Essentially chilled

LOOK into a c-store that’s been refitted in the last couple of years and it’s likely that you’ll find a major share of the investment had been taken up with the installation of state-of-the-art chillers and freezers.
There are a number of reasons. The latest chillers are very good, very energy-efficient and can often attract the Enhanced Capital Allowance, a tax-related incentive that can significantly reduce the effective cost of the machines.
But it’s also true that many classic c-store lines sell best when they are chilled.
One of c-stores’ main advantages over supermarkets is that they provide soft drinks and beers, wines and spirits in single-serve sizes that are ready to consume either immediately or as soon as the customer gets them home.
And, beyond drinks, the variety of chilled food is expanding too. Chillers were once largely used for dairy produce and deli items. But today’s cash-efficient chillers are making it possible for c-stores to stock, range and merchandise many more value-added chilled and frozen lines such as chilled world foods, sauce and accompaniments, ready-meals, part-prepared “something for tonight” dishes, luxury ice cream, premium frozen desserts and ice.
82c_0514For practical reasons chilled products will often be displayed in chillers that run along the walls of a store. To maximise the commercial benefits that chilled items can bring to a store it’s important therefore to merchandise chillers very carefully, trying to encourage shoppers to check items in all the different chilled sections.
Directional signs, and overhead items pointing the way to the different groups of products, will help encourage through traffic.
And think carefully about what the merchandisers call adjacencies – which product categories are merchandised next to each other.
There could be good reasons to keep milk and bread in different areas, to encourage shoppers to make their way around the aisles. But, if you do that, make sure your use point-of-sale materials saying “Don’t forget the bread” next to your milk and try putting signs saying “Remember the milk” next to the bread. And it could be useful to experiment with other combinations, putting a floor-standing display of breakfast cereals close to the milk fridge, for example.