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    Ukrop's Sharpens Beverage Shelf Strategy with New System

    Managing shelf space for maximum profitability is the 28-store chain's goal.

    Ukrop's Super Markets, Inc. said it has deployed the industry's only environmentally friendly shelf management system for beverages-the BevTrac system, which the grocer said maximizes shelf space and increases beverage accessibility to shoppers while reducing out of stocks and decreasing labor costs.

    Installation should be fully completed this fall, but the chain is already seeing a payoff, according to Richard Pierce, category manager for single-serve beverage at Richmond, Va.-based Ukrop's.

    "Ukrop's does not have specific sales numbers at this point, but we do feel the BevTrac shelf management system has helped increase sales in our beverage category," Pierce told Progressive Grocer. "For instance, top-shelf beverages are now easily accessible because the product is always front-faced, making it easier for the consumer to get to, and for a better shopping experience."

    David Taylor, director of merchandising for the grocer, said the company chose to put BevTrac system in all its stores because it has the ability to efficiently and effectively manage shelf space and reduce labor costs.

    "The BevTrac system helps ... save on labor, allowing employees to focus their efforts on serving customers instead of managing the shelf," Taylor said.

    The Bev-Trac system is the product of global shopper marketing company RTC, based in Rolling Meadows, Ill.

    During the first six months of 2008, the BevTrac system generated a sales lift of up to 10 percent for retailers in the c-store and grocery channels, according to RTC. The product features a spring-action glide system, made from reprocessed material.

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