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How MVEs Drive C-Store Impulse, In-Aisle Sales

The NCA’s Larry Wilson was joined at the Executive
June 24, 2014
by Candy & Snack TODAY

Chicago — Adding multi-vendor endcaps (MVEs) to locations not previously used to merchandise products can drive candy sales up 52.4 percent, while mini MVEs can grow snack sales 84 percent, according to a study by distributor H.T. Hackney Co.

Further, new endcaps help drive in-aisle sales for both categories, as they encourage browsing shoppers into the center sections, reported Kit Dietz, of Dietz Consulting LLC, during the Executive Roundtable Learning Lab session at the Sweets & Snacks Expo.

However, when setting planograms, he noted it is important to not factor in direct store delivery (DSD) items versus wholesaler delivered (WD) products. This is particularly true for snack items, which are often DSD.

To highlight this, Dietz pointed out candy accounts for 24 percent of sales in c-stores and has a 40 percent profit margin. In comparison, snacks comprise more than 40 percent of sales, but only 13 percent of profit. Also helping lift candy’s numbers are the strong core brands as well as the relatively smaller pack sizes, which help improve turns and offer better shelf space.

“Shoppers don’t differentiate between DSD and WD, yet retailers manage sets in that manner,” Dietz added.

Tommy Thomas, vice-president of sales and business development for Hackney, noted the planograms developed for its MVEs more than a decade ago have not changed much, even in the past five years.“That shows how prevalent the items in that plan are,” he said, adding: “Utilizing endcaps draw consumers down aisles and make a destination; they highlight categories and drive growth.”

Hilary Freedman, senior category manager for RaceTrac Petroleum, Inc., noted the company works directly with manufacturers to update its selection. “We also test different shippers throughout the year,” she said, adding RaceTrac tries to place the displays between destination categories, such as beverages, and the cash wrap.

Freedman said the retailer has switched from a strict clean floor policy to a regulated display program to get top performers and innovative items into the stores.

“You can have a clean floor policy, but you are missing out on sales if you don’t have displays,” Thomas confirmed. “Leverage endcaps and supplement those sales with strategically placed displays.”

Tom Cinnamon, vice-president of merchandising for Eby-Brown Co., LLC, noted it is important to keep the number of off-shelf displays to a maximum of two to three. “Anything more is going to be detrimental to performance,” he explained.

Caption: (Left to right) The NCA’s Larry Wilson was joined at the Executive Round Table Learning Lab session by  Tommy Thomas, of H.T. Hackney Co.; Hilary Freedman, of RaceTrac Petroleum, Inc.; and Tom Cinnamon, of Eby-Brown Co., LLC.

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