The Produce Aisle with Armand Lobato ( The Packer staff )

One item mentioned in my three-week series “Eighteen Goals for 2018” touched upon weekend in-store promotions.

The initial question was this: Does your produce department look the same on Saturday as it does on Monday? Many departments do and to the average outside observer (including by no small point, your customers) it may not seem like a big deal, right?

Except as every produce manager knows, Saturday is different. Saturday is king. Saturday is typically your busiest day and therefore, aggressive merchandising will pay off. If you’re so inclined to make subtle changes.

It seems that with every grand opening, every grand re-opening, every holiday and special event a produce department maximized its sales and took advantage of the increased customer count. The aggressive produce merchandiser added extra bin displays, built spillovers of high-volume items, and generally stocked the produce department so every display conveyed the full, abundant image that sparks sales.

Something that Monday displays rarely mirror, and rarely need to either.

The first step in preparing for that “Saturday appeal” is to claim your space. The best opportunities lie in the front lobby, outdoor sidewalk areas, any place in the store that is open — talk to your store manager and secure it for your temporary sales space.

The second step is to map out what you want to promote, and where the placement makes the most sense. Consider making a secondary ad display, or something seasonal that customers will react positively to, such as strawberries in a high-traffic aisle.

The third step is to order accordingly, and plan your labor to execute the effort. Ensure you order, expecting the best quality (not fearing the worst), with enough product to build and sustain sales.

The next step is to build the displays, and remember all the details. Friday mornings are ideal to build your weekend display promotions. Ensure you have enough bags, signage and samples to support your efforts.

The fifth step (are we up to five already?) is to maintain the displays. Keep ‘em full, fresh, and rotated!

The sixth step is to wind it all down to an early-part-of-the-week traffic flow. As the weekend winds down, adjust your displays by letting them sell down so they can be easily dismantled on Monday morning. Keep everything neat, level and culled in the process.

The last step is to evaluate how it all went, and begin the plan for the next Saturday. Did you see a sales spike, compared to the same week, prior year? Same day, prior week? If so, you may be on to what this is all about: The best look for the maximum amount of customer traffic equals peak sales and gross profit.

Armand Lobato works for the Idaho Potato Commission. His 40 years’ experience in the produce business span a range of foodservice and retail positions. E-mail him at lobatoarmand@gmail.com.

Related content:
First six goals for 2018
Six more retail goals for 2018
Final retail goals for 2018

 

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