To maximize candy sales success, c-stores should ensure they are featuring an optimal assortment of candy brands and varieties and that they are merchandising that assortment for success.
When it comes to candy sets, focus first on the popular core brands. Make sure these core brands are in-stock, out on the sales floor and available in multiple areas within the store. Next, incorporate line extensions for these core brands and pay attention to the latest trends, incorporating some fun new items that might interest your customer base.
Data is key in knowing what customers are demanding from your candy section and can help you know which quick moving products you need to keep in-stock and which slow movers you need to delete from your set. The sooner you can make these determinations, the sooner you can boost sales. Data can also help you see how customers are building baskets. Do a large segment of your customers buy a Snickers with their coffee or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups with their cold vault beverage? If so, you can leverage that information to cross-merchandise these products.
When it comes to merchandising, think beyond the checkout and the candy aisle and showcase key candy products throughout the store. Include inline and perimeter displays, end caps and counter racks. Display candy items in popular areas, such as at the coffee station, on a cooler door or at the foodservice counter to spur further impulse purchases. But don’t just place a rack of candy bars — use suggestive signage on the rack to suggest a product pairing. For example, post signage encouraging customers to purchase a candy bar with their coffee or gum and mints with their foodservice order to keep their breath fresh after the meal.
The idea is to create multiple interruption points along the customer journey where these impulse candy items appear. Maybe customer A resists the temptation at the coffee section and at the foodservice counter, but when they get to the checkout counter, and they see that candy bar for a third time, they finally buy it.
Get creative in how you merchandise candy. Metal baskets with promotional candy might be an eye-catching way to greet customers as they enter the store. Think about other ways you can make candy displays stand out. Put your best promotions at the checkout counter and have employees tell customers about the deal at checkout.
If customers can’t find their favorites, they won’t buy them. An organized candy aisle is key. Have employees check the candy aisle throughout the day to make sure popular items are in-stock, that the labels are facing customers so they can find their preferred product easily and, most importantly, make sure the candy area isn’t a mess. That goes double for the peg bag section, where bags can get knocked down or put in the wrong spot by customers. Keep the section clean and well organized.
If you’re dealing with supply chain issues, consider it an opportunity to display some alternative candy items. Depending on your store, this might be local candy brands or better-for-you candy that can pique customer interest.
Lastly, your candy suppliers are your partners, and they can help you optimize your store’s assortment, advise you on current trends to watch or help you source better-for-your items.