: 5 part-time
  • Shop: Premier Green End News
  • Size: 540sq ft

The IAA’s Stefan Appleby, Helen Tagliarini of Mars Chocolate and Steve Stafford of Wrigley joined John Green to explore how to improve merchandising.

John’s challenge:

Having been under the Premier fascia for three months, John wants to maximise his sales potential through merchandising.

John says:

“I’ve been a Premier shop since January. I’m now stocking some great new products and ranges, as well as a wider range of impulse lines like soft drinks and crisps. I hope the visit can help me understand how to look at which products work well together, how I should promote them and what simple changes I can make to grow my sales across the store.”

IAA advice:

1.Cross-merchandise categories to gain linked sales

John has grown his sandwich and chilled snack sales and introduced pricemarked crisps, as well as doubling his soft drinks range. The key now, says Helen, is to link these purchases. “Meal deals are a brilliant way to increase basket spend and cater for your shoppers’ needs,” she says.

John is keen to introduce meal deals and cater for customers driving through who want to pick up a quick lunch. The challenge is how to communicate the message well in a small shop. Steve recommends using stickers in relevant sections, all in one colour, so people can see how sections link together. Some PoS material may be available from suppliers.

Action: Introduce a meal deal offer to increase basket spend and cater for your shoppers needs.

2. Introduce adjacencies, check they are working and make adjustments

The key to increasing basket spend is understanding which products sell well together. John’s new fruit and veg range, coupled with local sausages and chicken, is an opportunity, says Steve. “Think about what your customers might want in the evening.” Steve recommends making sure similar products are put together to give time-pressed commuters the opportunity to easily pick up ingredients they need.

John can use his EPoS data, which he is already monitoring, to see which products sell well together.

“Adjacencies are crucial,” agrees Helen. “Take your five biggest sellers, look at what they’re bought with, and put them closer together to drive linked sales.”

Action: Place best-selling products near each other to give time-pressed shoppers easy options.

3. Group products so shoppers can make quick decisions on what to buy

John believes strongly in pricemarking, and uses Booker PoS to communicate multibuy sales offers. It’s crucial, says Helen, not to confuse shoppers and lose some great value messages being offered. “John’s shoppers love value but being creative with how they’re promoted will help them see that easier.”

Helen also says secondary siting would help interrupt shoppers’ journeys. “Using clip-on confectionery display units is a simple way of doing this.” Steve agrees impulsive categories can benefit hugely from secondary siting. “You also need to ensure that primary displays deliver, use PoS to stand products up. How you display what you’re selling is crucial.”

Action: Introduce secondary siting to interrupt shoppers’ journeys.

pencilYour action plan:

  • Go to betterretailing.com/IAA to download the free tools to improve your shop
  • Call 020 7689 0600 (Option 3) to find out how you can take part in a future visit from one of our partners
  • To benchmark your shop, download your free digital copy of the IAA’s Retail Profit Guide.

Our retail toolkit is packed with useful tools and resources to help you grow your sales and profits, including the Retail Profit Guide.



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