Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Sunday newsagency management tip: product placement in retail

Mark Fletcher
May 25th, 2014 · No Comments

Before you can promote a product you need to place it in the right location in your shop. Put it in the wrong place and a good product will fail. Put a mediocre product in the best location and it may well succeed.

Placement is everything in a retail business jet as the location of the shop itself is everything.

The cliche of location location location is true inside the business.

The traditional newsagency was compartmentalised and rarely did products get placed outside the department. Stationery was always in stationery, cards were always in cards and so on. This is old school. It is not relevant to what a newsagency should be today – unless you want to achieve the old gross profit percentages of between 28% and 32%. Those numbers are not sustainable for a newsagency so I hope you don’t want to run your business a way that maintains your performance in that sub-par band.

The most successful gift shops I have seen provide a treasure hunt type experience where browsers are lured further into the store. The key to success for this approach is product placement.

When I talk about product placement I am talking about where you place products in-store, what they are next to … for so that displays as that’s visual merchandising. It is important to think carefully about product placement and change what you have done as you observe shopper interaction.

Think about who is likely to purchase the products you are placing and why. Be sure to place these products next to or with products that speak to the same shopper and near to other categories of products these shoppers will purchase. The most obvious is placing wedding related products near wedding greeting cards. Another is placing toys and kids gifts near cards for young kids and magazines for young kids.

My tip for thinking about who will purchase a product is to look at it, touch it, feel it, sniff it (if appropriate) and read up about it. The more you know about a product the more you will know who the customer could be.

There is money to be made getting this right. Think of the time you invest as improving the return on your inventory investment. This task of product placement is not something to delegate to someone who is untrained and does not understand the importance to the business of getting it right.

Every product we place on the shop floor or display on shelves needs to be placed in its location deliberately and with careful thought – not placed in a department as that is old-school retail. Look at your space by who is shopping and why and keep moving products until you have a clearly articulated story that will appeal to your customers as they move through your shop.

While we do have some departments that need anchor space: magazines, core stationery, lotteries … there is much today;s newsagency can play with in terms of placement. That’s my suggestion today – look at product placement in your newsagency through fresh eyes. Challenge convention. Place products together that speak to the same shopper.


Category: Management tip · Newsagency management · newsagency marketing · Newsagency opportunities

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