A Guide to Grocery Merchandising

Just because customers consider food a necessity, it doesn’t mean that grocery store owners shouldn’t put work into visual grocery merchandising. In fact, a little more attention in this area can offer a significant return on investment. 

What Is Grocery Merchandising? 

At the most basic level, merchandising displays refer to the grocery store areas with products in places other than the regular aisles. End caps, free-standing pallet displays, and even point-of-purchase displays are all great examples. These displays can (and should be) changed out frequently. The purpose is to draw attention to specialty products like new arrivals, special deals, or seasonal food and drinks. 

However, that’s not to say you can overlook the shelves! Where you put everyday necessities and how they are merchandised throughout the aisles also plays a crucial role in creating loyal customers who know where to find exactly what they’re looking for.

Different Merchandising Techniques

Shelf placement: There’s a reason that the phrase “top shelf” exists. More expensive grocery items need to be placed on higher shelves and displays, impulse buys need to be at eye level (called “reach”), and the lower levels should be reserved for the items customers will buy no matter the brand or price. Place generic or store brand items to the direct right of their branded competitors and merchandise-related items across the aisle from each other.

Promotional products: As we mentioned above, these are the products that will go on free-standing displays, end caps, gondolas, and other non-aisle merchandising displays. Focus on products that will give your grocery store the biggest profit margin and not just the hottest, cheapest items in the store. One pro tip: Add a store brand product to every promotional display to boost sales.

Fresh food/produce: Use color theory when merchandising fresh produce. There’s a lot of green in this department, and if you don’t get creative, your customers’ eyes could get overwhelmed and make it hard for them to shop. Add interest in the bakery department with custom cases, stagger levels of product in the deli section, and don’t be afraid to use props to make things interesting.

More Merchandising Tips

  • Focus on optimizing the merchandising in the front 10 feet of your grocery store. Research shows that customers are paying close attention to this area, and stocking best sellers here will improve the chance they’ll pick it up on the way to get what they need.
  • Lighting can illuminate the way for shoppers. Your merchandising displays deserve to have the best possible lighting, especially if you have high-end or luxury food and beverage items. Invest in displays that have quality, built-in lighting to make this easy.
  • Along with appealing merchandising displays, you can help grocery store shoppers make an educated buying decision with additional signage. Make them just as stylish as the rest of your store with plenty of product and pricing information.
  • Get creative with your merchandising and encourage customers to share images on social media. Invest in top-quality merchandise displays that look amazing in the background of Instagram photos or provide a canvas for an easily-shared image from your Facebook business page.

Working With the Pros

Jahabow is a part of PFI InStore, a one-stop shop for merchandising in the grocery store. The advantage we offer over our competitors is the breadth of our capabilities, including but not limited to temporary corrugated displays, semi-permanent displays, permanent retail fixtures, and premium acrylic displays. Whatever your need for merchandising in the grocery store, we have the capability and experience to execute, so contact us today to get started!