The Perfect Store

Convenience retailers know that making the most of their store means understanding what their customers want from it. The better you do this, the more profitable and successful your business will be.

Shoppers are not in love with convenience stores, but they are in love with convenience. 

Stocking the right range, and merchandising it so that shoppers can find what they are looking for easily is important. But the other key to increasing sales is understanding what each shopper’s mission is when they visit a convenience store. 


There are five main convenience Shopper Missions:

  • Top-Up is all about customers who are stocking up before next week’s supermarket shop. It’s often staples – such as bread, milk or tea.

  • Food for Now means hungry customers. They’re looking for sandwiches, crisps, soft drinks, snacks and confectionery to eat right away

  • Meal for Tonight is to find something to eat later – ready-meals, pasta and sauces, desserts and wine

  • Entertainment is about products to be shared, either at home or out with friends. Think crisps, wines and spirits and boxed confectionery 

  • Newsagent is when customers pop into to buy a paper and perhaps cigarettes or a lottery ticket


Creating the Perfect Store...

Unilever has tracked the behaviour of customers on each of these missions.

The results make fascinating viewing for any retailer who wants to grow their business, so click on the video (right) to view.

Partners for Growth came up with the perfect store layout. It makes use of global best practice on space, layout flows and adjacencies of fixtures, together with the look and feel of the store and shopper communication.

When these principles were applied to stores the number of items in basket saw an 8% uplift.


Applying Shopper Missions to your store...

No two stores are the same so your own customers’ missions will depend a great deal on where your store is and who your customers are.  But the principle of matching your layout to the most important shopper missions in your store will make life easier for your customers. 

For small retailers with only one chiller, for example, it’s a good idea to use milk as a beacon to drive more traffic to the fixture but still to categorise by shopping mission within the unit and ensure clusters are next to the equivalent ambient shopping mission-based categories on nearby shelves.

And if you do that, they’re much more likely to keep coming back and much more likely to spend more… 


Top 10 tips for the Perfect Store!

 Keep windows clear so shoppers can see inside
 Keep aisles wide and shelves low
 Avoid clutter – don’t use too many dump-bins or stacks
 Put baskets in the top-up area
 Communicate promotions clearly at the fixture
 Make queueing and transactions quick and easy
 Keep the store clean and tidy
 Ensure the right range and with Partners for Growth best seller lists and planograms
 Use Partners for Growth’s layout guidelines to ‘zone’ according to your customers’ needs
 Use simple signage to communicate these zones: e.g. ‘Food for now’