How to Start Retail Merchandising Planograms

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Merchandisers understand the importance of planograms; the sketches outline the placement of product on a store shelf or retail display. For chains, planograms ensure consistency of product placement between locations, and wholesalers use the sketches to enforce the display of their product which will result in the highest sales volume. Independent business owners utilize planograms to maximize shelf space and enhance the look of merchandise. Starting with an effective planogram is one way to ensure product is restocked and maintained in a way that enhances display quality.

Determine the desired effect of the planogram. If you're a clothing retailer, your objective might be to hang tops at an angle that shows off their beauty, and to make space for folded and stacked stock such as sweaters and pants. If you run a general merchandise store, displaying as many brand options as possible on your shelves might be the goal.

Sketch the backdrop of your planogram. This is the space on or within which you'll place your product, be it a section of shelves or the floor plan of the entire store. Make your sketch to scale, and include measurements of every section of space; this will help you calculate how much product you can put in each space.

Organize your product into the planogram. Draw numbered representations of each item onto the planogram space; include a key to provide a description of each product, including brand and SKU. If your objective is to maximize space, compare various product combinations and use the one which allows you to display the most product.

Place your product on the shelf or store floor according to your diagram. Modify the planogram as you see fit; a product placing which maximizes space might also appear crowded and make it difficult to shop. A planogram which had as its objective featuring a line of clothing might not work well under certain lighting, or in a particular section of the store which is difficult to access.

Change the product arrangement using actual product until you are satisfied. Change the planogram to reflect your final changes. Continue to implement the same planogram in all store locations and as stock is replenished.

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About the Author

Catherine Lovering has written about business, tax, careers and pets since 2006. Lovering holds a B.A. (political science), LL.B. (law) and LL.L. (civil law).

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