Catching a customer's eye

Stonewall Kitchen endcap makes impact, spurs purchases

Jelly was not on my shopping list Saturday afternoon. Speed was. I wanted to get in and get out of my local Safeway with sushi — a healthy and easy dinner — and a couple of random items in advance of poker night.

But I also bought jelly — Stonewall Kitchen pepper jelly, to be precise. And therein lies a quick tale of a pleasing endcap display.

The impulse buy is retail gold. And this one worked on me.

Stonewall Kitchen Endcap at Safeway in north Scottsdale
Stonewall Kitchen Endcap at Safeway in north Scottsdale

Research shows endcaps work, even without price reductions.

“Depending upon the brand, the category and the accompanying promotion, manufacturers can reliably expect volume increases from 2x to 5x versus base and control,” according to ProgressiveGrocer.com.

Further:

Data suggests endcaps in the rear of the store are more effective than those in the front of the store. This is especially true of the locations in the front left of the store where traffic is quite heavy but conversion to sales is relatively low suggesting that these “shoppers” are actually at the end of their shopping trip headed toward the checkout aisle and therefore are uninterested in considering any other items for purchase.

Yet this was the opposite of my experience, and, by the way, also that of a person in front of me headed to checkout.

While many shoppers might race to the checkout lines hoping for that magical positioning that allows them less wait time, this alluring display induced a pause. And, more important, a purchase.

The display itself is pleasing. The color combinations and use of wood suggests a homeyness, a product quality that isn’t mass produced, despite the fact the company makes 75,000 jars of jelly daily.

This response fits into a carefully cultivated company strategy to expand its retail footprint from gourmet specialty to mainstream, while maintaining an image of gourmet specialty. As noted at ProjectNosh.com:

As it has grown to have more than $50 million in annual revenue, the company has evolved through multiple channels, including its own stores, partnerships with other retailers, and online channels. But the brand has nevertheless been carefully curated to represented the high end of the market and has grown significantly while being deeply seated in the specialty retail channel.

This endcap tells shoppers they need to upgrade the jelly at home
This endcap tells shoppers they need to upgrade the jelly at home

Meanwhile, for Safeway, it not only picks up more sales — impulse buys! — it also benefits in a more subtle way.

The quality and execution of this display aesthetically improved the store environment.