Cash & carry depots with confusing layouts are like “leaky buckets” and causing most products to underperform, according to new research by Him.
The research and consultancy company’s ‘Wholesale Display Effectiveness’ study found depots had confusing layouts as well as ineffective display communication and product packaging.
Him said there was “significant disparity between planned and shopped categories”, turning depots into “leaky buckets” that are “wasting sales opportunities”.
The research was conducted over eight days with Popai and support from buying group Today’s in Dhamecha’s Hayes depot.
It saw retailers wearing specially designed eye-tracking cameras to record, measure, and analyse their routes, categories they visited, and displays they passed.
Shoppers were also interviewed about their buying intentions and experience as they entered and left the depot.
Of the 83 retailers asked, 94% said they had to ask staff for help on where to find an item, on average, four times.
It also found no shopper used signage that hangs from the roof to navigate around the depot.
Him said the results show retailers feel frustrated, with 41% thinking they had spent longer than they actually had in store.
Some 35% that “wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible” overestimated their time.
Him said key categories should be used to assist flow around the depot, and aisle ends should help to guide shoppers.
Parfetts joint managing director Greg Susczenia said depot layouts were sometimes influenced by supporting suppliers’ needs.
“Over the years you end up with a bit of a mess and you have to realign, and that’s what we are doing at the moment,” he said.
“We welcome anything that will improve the business. Observing on happiness of customers is fine, but to get good guidance to increase our business is more important. But, you know, I get confused when I go to my local Sainsbury’s.”
He added: “We recently created an operations director and group operations manager, as well as a relay team, so we are better than we have ever been at addressing these issues.”