Features of Food Retail Merchandising 


In-store merchandising is the display and promotion of products in order to maximize sales and increase profits. With the help of visual merchandising in the store, we can emphasize the features of the product and its benefits.


When working with the layout of any kind of goods, it is necessary to follow the basic principles of merchandising and understand the customer's needs. When placing goods, you take into account not only the type of commercial equipment but also the categories of goods, product features, size, packaging, and product compatibility rules. Pay attention to the direction of the customer traffic.


Tip:  When an original item is no longer sold for some reason, you should select a replacement. In this case, there is a chance that the buyer will purchase the replacement and still remain a repeat customer of your store.


Top-selling goods

It is important that top-selling items that are in high demand are located far from the store entrance, in the back of the trading floor. There should also be goods, that take a lot of time for buyers to choose.


Golden Triangle

The main layout of products should be located inside the "golden triangle". The golden triangle is a product placement rule, according to which the buyer moves inside the triangle with three vertices: (1) the entrance, (2) the most popular product (for example, bread or milk), and (3) the cash registers. Indeed, in order to buy bread, the buyer must go through the entire trading floor and see other goods that may interest him. Therefore, it is important for every retailer to place a best-selling item according to the golden triangle rule so that the buyer spends the maximum time in your store.


If you want to identify the most popular product in your store, make an ABC analysis by product category. Next, place the top-selling item in different corners (of the triangle) on the trading floor, and do not forget to place the complimentary item near the main one for cross-selling.

Follow the rules of product compatibility when laying out goods. For example, fish and meat products cannot be placed in the same refrigerated case. And, of course, each product group must be assigned a placement area on the trading floor.


We already know that staples such as bread, meat, sugar, and milk must be placed separately at the most remote points of the store. These high-turnover items are placed close to storage areas for constant shelf replenishment. In search of these products, the customer walks around the store, notices, and buys additional. Thus, sales volumes increase.


Small items are placed in the checkout area: chocolate, chewing gums, nuts, sweets, etc. or promotional items that encourage customers to impulse buy. For example, chilled drinks are better sold in the checkout area. Imagine when in winter, the buyer walked through a fairly warm trading floor in outerwear, or in summer, when it is hot outside, and the buyer is thirsty. And therefore, the first thing he will pay attention to, being at the checkout, will be chilled drinks.


Freezers, combined showcases, and low-temperature baths are used for laying out frozen products. These items are laid out according to the same principles as you place products on the racks. In addition, frozen food is often placed closer to the checkout because customers buy it last to avoid defrosting.

It is advisable to place packaged goods in the store near the premises where they are prepared for sale. The food sale that requires cutting, weighing, and packaging (meat, fish and dairy products, vegetables, etc.) can be organized through the service counter.


If we talk about the "Fresh" category of goods, such products are distinguished by a short shelf life (no more than 30 days). This is the riskiest category of goods in grocery retail. Because, after the expiration date, this product is written off, which leads to additional costs. 


Fresh layout


It has been proven that having fresh fruits and vegetables in the store attracts more customers and increases the size of the basket. Such stores gain a competitive advantage over online stores because customers are more accustomed to buying fresh goods in a physical store. In addition, many buyers doubt the quality of ordered products in online stores.


Some Food Merchandising Tips:


  1. Check the fruit and vegetable display cases several times a day. The layout should look as fresh as possible. Monitor display cases regularly, especially during peak hours, and keep them clean. Make sure that there are no wilted leaves, beaten fruits, or vegetables on the shelves.
  2. Add color. Shape the layout so that it sparkles with interesting colors. For example, place green, red, and yellow peppers in contrast rows. And between them, place greens for even greater contrast. Lay out other vegetables and fruits in different colored areas. This is how beauty attracts and inspires customers, and creates a special atmosphere in the store.
  3. Create ready-made combinations of products. Such as placing nearby the ingredients for making a particular salad. Create the author's ideas for cooking and talk about them in your layout. In addition, you can place a monitor with original video recipes for various meals.
  4. Don't forget the gold shelves and place the products in sight, i.e. at the eye level of the customers. Your main task is to make it convenient for your customers not only to find the product but also to be able to easily get the item from the shelf and put it in the basket.


How to Boost Your Grocery Store Sales?


  • Engage customers on social media. Tell about current promotions, and add bright photos of your charming layouts of fruits and vegetables.

  • Share experience and knowledge with your customers (how best to store food, what to cook, what healthy food is in your store). Tell stories, and share recipes. You could place monitors or stands in the store, or add special cards with information directly to the layout.

  • Continuous training for your staff. Store managers need to know everything about your products and should be prepared to answer any customer questions. Personnel has to know how to help choose a product, and how to get customers interested in purchase.

  • To keep your shelves from looking like they've been infested with locusts, or being as empty as the desert, check stock and fill your shelves, especially after peak shopping periods. Customers always notice the work of the staff on the trading floor. The constant filling of the shelves speaks not only of the good employee work, but also tells about the freshness of the products and your reputation.

  • Keep track of what your competitors are doing. What layout ideas do they use? What interesting things could you take? This does not mean that you should copy everything they do. But you can easily take an element of an interesting case and adapt it to your store.

  • Protect your reputation and take care of your customers. When receiving products from suppliers, ask for documents confirming compliance with all quality standards.


The most important layout principle is to show the right product to the right people at the right price at the right time and in the right place.


5 Key Layout Principles For Effective In-Store Merchandising:


  1. The product, which is about to expire, is placed closer to the buyer. It is well known, but we must remind.

  2. Product visibility. Each product is placed facing the customer and must be fully visible without obstructing each other.

  3. Price relevance. Price tags must be up-to-date and correspond to the product. They should be visible and easy to understand.

  4. Product availability. The buyer should have no obstacles when he gets the item from the shelf.

  5. The neatness of the layout forms an impression about the product itself, the manufacturer, and the store in general.


Looking for a service to create planograms?

Try a free demo version of PlanoHero