Keeping the Shelves Stocked at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the most incredible and hectic holiday for the produce department. The size of deliveries increase, the number of customers increase and sales definitely increase. Farmers are coming and going dropping off produce, semi-trucks of produce unloading pallet after Display at Canyon Marketpallet. Hand trucks are loaded, prep sinks are full, displays are being filled, samples are getting cut up and signage being written. Don’t forget about the produce manager rushing around with a clipboard in one hand, spreadsheets in the other all while double checking their orders. The sacred mantra in produce at Thanksgiving is to never ever run out…. of anything.

Customers rush in with hand written shopping lists and special apps all in an effort to make their trip to the grocery store easy and efficient. Remember everyone wants this meal to be perfect and though many stick to the sacred trifecta of turkey, gravy and stuffing others will be looking to freshen up Thanksgiving with new and creative vegetable dishes. Having an array of more interesting vegetables as well as key movers in your holiday lineup will keep your shoppers inspired to celebrate vegetables. Having to make a trip to another store for a single item especially during the holiday is no fun so be prepared to say “Yes! We have it for you right over here!” The goal is to have your customers do all their shopping in your produce department and to make the experience an easy one.

Here are 6 tips to keep the produce moving:

  • Bump up the schedule with extra staff. Allow extra hours for your staff to ensure there is always presence on the sales floor to answer questions and serve customers.
  • Be prepared. Prep all your vegetables the day before so the stand is easy to set in the morning. Have extra back stock prepped to carry you through the day with refills.
  • Have a designated runner to get produce from the back room/cooler and to bale cardboard. This will keep clerks on the sales floor where they are needed.
  • Take care of your signage needs before you open. Make sure to include any price changes, promo signs, product info or sample material.
  • Offer samples. It’s a good bet that many shoppers will be stressed and hungry. Offering a sample might ease the edge and make an impulse sale.
  • Thank your customers for supporting your produce department and local farmers.

Interested in using some tools to keep your shelves stocked and your profit margin well managed? Our Merchandisers would be happy to set up a store visit and share them with you.  Call us at 415.641.3500 and ask for Merchandising.