Labor is one of the largest, if not the largest, operational costs of retail establishments. It is often the first area to be affected when retailers begin cost-cutting measures. At the same time, brick-and-mortar stores are expected to provide improved customer-centric experiences along with a variety of quality products and brands to compete with low prices offered by online retailers. This customization puts excess demand on a store with limited employees as it takes store personnel away from regular duties like stocking and facing products, providing customer assistance, and ringing up sales.
To better streamline operations and customer experiences, many stores have implemented labor reducing measures to varying degrees of success. These measures include way-finding signage, help kiosks or phones, shelf management systems and self-checkout systems. Of these cost reduction measures, shelf management systems are one of the easiest and most practical solutions for improving customer and employee experiences. Self-facing systems are a type of shelf management system that keeps product faced at shelf edge and offers the following benefits:
- Enhance appearance – Shelves always look fully stocked and faced to provide an attractive and consistent presentation.
- Increase accessibility – Product is always at shelf edge so it can be easily be seen and accessed by customers. This benefit is especially helpful for inventory located on higher shelves.
- Reduce labor – Employees don’t have to continually face stock as customers remove products.
- Prevent disruption – Store personnel are not facing shelves and interrupting customers while they are shopping.
- Reduce inventory – Allows store to limit the amount of stock on a shelf which, in turn, decreases investment committed to inventory.
Self-facing systems include gravity feed systems, that rely on an angled surface to advance product, and pusher systems, which feature a spring-loaded pusher to advance product. Both system styles provide similar benefits, but each offers a solution to accommodate specific fixtures and consumer products better. In our next blog, we will review the details of these solutions and how each system can benefit retailers through the various labor reduction and store enhancements they provide.
For specific product information, call (800) 422-2547 between 8 am and 6 pm EST or visit www.siffron.com.