In an effort to boost sales and basket size in the center store, Wakefern Food Corp. is engaging in several pilot tests at members’ ShopRite stores to reinvent its aisles category-by-category, Steve Henig, vice president, corporate merchandising and marketing, told a workshop session Monday at the 30th annual National Grocers Association Show here.
After rearranging foods and nonfood items in the pet category a year ago “to engage customers the way they want to buy,” sales at the test stores rose three times over what they were at stores where the changes had not been made, he said. As a result, Wakefern has launched similar pilots over the past six to eight months in other categories, including baby foods and household items, Henig indicated. “We are not adding any extra space to those categories — just realigning what we already have,” he added.
Speaking at the same workshop, Andy Knoblauch, senior vice president, sales and marketing, for Coborn’s, St. Cloud, Minn., talked about his company’s program called One More Item, in which it incentivizes store personnel to compete quarterly for monetary prizes by encouraging them to develop programs that boost sales.
Kevin Weatherill, president and chief executive officer of The Markets, Bellingham, Wash., said his company seeks to boost sales by creating events that encourage customers to buy several items at a time to duplicate what’s on display. Among the events the company has devised, he said, are a floral sale with signs that say, “A single rose says I’m cheap;” a Fat Tuesday Bayou Bash featuring New Orleans-style foods; a “perfect burger” program that offered patties made of sirloin and chopped brisket and related condiments; and a lobster sale to mark the start of summer “in which we sold 17,000 pounds of live lobster over two days.”
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