North of England Spar wholesaler James Hall has been working hard to boost sales by increasing its focus on category merchandising.

Key to this was the creation of a dedicated category merchandising team in June.

The nine-strong group is led by project manager Paul Milligan. He and the eight category merchandisers under him (pictured) all report to sales director John Hodgson as part of the sales department.

The group was formed for several reasons, says Milligan: “The aim was firstly to provide information on the correct range to stock. The second objective was to enable Spar members to use their space better to drive up sales by using the Galleria planograms.”

The system, designed by retail software specialist Galleria, is free to all Spar’s Northern Guild members: “Ranges are agreed in conjunction with James Hall’s trading department using scanning data from Spar stores. Initially Galleria and Spar UK provide a planogram layout which is then test-merchandised. After fine-tuning, a presentation pack enables Spar members to see how it will apply in store.

“Category merchandisers then revisit the store, strip the shelves of stock, clean, remerchandise, refill shelves and install shelf edge labels.”

James Hall has already implemented planograms for seven categories, resulting in sales uplifts. The category management initiative has been boosted by key suppliers Coca-Cola, Interbrew, KP and Imperial Tobacco.
dedicated to categorical improvement