Reducing shrink in a grocery store can seem like an almost impossible task. While the retail industry in general is plagued with loss prevention woes, grocery can be even more difficult to monitor simply because of the nature of its products. Customers can eat products before purchasing them and items can even go bad on…
Many retail operations are created with the business in mind. We have implemented procedures in order to make our stores run more efficiently, and in a more cost-effective manner. When we originally put together those processes, we were considering how the business would be affected by the results.
That mindset is being flipped on its head as we get closer to 2020. The focus of supermarkets across the country needs to shift, placing the spotlight on our customers instead of our internal workings.
One of the most-discussed trends in retail is the collective shift toward seeking customer loyalty over a one-time sale. There’s good reason for the conversation: according to a study by Edelman, loyal customers will spend up to 67% more with your brand than new customers. It’s not about bringing new faces into your store in 2019 – it’s about convincing them to keep coming back.
Grocers are aware of the impact of customer loyalty, and are turning to unique business strategies in order to develop that connection. One such strategy is becoming food waste-free.
“What’s for dinner?”
What has always been a question fraught with an overwhelming number of answers has become even more mind-boggling over the past few decades as Americans have adjusted their meals to fit dietary molds. The idea of “dieting” first became mainstream after World War II, when charts emerged that proclaimed there were ideal weights for individuals depending on their heights.
Expired shrink is a problem for many grocers like you, yet it tends to fall to the bottom of your to-do list. You may think that you have bigger fish to fry: purchasing decisions to make, employees to manage, and marketing efforts to execute, but in reality, your neglect of expired shrink in your store can have a major impact – on your customers and your bottom line.
So, what is the best expired shrink solution? You have to weigh your options.
The grocery industry has faced its fair share of challenges over the past few decades. Digitization has caused many shoppers to adjust their purchasing habits in favor of e-commerce solutions, technology has raised the stakes on in-store personalization, and a renewed focus on sustainability has raised standards for grocers across the country.
Recent research found 51% of shoppers expect a remaining shelf life of eight (8) or more days if paying full price for perishable food products, while 73% said they expected at least 15 days on non-perishable (center store grocery, OTC/Vitamin) products. The study done by UW-Whitewater in partnership with Date Check Pro provides grocers with a rare insight into how expiration dates and shelf life impact a shopper’s willingness to pay.
When it comes to choosing how a store, or even if, a store should markdown products expiring soon, there are many options to choose from and factors to consider. Are your shoppers drawn by big savings, or is the focus more on an upscale shopping experience? How much product will need to be marked down in any given week? Will you use the same strategy across all departments, or vary it based on storage requirements? Just to name few.
Have you ever walked into your dairy cooler and found a bunch of expired doughs among everything that had been pulled for the day? This section of the store can generate shrink for a few different reasons, and we are going to walk through some of the tips and tricks of what to watch for and how to combat higher loss in this area.
Expired products spring up in every corner of a grocery store. Yet, there are key areas with a higher than usual density. These hot spots must remain top of mind to ensure a quality and fresh shopping experience. And while many of the influencing factors remain outside of a stores control – such as seasonality and declining category sales – how a store learns from these losses and improves management is paramount.