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Defining the ‘perfect store’

supermarket, aisleThe ultimate goal of the ‘perfect store’ is to enhance a customer’s shopping experience to maximise your sales opportunities.

Many consumer goods companies operate on a one ‘perfect’ size fits all principle. But we know treating all stores the same does not work. There are marked differences that exist not only by region, but also by market, channel, and retailer.

A better way to define your perfect store is to acknowledge that every store is different and break your business down to the individual store level defining instore objectives by store.

Consider factors like:

  1. What is the perfect assortment for this store?
  2. What are the perfect pricing and promotion strategies for this store?
  3. What is the perfect location for your product in this store?
  4. What are the perfect displays for this store?
  5. How to take the perfect order in this store?

To understand what ‘perfect’ translates to in each case, use information such as  point of sale, distribution, and inventory data to help you define the specific goals around assortment, price and promotion, and placement.

The use of shopper insight data, consumer demographics, and spend data and scan sales data will also help provide a rich understanding of what the perfect store looks like.

For example:

  • Company A has a large seasonal promotion upcoming with major TV and supporting media advertising
  • Company A negotiates with a major grocery chain, with tight control over store ranging, a certain promotional position and instore plan
    • Store A has a very high scan sales for this type of product. Perfection in Store A means convincing the store to place two additional touch points through a large secondary floor display along with an upgraded aisle end position, and ensuring the manager has enough additional stock available to refill the display and prevent stock outs.
    •  Store B has low scan sales for this type of product. Perfection in Store B means ensuring the upcoming promotion will be implemented correctly, avoiding any downgrading of position or placement
  • Company A also looks for incremental opportunities in other types of retail outlets (independent retail, pharmacy, HORECA, route trade, or others).
    • Store C has high sales potential for this type of product (for example based on consumer demographics in surrounding areas), and uses distributors to get products into store. Perfection in Store C is the same as Store A, however,  securing additional facings on shelf to increase product visibility during and after the promotional period is required. Plus, taking a turn in order that is sent back to the retailer’s distributor for fulfilment to avoid stock outs.
    • Store D trades directly with Company A. Perfection in Store D means aligning the store to Company A’s view on the ideal product assortment on shelf and the ideal position, while ensuring that the perfect amount of stock is ordered based on ordering history and upcoming promotion expectations.

Finally, whose responsibility is it to define the perfect store and set the goals?

To succeed it must be the senior leadership team. Company leaders need to be engaged at the outset. It is easy to view this as an execution task rather than a strategic one, however, it is both.

The perfect store has to be a pillar for your brand(s) and considered one of the company’s strategic goals.  Then it can be brought to life through instore execution. Using the right processes, tools, and technology will help; so make sure this is part of your discussions.

The end goal is well worth it – winning over your competitors, at the shelf, every time.

Kerrie-Anne Turner is VP Asia Pacific and MD Australia at StayinFront

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