In-Queue Merchandising for Convenience Stores

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In-Queue Merchandising for Convenience Stores

In the world of retail, the art of capturing customer attention and driving impulse purchases is a paramount strategy. It’s no secret that the customer queue holds immense potential as an impulse selling hotspot within the store. Shoppers within the queue, with a bit of idle time on their hands, are more likely to engage with merchandise. This concept of in-queue merchandising has become the norm in medium to large store formats, demonstrating remarkable sales growth of over 25%. But what about convenience stores, often characterized by their compact 2400-2500 sq ft spaces? Let’s delve into the intriguing journey of Circle K Ireland, a leading convenience retailer, as they explored the viability of in-queue merchandising in their forecourt stores.

Circle K Ireland: Setting the Stage

With a prominent presence of 410 sites across the island of Ireland, Circle K Ireland, an arm of the global Canadian group Alimentation Couche Tard, has established itself as a significant player in the convenience retail sector. This expansive group operates in over 20 countries with almost 10,000 Circle K stores in the US alone while employing a whopping 130,000 employees worldwide.

In 2018, Circle K Ireland embarked on a journey to assess the potential of in-queue merchandising within selective stores. With the valuable guidance of our crowd control experts, Circle K recognized that to optimize both customer satisfaction and sales potential, a shift towards a single-line format for their checkouts was essential. The single line format, where one waiting line services all checkouts, proved to be a pivotal decision.

Merch Panel In Use showing In-Queue Merchandising

The Power of the Single Line Format

The adoption of the single line format emerged as a key element in the success of the in-queue merchandising strategy. In a traditional multi-line system, where each checkout has its own line, there’s a significant likelihood that many customers access the checkout without adhering to the queue system, leading them to miss out on the merchandising offerings. This not only hampers the effectiveness of the strategy but also affects customer satisfaction levels. The principle of fairness, the notion of “First Come First Serve,” is compromised when customers outside the line reach the checkout before those who have been patiently waiting in the queue.

Armed with the insight that the single line format was the optimal choice, Circle K proceeded with a strategic test rollout of our In-Queue Merchandising panels and accessories. This innovative system, centered around our durable aluminum slatwall panels, features an attachment collar that seamlessly connects the panels to regular retractable belt queueing stanchions. Setting up this merchandising system is simple, requiring only one person, and the panels can be configured in a myriad of layouts using the Allen key provided. Circle K, in line with the test rollout, honed in on their planogram, focusing on an assortment of tantalizing salty and sweet snacks.

Merch Panel In Use showing In-Queue Merchandising

Achieving Remarkable Results

After months of testing and expansion across multiple stores, Circle K witnessed a significant uplift in sales for items merchandised within the queue. The degree of success far exceeded expectations, resulting in a surprisingly rapid return on investment for the in-queue fixtures. Encouraged by these promising outcomes, Circle K has continued to roll out in-queue merchandising across their Irish stores, reaping ongoing success from this innovative program.

In the ever-evolving world of convenience retail, in-queue merchandising has proven its efficacy even in more compact spaces, providing a dynamic tool to engage customers, boost sales, and elevate the overall shopping experience. This success story from Circle K Ireland serves as a testament to the power of innovation and strategic merchandising in the quest for retail excellence.

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