Hershey seeks creative solutions to center store sales declines
- In a new report titled “New Retail in a Shopper’s World,” Hershey offers insights for retailers on leveraging technology, sprucing up center store aisles and increasing supply chain efficiency, according to a company release.
- The report notes opportunities abound in packaged goods despite slowing sales. According to Hershey’s research, 56% of online shoppers regularly add impulse snack purchases at the end of their order. In stores, crowded candy aisles may be hindering sales, with 76% of shoppers saying they were “frustrated with clutter in the confection aisle.”
- The company also sketched out its vision for Medley, its futuristic retail concept. The model would forego shopping carts and focus on demos, consultations and other experience-oriented services while letting customers add products to a digital cart using their phones.
With center stores sales languishing and retailers cutting shelf space for packaged foods as they build out their store perimeters, CPG companies are looking beyond product innovation to spur sales. They’re also working with retailers to develop solutions.
In its report, Hershey offers up actionable tips aimed at increasing sales in center store and beyond. Granted, the company’s priority is to increase sales of its candy and snacks, but there are some facts and figures that could prove useful to retail managers. The company notes, for instance, that 56% of online grocery shoppers regularly make impulse purchases of candy and snacks before checking out. Hershey research also found shoppers linger in the candy aisle longer than any other aisle in the store, at 91 seconds (wine follows in a close second place, at 90 seconds).
As far as its own innovations go, the manufacturer noted its recently introduced stand-up candy bags provided a 5% sales lift over its traditional lay-down bags. Hershey also touted its supply chain efficiencies, like a shelf-ready shipping box that uses 32% fewer materials that its conventional box.
There are other ideas including circular candy displays, a confectionery “marketplace,” mobile programs that allow customers to reserve a spot in the checkout line, and a store-of-the-future concept called Medley in which shoppers order products from their phones while perusing cooking demos.
Overall, both retailers and manufacturers are seeking solutions for center store. The relationship between the two parties has traditionally been transactional, but given the need for good ideas and the expertise companies like Hershey have in their space, it will be interesting to see if relationships become more collaborative over time.
- The Hershey Company New Retail in a Shopper's World
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