Consumables—candy, snacks and beverages—can be a key category to boost average transaction size and enhance the customer experience. However, this category should be carefully monitored and regularly refreshed because it’s likely the only category in your store that includes products with a shelf life. Use the following tips to be sure you are never left with expired merchandise.
- Use the first in, first out method when stocking. If you’ve ever reached for a beverage in a cooler at a store and the first one in line was still warm while the ones in the back were cold, you can be certain whoever stocked the cooler put the newest bottles in the front. Instead, train your store associates to put the newest products behind the older ones.
- Combine stocking and cleaning tasks. While you are removing everything from a cooler or a shelf to put the newest items in the back, you might as well give the display a good cleaning. In addition to maintaining the rotation of snacks, you will also have a clean presentation, which will encourage customers to grab that extra item.
- Check dates while you’re doing inventory counts. Take the time to check expiration and sell by dates while you are doing spot inventory checks and during your regular inventory counts. Even if the stock was rotated the day before, it never hurts to double check.
- Create a sampling schedule. If there are items in your inventory that aren’t moving as quickly as you wanted them to or if you want to introduce a new item to your customers, open up a package and put them out for sampling. Develop a schedule that rotates between sweet and salty treats and consider adding in seasonal or holiday items as appropriate.
- Use snacks as incentives and rewards. As your snacks approach their sell by dates, make them available to your employees as bonuses for a job well done. They will appreciate the extra treat and it gives them a chance to talk up the snacks to customers who ask for recommendations.
If you’re looking to enhance your consumables category, click here for strategies from two retailers.