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As a member of Food Marketing Institute’s Center Store Task Force, Nestlé Purina Petcare has stepped up with a new approach to improving center store performance through the importance of pet care. Dubbed “Open Air Design,” Nestle Purina’s concept is based on deep consumer and shopper insights.
To literally “open the department,” Nestlé Purina advised its retail partners to add more SKUs (as many as 300-plus supplies and accessories, in some instances) while also adding impulsive fixtures, all in the same linear footprint. Although this design has challenged some of the industry’s traditional guidelines, out-of-stocks have actually been reduced in many departments, according to the manufacturer.
By leveraging shopper insights, the retail environment, supply chain/replenishment and virtual technology, Nestlé Purina created four separate yet fundamentally similar designs to fit within virtually any retail environment. Using CAD files within the virtual design process, Nestlé Purina has been able to collaborate with store planners well in advance, thereby streamlining implementation significantly.
With more than 40 stores launched to date at four different retailers, the results have been outstanding, according to Nestlé Purina. Post-installation research has indicated that acceptance of the new departments has significantly improved. Eighteen percent of consumers surveyed have indicated an improvement in “willingness to purchase at this store,” and 16 percent acknowledged making an unplanned purchase in the new department.
Sales consistently outpace the category’s prior performance, and within many stores, sales significantly outpace performance of the entire center store. Best of all, department profitability is also up significantly, in some cases more than a full percentage point.