Merchandising

Title: Customer Service Assistance – Merchandiser, Stock Control & Price Integrity   

Dates Employed: Oct 2014– Current

Merchandising is important to any company that are keeping up with the demands set by the customers and shareholders. As a merchandiser, I need to keep these areas in mind at all times;

  • New Lines – Customers are now more aware of new products than ever before as the advertisement field is greatly increased in the last serval years. With social media, more of a selection of television channels, more radio stations (such as DAB), APPS and many more, customers can hear and see what is new. As a company, we need to get this item in if the demand is showing a need for the item. Surveys help out a great deal towards understanding this status and by the customer’s feedback. New lines need to be placed in the correct position and to be highlighted with new information such as labels.
  • The position of items – Planograms give you an idea of how to display these items on our shelf’s however, there are times when you need to modify this to give a better impression to the customer. An example of this could be facings, are the star buys (most popular) been given the most facings? are there any gaps on the right-hand side? Fill these gaps and use the full length of the shelve will be the answer and give the very best to the customers. Can the star buys be given a two high to increase the capacity on the shelf, for example, The current shelf is shown two facings with a capacity of six deep (making it twelve items on display). By making this two high, the capacity will now change to 2 x 6= 12 x 2 = 24. This increases the sales and the availability to the customers.
  • Discontinued items –  Reduction of the old lines and placed into a clearance section. Most items are centrally reduced from head office however, there are times when we need to manually reduce the prices to help reduce our stock record to zero.
  • Presentation – The presentation of the shelve needs to be correct to attract the customer to the products. The first point of order is the cleanliness of the shelf, is this clean and free from stains? The products never look good if the shelf is not “showing” it off to the customers. Is the shelf’s height correct and to the best level possible to give the very best impression? The key shelves are those in the middle and the ones at the top, too high and it will have less effect on sales.
  • Label displays – Are the labels on display the same size and presented well? The use of different size labels can confuse the customer and make the stripping look unprofessional. By having one size label, it is clear and easier to understand for all the customers and colleagues. Are the labels showing the very best offer? I am always on board at looking at promotional items and how they are being displayed to everyone. The shelf needs to be working to its full strength to increase sales and to give the very best to all customers.
  • Air Gaps – Having the heights of each shelve to the correct size is essential towards the presentation of the module and the products on show. There is a solution to the air gaps and they are in three stages.

Stage One –  Top shelf works great in two ways towards the aisle and the products on show. With all the shelves in alignment (where possible), it gives a great view of what is on offer. The presentation is shown to a higher level. The theory is that it attracts customers to the aisle and on many occasions made many ask “why did I come down here for?”. The second reason this shelf is useful is to promote the higher end of products, for example, branded products. 

Stage Two – The middle shelves are the ones that have the popular products to attract the customers. The shelf height has to be at a minimum. To much air gap will put on customers as the presentation is very low. Fillers usually place items on top of the products laying down and gives a worse view. By reducing the air gap, I can make the presentation better and tell our system to send the correct amount of stock to fit this. 

Stage Three – The bottom end of the module is used for lower-end products, such as value. This area is very useful to change the air gap from the above as its hidden from the customer’s view. 

  • System Updates: There are times when we need to add shelves to the computer and other times when they are removed. Adding to our system is very easy as we map the product to the location, which will increase the module shelves. However, this does not reduce the number of shelves as the previous mapping remains in place. By not updating our system to the new format, we find that the discontinued products mapped remain on our system as a demand. Removing these from the computer and then mapping solves this issue.
  • Updates – Taking photos and sending them to the managers involved allows them to keep a record of the layout. It’s also important to explain the changes the filler and manger to make them aware of any new lines.

Planograms are great guidelines to the levels that are expected by the shareholders and by our customers. The planograms can show you several areas of interest that can guide you into creating the very best display. The height, as shown as above, the angle of the shelf and the details held by the system, such as the size. As a merchandiser, I need to meet the requirements of the following;

  • Follow the demands of the shareholders of the company, that expect an excellent display and great sales. Shareholders can be customers, colleagues, head office and the companies that have their product on display. There are many other examples of whom might be a shareholder and I must keep this in mind at all times.
  • Understand the importance of the customers and how they demand to see a clear, presented and easy layout to buy their product. Star buys (popular items) need to have a larger facing to give the customer more of the product. The customers tell us all about the current demand and how they like to shop, however, it’s my role to convince the customers to try other products on offer.
  • Meet the demand of the store manager, area manager and head office representatives. Head office merchandisers need to show that they are doing what is good for business by placing the products in a place that is best for sales. However, there have been many times when this can go wrong, for example, the width of the shelf being incorrect. The demand then changes as our area manager and the store manager will expect to see me fix this error and to adjust this on the system to match for the stock replenishment to work correctly.
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