Stop & Shop Takes New Approach to GM/HBC
By George Anderson
Stop & Shop hasn’t made any major adjustments to how it merchandises its general merchandise (GM) and health and beauty care (HBC) department in nearly a quarter of a century,
writes Glenn Snyder in the Sept. 2005 issue of Progressive Grocer.
That, however, is changing as the chain’s new prototype gives increased attention to GM/HBC and clusters categories such as cosmetics, party goods and office supplies under illuminated
valences over polished wood floors to give the department a distinct feel from the rest of the store.
Clusters, writes Mr. Snyder, are highlighted by illuminated valences. “The most prominent of these are the concave graphics attached to the tops of the shelving, which show lifestyle
photographs — many humorous — enhanced by well-aimed track lighting. End caps abound in the store’s nonfood section; there are 30 in all. Aisles are eight feet wide, leaving
plenty of breathing room for strategically placed shippers and allowing for a more leisurely shopping experience.”
“We felt that we had accumulated sufficient merchandising know-how to take a strong position in locating the department,” said Stop & Shop president Marc Smith. “We believe
that the consumer, too, has come to accept, and want to buy, general merchandise and health and beauty care in their supermarket, and doesn’t really need traffic departments to
attract them there.”
The changes have apparently worked. The department with a footprint of 1,400 linear feet accounts for more than 10 percent of total store sales in the prototype.
The new format continues Stop & Shop’s store-within-a-store concept with Staples although the company has created its own toy set after a store-within-a-store test with Toys
R Us failed.
“Staples has excellent brand-name recognition and offered us an exclusive in our trading area,” says Peter Hettinger, former v.p of nonfoods with Stop & Shop. “They have
also developed private label items for us. They know their business and are learning ours.”
“Most supers do a poor job with computer items in terms of pricing and assortment,” he added. “That will not be the case for Stop & Shop. Plus most of our stores run 24 hours,
so if customers or students run out of paper or ink late at night, they can buy the needed items at our place.”
Moderator’s Comment: Are supermarkets making optimal use of GM/HBC to drive business performance? What lessons are there from Stop & Shop and others
on how to maximize GM/HBC’s ability to draw traffic and build revenue and profits? –
George Anderson – Moderator