A Non-Traditional Retail Approach: Less is More

gum for sale in a convenience storeWe have all done it – seeing how much more can we fit on the shelf, or where else can we add a shipper – but is it the right approach?

By taking a hard look at what we offer in each category and understanding what is essential to our success, we can focus on core items that our customers expect to see and reduce out-ofstocksand over-stocks by eliminating products that are just taking up shelf space. We can then supplement with new items to keep our mix fresh and exciting. 

Keep in mind that overstocks take up space too; it makes much more sense to cut-ourlosses and get rid of what doesn’t sell so that we can put something more productive on the shelf.

There is danger in offering too many choices to customers; too many choices can overwhelm customers and send them to a competitor whose offering is much more simplified. Take the history of gum in the past several years; gum had been declining year-over-year for more than three years, until researched showed that reducing them number of SKUs offered to the consumer could actually make the category grow. This is a prime example of too many choices overwhelming the consumer, causing them to give up and purchase nothing.

Taking a category management approach and honing our product mix will ensure that we are offering products that will keep our customers coming back again and again.

Source: Salient.com Target’s New Approach; Less is More March 2016

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