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By Joel M. Albrizio, President

"The Ingredients Of The Center Store Purchase"

Most retailers today understand that big box retailers have a significant cost of goods advantage when it comes to center store products. Understanding that as a grocery merchandiser and not becoming complacent in your approach is the deciding factor in acheiving success or failure with your ad.

Outside of center store, big box retailers will also persist in their efforts to chip away at the traditional retailers' perimeter perishable items. To combat this, the traditional retailer must keep focus on their individual ability to motivate the shopper to move larger basket sizes. This can most efficiently be achieved through the proper utilization the center store retail convenience.

When we take simple steps to feature common combinations, such ketchup with ground beef or Cheerios with a milk, we begin to engage the customer’s complete shopping process. This mentality separates a desirable and efficient full shop from simply picking up a few items on the way home.

This being said, if we combine items in an attempt to have the customer think of complete meal planning instead of cherry picking we have taken the first step towards the larger basket size. This, in turn, will lead to a greater center store retail success.

If we now add to that a special on one or two of those items that convert a quick stop into a real shopping experience, like paper products (or the item your customer purchases most often with large orders), we have taken the next major step towards the larger basket size.

To take this even further we can now add to this mentality a demo on more unique items, such store made pizza. The customer will stop for a hot pizza sample, enjoy the sample, and take the next step to ordering a full pizza. 

At this point we have established all of the incidents for greater center store success. We have combined items to show center store convenience. We have put an item on sale which tends to convert the quick shop into a larger order and we have added the product demo which creates a sense of obligation to purchase. With that purchase the customer had ten or fifteen minutes to round out the larger basket size while waiting for the pizza, effectively achieving "Center Store Success."

For the grocery merchandiser to accomplish this weekly is no small task, but with an idea of how to begin this mode of thought, the retailer now has the main components necessary to sell his or her customer more ingredients for dinner, or as we call them "Center Store Items."

A sharp retailer can have some fun with this plan and, eventually, completely negate the effect of big box retailers’ lower-cost of goods advantage.

Give it a try and feel free to message me anytime with questions, Joel