1.1. The Merchandising
The merchandising corresponds to the methods that help to optimize the products position and presentation in the stores. The main goals are to improve the profitability, obtain a better way to follow for the customers and have a better company’s image.
This definition seems to be very simple, but in fact, the issues associated include some complexities.
Indeed, for elaborate the recommendations files which indicate how to place the products on the shelves, the merchandiser needs information related to:
The products: price, dimensions, nomenclature, characteristics and pictures …
The stores: furniture, linear capacity, product assortment, product sales, minimal product delivery in stores, delivery frequency
The company policy, the characteristics and the evolution of the national retailer market
The sales models: selling of the products per week
The merchandiser’s job consists of proposing products position in the stores’ shelves in collaboration with the purchase team and the sales team. It’s important to satisfy completely the sales need without lack of stock. For this, the merchandiser uses the information which we list before. He makes recommendations on the facings number and the product positions in the store linear. The recommendations are elaborated with quantitative information but also with qualitative notions. We have seen previously an incomplete list corresponding to the quantitative information extracted from the company information system. The qualitative notions can be the picture colours. Then, the merchandiser looks for a visual coherence. Thus, the visual aspect is an important element of the recommendations files elaboration.
The recommendations files sent to the stores have always the same typical structure type:
The cover page
Presentation of the national market, the company market and the evolution of the market.
Global position of products by family or type
Coloured shelves with product pictures.
Several merchandising plan corresponding to different linear lengths.
A linear plan is a graphic representation of furniture in a store on which all the products are placed.
The use of product picture on merchandising plan allows a better identification of the product.
The Merchandising plan products list (Figure 6): the product order number, EAN ( European Article Numbering, the number which allows the identification of the product), the product name, the facing number, minimal assortment package (minimal delivery quantity for a product).
With the help of the recommendations files, a store can optimize quickly the profitability without having to make complex and tiring analyses. Indeed, these files are the results of a collaborative work between the Merchandising team, the purchase team and the sales team. During the elaboration of the files, the merchandiser takes into account the linear capacity, the stock turnover and the new products assortment. The recommendations files facilitate the work in the store and propose a homogeneous offer in all the company stores. Thus, the company marketing politics (guidelines) are more easily respected.
Figure 2: The cover page
Figure 3: The market
Figure 4: Global position of the products
Figure 5: Merchandising plan example
Figure 6: Products list of the Merchandising plan
Other file examples are presented in the appendix H.