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Mars Chocolate North America and Wrigley are lighting up the front-end with racks illuminated with LED lights. As PG previously reported, the new LED-lit racks – which create a brighter environment and make it more appealing for shoppers to browse while waiting to check out – can lift front-end grocery sales by 10 to12 percent.
According to a 2012 Envirosell study, 59 percent of shoppers said they did not consider purchasing items at the checkout because they either did not notice anything or did not think about it. Company executives say the LED fixtures address that challenge.
“To increase confectionery sales at the front end, the merchandising must capture shoppers’ interest,” explains Susan Gwinnett-Smith, VP of grocery/retail, Mars Chocolate North America. “The new LED racks attract attention and encourage confection sales. Instead of looking at their smart phones while in the checkout lane, shoppers now look at the racks.”
Adds David Kennedy, VP of U.S. grocery at Wrigley: “The front end is critical – it’s a retailer’s last chance to make a good impression with shoppers. These bright racks look more inviting and appealing. Our goal is to help retailers increase sales and profit in the confection category. We’re always seeking and developing new tools to help lift the category – whether it’s a new front end rack, shopper insights, or merchandising strategies.”
Lighting Up Impulse-driven Confections
Last year, Mars Chocolate and Wrigley released a front-end study that examined shoppers’ need states at checkout, as well as purchasing behavior. The study verified that confections are impulse-driven, so the companies sought an innovative way to attract shoppers’ attention and get the products noticed. After more than a year of testing, the companies have determined that the best-performing front-end racks have the ideal combination of assortment, shelf pitch and lighting.
While this bright idea may be new to the front end, LED displays already invigorate grocery sales in cosmetics, produce and fresh foods.
Currently rolling out to grocery retailers across the country, the illuminated rack with best-in-class merchandising is producing consistent results. The test markets, which launched in January 2013, prove lift across the confection category, without regard to brand, items or pack size. Momentum is building: as other retailers hear about the successful tests, they’re asking for the LED fixtures.
The high-quality LED racks are easy to install, and a simple switch turns them on. The lights last up to 20 years and require the same amount of electricity as a 60-watt light bulb per checkout lane.
As part of a retailer’s overall front-end replacement strategy, the ideal time to consider LED-lit displays is when a retailer is ready to reconfigure the front end.
Retailers can contact their Mars or Wrigley representatives to make the switch.