Today’s posting is the fifth of a multi-part series on a feature that we have incorporated into our blog on a regular basis called Norton’s Notes. We will be periodically adding insight from our distinguished merchandising specialist, Jim Norton. The format of the articles will be in question and answer, and we encourage you to keep the questions rolling in to our inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org! We have hundreds of clicks daily to our newsletter, a mix of both current and future customers of Allen Brothers, and we are thrilled to be a one-stop resource for convenience store news, information, and updates at your fingertips.
Ask the Merchandiser
Question 1.) For a typical store layout, how much space should be committed specifically to confectionary items, general merchandise, and health & beauty?
Answer 1.) It depends on the size and what kind of store: gift shop, convenience store, or pharmacy. Each presents its own unique merchandising issues. The easy answer is to focus on confectionary and let the other two categories land where they may. In my opinion, this is the wrong way to go about the layout. It’s never recommended that a store owner completely ignore any category in their merchandising efforts. With general merchandise and health & beauty, there is real profit to be made with proper product selection, pricing, and presentation.
For a convenience store or a pharmacy, my advice is to allocate a sizeable space for confectionary, and this is a category you can take chances with. You’ll need to be more careful about the general merchandise products that you bring in, but again this is a category that can be a strong profit driver. It’s obvious for pharmacy operators, but in all three store sets there is definitely a need to have an offering of health & beauty products (over-the-counter medicine especially). For you gift shop operators, I don’t have to tell you that general merchandise is a major profit center, more so than pharmacies or convenience stores. Regardless, I still encourage you to take the time to investigate new confectionary and snack-food items in the market.
Question 2.) How many beverage coolers do you need in your store at minimum?
Answer 2.) This question depends entirely on the size of your store. I walk into some large stores that have 10 to even 12 coolers fully stocked with an array of product. Smaller stores simply can’t dedicate that much space to cooler units, so they will have two to three and maybe one additional freestanding cooler. If you have less room, you’ll need to be more attentive on the products that you bring in to fill the coolers, but they can still be a strong earner for your bottom line. Again, the key here is to make use of the space you have efficiently.
Continue to check in regularly for continuous convenience coverage from Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution. Happy selling!