SPICE up the Holidays with Seasonal Merchandising

SPICE up the Holidays with Seasonal Merchandising

Naomi Sleeper
Director,  Productivity Improvement
Imperial Distributors



It’s time for “pumpkin and spice and everything nice”! While we’re sure your stores are set with the pumpkins, a little extra merchandising spice can ensure your holiday season is “everything nice.”

Supermarkets have a huge opportunity to capitalize on grocery shopping frequency and meet the convenience needs of the time-crunched holiday shopper. According the NPD Group (October 2017), consumers averaged 18 shopping trips at brick-and-mortar stores specifically for general merchandise categories during the last holiday season (~1.4 times per week). However, NPD reported that some retailers experienced decline in purchase frequency toward the end of last year’s holiday season. With creative seasonal cross-merchandising, supermarkets can ensure that their non-foods and grocery sales remain robust throughout the entire holiday season.

SPICE up your stores with the following seasonal merchandising tips:

Sell through the Senses: The shopping experience is increasingly becoming a differentiator for grocery stores, and the holiday season is an ideal time for retail stores to stand out. With the right tools, grocery stores can help shoppers experience the holiday season through all of their senses. Build holiday displays that pack a visual impact with color (e.g. warm tones for Thanksgiving), height, creative display vehicles (e.g. a wheel barrow for exhibiting pumpkins and accessories; a slay or tree for merchandising holiday gifts and décor). Provide the opportunity for shoppers to smell and taste the season, too: with a spiced apple cider sample station, for example, the aroma of the season will permeate your stores. Appealing to all the senses in stores can lead to excitement and nostalgia-driven purchases of holiday cooking accessories, gifts and décor.

Price product to maximize sell-through on impulse purchases. Use sales data to price seasonal merchandise to meet the spending trends (i.e. more convenience-focused or price conscious) of your specific customer profile. Ensure that competitive prices are well displayed to further attract customers to product in-store.

Iterate displays to keep product merchandising neat and fresh throughout the season. Shoppers’ high store visit frequency during the holidays means not only increased opportunities to offer more product, but also the greater need to do so. Rotate designated feature items weekly (perhaps tied into a weekly ad or flyer). As product sells, remerchandise existing seasonal product, introduce new seasonal items or build-in relevant everyday replenishment tie-ins to keep product offerings and visual appeal fresh and exciting for returning shoppers.

Centralize complete solutions for shoppers. Provide a convenient one-stop shop for shoppers by ensuring that displays include everything needed to round out a sales theme or concept. Merchandise all related turkey accessories (thermometers, basters, timers, bringing bags, etc.) together with turkeys in one central location; build complete pumpkin pie displays by featuring baking dishes, mixing and measuring tools and bowls, along with baking grocery commodities like sugar and flour, and of course canned and whole pumpkins. Ensure table décor not only is merchandised together, but includes all complementary pieces like tablecloths napkins, napkin rings, etc. Combine general merchandise and health and beauty items together in go-to in-store destinations for gifts and stocking stuffers.

Educate shoppers about holiday products and deals to elevate attention to your robust assortment and dazzling displays. Use sharp imagery in print and online media features to draw customers to holiday offerings, and top off seasonal merchandising with attention-grabbing signage in store.

A little added SPICE in stores will delight customers and sweeten the season for all!