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Ramping Up In-Store Merchandising Builds Brand Value

Author: Tammy Bailey

The Independent View

Tammy Bailey 2

Ramping Up In-Store Merchandising Builds Brand Value  

 December 10, 2012 

 

Customer service, community commitment, employee development...all of those things are a huge part of why our store is successful, but if I have to name one thing that has really put us over the top, it's merchandising. We really stepped up our merchandising game in the last year, and it has made a world a difference: first, in our understanding of the benefits of our brand, and second, in store sales!

We really believe in IGA and have always thought we were getting full benefit from the brand because we use the training, sell the IGA Brand products, pay attention to our Assessment results and participate in every marketing event. What we realized this year is that we were leaving some resources on the table.

Take the IGA Red Oval partners, for example. You hear about the Red Oval partners sponsoring IGA marketing events and creating special promotions to help us get their products in front of our shoppers, but we hadn't considered that we can leverage those relationships on a local level too. This year we began reaching out to those partners, and we found that they're ready to help us merchandise their products in more creative ways. All it took was a little more communication on our part, and suddenly we're seeing the true advantage of this relationship. Take Coca-Cola for example. We recently asked our Coke guy for some help setting up a huge display in the front of our store. They came out with product on an unscheduled day, brought their merchandisers in to help us build the display, and gave us a bike to give away. Now those featured Coke products are selling like crazy.

We also realized there was an opportunity to do more related to IGA Exclusive Brand products. We used more IGA Brand signage—like IGA tag poppers, IGA compare and save talkers, and IGA Brand posters—and added in a lot more IGA Brand product endcaps throughout the year and especially during IGA Brand selling events. We've also made sure that our employees are advocates for IGA Brand products, talking to our shoppers about the quality and savings that come along with these products. Just those simple changes have made a huge difference: Right now our IGA Brand products sales are averaging around 15 percent of our total sales—up around 7 percent from last year!

Baileys IGA 2012

I guess the moral of the story is that you should always be looking for new ways to entice your shoppers and keep your hometown IGA at the top of their minds. We are proud to be an IGA store. IGA is more than a brand to us, it's our family, and we're so excited that our family gives us resources to do our jobs better.

Thanks,

Tammy Bailey