Progressive Grocer

2017 Category Management Handbook

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PG: Since its inception in 1956, Southern Imperial has focused on developing and delivering quality products at fair prices while providing outstanding customer service in the process. The mission hasn't changed, but the industry certainly has! What key issues related to merchandising solutions do category managers face today that were virtually unheard of back then? Brent Ewing: The internet has changed how people buy, sell and research items, requiring product enhancing merchandising solutions. Perfect product presentation is essential, including lighting, displays, and graphics to create a pleasurable and educational experience for the consumer when shopping a particular category. Customers today expect this type of retail merchandising innovation, generating a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, and immediate fulfillment. PG: What are some of the latest trends in the area of product display, organization and facing—things retailers should consider when trying to create visually appealing displays for their stores? BE: Designing new facing product solutions that incorporate easy-to-install, drop-in place solutions that will not reduce horizontal SKU count or vertical shelf space is important. Proposed solutions must allow for case-packed product to be on the shelf while keeping it organized for shopping and inventory accountability. Southern Imperial also has a catalog of products that is in stock and ready to ship the next day, so our customers can avoid uncertainty and minimize downtime. S P O N S O R E D C O N T E N T Speaking with... Brent Ewing VP of Product Development, SOUTHERN IMPERIAL PG: How can Southern Imperial help grocery retailers create customer-enticing displays that generate sales? BE: Southern Imperial's staff of senior industrial designers will create solutions that will enhance product interaction by capitalizing on branding and marketing intelligence. Our team helps our business partners gain a fresh perspective with new display designs and innovations through graphical in-store representations of how the proposed solutions will showcase the product. Then, our in-house engineering counterparts will drive the creative solution to reality with proven cost effective design principles. PG: Labor costs are obviously top-of-mind for retailers today. How can category managers come up with effective merchandising solutions and manage the labor costs involved in creating those displays? BE: Self-facing solutions will ensure perfect product presentation while maximizing store staff productivity as labor rates continue to rise. Self-facing product solutions also allow for creating product lanes, assuring the correct product is in the right location improving the shopping experience, inventory turns, and accuracy. Q A &

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