MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Confections and beverages are part of a new front-end merchandiser Piggly Wiggly here is offering to its franchisees.
The three-year customized program, the first of its kind offered at the corporate level, combines a confection rack with a beverage cooler.
"This is the first time that we've tied in a cooler with the merchandising rack," said Danny Barnwell, vice president of merchandising. "It's an all-encompassing program."
About 500 units already have been ordered and will be in place in 110 stores by November. Piggly Wiggly estimates the rest of its nearly 800 units will introduce it over the next 18 months, Barnwell said.
"Independent retailers, unlike major chains, don't have access to universal programs designed to keep them uniform and cohesive," Barnwell said. "This is a program that places our franchisees on a level playing field with supermarket chains that regularly have this type of program."
To meet the space requirements of Piggly Wiggly's various stores, seven different size merchandisers are being offered. One model features a cooler that abuts a rack that can hold about 40 stockkeeping units of confections, gum and mints. The model also has room for about 28 health and beauty-care SKUs, along with a variety of magazines.
Collectively, 23 major confection, magazine, general-merchandise and beverage companies provide the racks, each of which comes with its own planogram.