Product Mix And Center Of The Store Sales Plan
I recently received an e-mail from one of my field consultants regarding the center of the store sales plan for the months of January and February. The plan included recommendations on what products to add in certain parts of the store. Most of the suggested items were for the snacks, candy, HABA, and energy sections, and a few were seasonal items like gloves, beanies and fingerless mittens with descriptions of different levels of funding provided by vendors to support the promotions.
From time to time all the stores get these recommendations to help increase sales for the center of the store. Most franchisees follow all the suggestions according to the requirements of their individual stores, and continuously make decisions to add and delete items. Snacks, confectionery, and HABA do well in sales when we put them on promotion, and the Merchandising Department is diligent in trying to negotiate the best possible deals to drive sales for these categories.
On the other hand, there are categories in our stores—like stationery, soap/cleaning, auto supplies and non-foods—that do not sell well. Some sub-categories in these sections may have minimal sales, but most of the stores carry them anyway in order to follow the schematics. Periodically the stores delete and add items after doing an ABC Analysis, but these efforts do not result in good sales.
School and home office supplies, home products, and soap, detergents and laundry products are items used in almost every household, and most of our stores are neighborhood stores—so the question remains why 7-Eleven is not the established destination for these products. Customer feedback indicates that most of these items are not well-priced compared to our competition. A small size of laundry detergent or bleach, for instance, costs way more in 7-Eleven than at other retailers, especially dollar and drug stores. It appears that the dollar stores or other neighborhood stores may have better prices on these items than we do.
The Merchandising Department has a lot of work to do to improve the cost and retail of some items in order to attract more customers to our stores for these categories. With the right retail, our existing customers would add these products to their shopping lists in future and perhaps bring with them a typical market basket ring.
The center of the store is an important part of our store if merchandised properly and can definitely bring more profits on top of our increasing fresh food sales.
On the eve of 2013 I would like to thank all of our franchisee members, our Board of Directors, and all of the elected officers for your support and camaraderie over the past year, and wish everyone a solid and profitable 2013.