After years of working with fantastic retailers, I’ve noticed that there are three major elements that set great meat departments apart from others. While these ideas are simple in nature, they do require pre-planning and elbow grease from your meat department staff. The end results are a more effective meat department that provides a better shopping experience for your customers. By the time you get to the end of this post, you may find that you want to schedule a spring spruce up at your stores!
Keep it Clean and Organized
Meat departments that appeal most to consumers are clean and show no neglect. Case tops are cleaned of dust and any dried purge that drips in the case is removed daily. Point-of-sale (POS) materials are kept current. Meat that has oxidized or is nearing the end of saleable days should be discounted for quick sale or removed from the case by a designated time each day. If you notice that meat is discoloring more quickly than usual, it’s time to check your cold chain management and make sure your handling process and equipment is functioning correctly. Also, don’t forget to provide a little TLC to your full service cases – clean the glass and case tops regularly, make sure the meat is displayed attractively with easy to read price signs, and confirm any items on the top of the case are helpful to your customers.
Have a Logical Flow
Successful meat departments have a logical flow. The plan-o-gram is based on what items are being featured in the weekly circular and footage is based on sales. If you don’t have store layout software, an Excel spreadsheet can be easily used to map the case. You can customize your worksheet based upon traffic flow direction and the style of cases used in your department. Most often items are grouped within categories by protein and cut. Case dividers should be clean and readable. If the dividers are dirty, cracked or scratched, it’s time to order replacements. As a service to your customers, you may even want to mount paper towel dispensers and plastic bags near your displays to aid consumers who don’t like to touch meat packages.
Retailers who provide inspiration develop great reputations with their customers. Introducing new recipes through store magazines, flyers, recipe cards, your website or Facebook® page, will help you provide meal solutions to your customers while engaging them and building long-term loyalty. If you provide printed resources to customers, be sure to keep the display tidy and clean. Creating meal stations, with recipe cards and all necessary ingredients in one place is also great for busy shoppers. Take that idea one step further with in-store demonstrations and samples at meal stations during your busiest shopping times.
Keeping your meat case clean and organized, having a logical flow, and providing inspiration are three easy ways to create a great shopping experience for your customers. Give them a try and watch sales and loyalty grow. Best wishes during the spring selling season.