An insider’s guide: the tricks of the rat-trap store - part1

 

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1. Golden zones 

Also known as “impulse areas” or “grab zones”, they include “checkout arrays” or “walk-through queues” filled or lined with treats. “They’re not there for pleasure,” Scamell-Katz says. “They’re there to make money and the best way to do that is with products that are bought as a reward for the task you’ve just completed.” If we were rats, the end of the shoppers’ maze would be piled with squares of cheese rather than chocolate bars. 

2. Shop-in-shop 

“Wooden floors and shelves and nice lighting can be suggestive of a different environment in the wine aisle,” Scamell-Katz says. Tests show we buy more expensive items with bigger profit margins if, he adds, supermarkets “sell the dream”. “You’re not doing it if you put indulgent products like skin cream in a cold warehouse with harsh lighting, so you offer visual cues of comfort and beauty.”

3. Gondola ends 

Also known as “endcaps”, these are the exposed, short blocks of shelves at the ends of aisles where special offers are typically found. We have now become so habituated to expect them, Scamell-Katz says, that when US chain CVS started filling endcaps with undiscounted products under signs made to look like promotions, sales duly increased.

4. Buy level

Brands often pay supermarkets listing or placement fees, which vary according to the prominence of the desired shelf. Logic dictates that eye level, a standard 1.6m from the floor, is “buy level”, but Scamell-Katz used eye-tracking cameras on volunteers to show “we naturally look lower than eye-level to somewhere between waist and chest level”.  Eye level became grab level and when Scamell-Katz showed his research to his then client, Procter & Gamble, it requested lower, cheaper shelves. Sales increased before curious supermarkets realised what was happening and changed their listing fees structure.

 

Compiled in Editorial Board of Retailiran

 

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