No longer just a topic for industry discussion, supply chain challenges have reached consumers’ radar. Last year, unprecedented consumer demand for goods exacerbated the impact of manufacturer shutdowns on product availability. Today, exceptionally high demand to replenish inventory is causing yet another wave of merchandise shortages. The influx of imports to the US, combined with labor shortages at ports have resulted in dozens of ships waiting for weeks at US ports. Truck and driver shortages inhibiting domestic transport of goods compound these supply chain disruptions. While some of these bottlenecked containers are carrying retail merchandise, others may contain product components holding up domestic production. The effect has been apparent to shoppers: gaps on many store shelves across the country.
Despite these uncontrollable environmental factors, supermarkets can ensure shelves look inviting to shoppers. Outsourcing in-store service of non-food categories, particularly those affected by supply chain disruption, can help. Even in the context of manufacturer product shortages, dedicated in-store service of non-food categories supports set maintenance in several ways.
- Consistent weekly ordering and merchandising, to ensure products hit the shelf as soon as they are available
- Substitution with alternative products
- Follow-up on short-term changes, such as shelf tag adjustments and maintenance
- Quick execution of merchandising solutions to fill the space
In-store service provides supermarkets with practical hands-on solutions. During these difficult times, this support may be more vital than ever.