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Redstone’s Tips to Manage Your C-Store’s Candy Aisle


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In case you haven’t heard the news, candy sales are going up! Even with the global pandemic, candy sales increased year over year, and the trend seems likely to continue. One driving factor that has remained constant over the last several decades is that candy is a great impulse buy. According to the National Association of Convenience Stores, candy is the number one impulse purchase product in a convenience store. Nearly 25 percent of candy buying decisions happen on site, in the moment. Now, that’s some serious potential to increase your C-store’s overall sales!

In this article we will offer some tips to manage your C-store’s candy aisle and beyond. These tips will help solidify more opportunities for your customers to purchase candy items in your store. To accomplish this goal, you’ll want to make sure your store’s shelves are stocked, that products are displayed in an organized, visually-appealing manner and that those displays are in easily-viewable locations or “hotspots” around your store. Let’s dive in!

How to maximize impulse purchase potential at your checkout counters.

Everybody knows that the most important place to drive impulse purchases is at the customer’s last point of contact in the buying process: your checkout counter. This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to boost your store’s candy and chocolate sales with just a minimal amount of effort. It’s like instant gratification for both your customers and your store’s bottom line!

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There’s a reason you see candy and chewing gum at the checkout line in nearly every grocery store or big box store. It tends to boost a store’s sales of those types of items. They are typically cheap and ripe for attracting impulse buyer purchases. If your business sells more than just candy, it’s a great idea to place small packages of candy, chocolate bars, gum or breath mints in the area near your checkout counter. These small items typically come in packaging with bright colors that will help drive impulse spending in the final moments of your customer’s shopping experience.

These ideas will work, regardless of whether you have a full-service checkout line, with shelves, endcaps, and ample room for displays, or even if you only have a small, limited counter space next to your cash register. No matter your store’s size, placing products in your checkout area is perfect for tempting your consumers with these opportunities for last-minute, impulse purchase decisions.

According to information released by the Hershey Company, offering items on the front counter and in racks just below the checkout line can net a sales increase of 10 to 12 percent when you focus on the right items. Furthermore, shoppers are 36 percent more likely to make spur of the moment purchases with under the counter items. When this is done right, stores should expect to see a 45 percent increase in sales for items sold at the counter.

Tips to make your candy aisle visually-appealing for your customers.

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It should come as no surprise that the candy aisle is the most important area for your store’s candy sales. According to the same research by the Hershey Company, the candy aisle is where 64 percent of candy sales happen. Their report suggests placing the most popular items in “the strike zone” which is the three or four shelves from the top that are at eye-level. The research shows that doing this one simple thing could increase a store’s candy sales by 4 to 6 percent.

Some tips on display efficiency and assortment organization for the candy aisle.

Horizontal organization by package type is the preferred way to stock your candy aisle. Displaying size variations horizontally works as a great merchandising strategy across the board.

One great idea for organizing your candy aisle specifically, is to mix the king size candy bars with their regular sized counterparts. This will make things easy to find and your customers will be able to choose which one suits their desires more. A typical rule of thumb is to place the king size versions directly over the standard sizes. This will give your candy aisle an organized look and make your customers happy by making it easy to find what they are looking for.

For vertical organization, best practices include keeping everything together, including slight variations such as dark chocolate, or white chocolate versions of the same brand within a close proximity of each other.

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As another example, if you sell sugar-free candy it’s good to keep everything in the same location. Keep one corner, or row of your candy aisle as its own sugar free section. This helps people narrow down their choices and find what they’re looking for relatively quickly. And if you run a convenience store, you know how important speed can be.

According to numerous consumer studies, the hands-down, most important factor for c-store customers is the ability to get in and out fast. Having organized and stocked shelves in your c-store will go a long way in helping your customers feel like their shopping experience was, well… Convenient.

Your candy aisle should also have a candy end cap display.

Speaking of convenience, end cap displays are arguably one of the most important areas of your c-store. They are a quick and convenient way for your customers to find what they’re looking for, even if it wasn’t on their shopping list.

End caps are yet another chance to maximize impulse purchases as nearly every customer will walk buy these displays at some point during their shopping visit. It’s a great way to remind someone that only came in for a soda, that “hey you’re kind of hungry and you love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, might as well grab some of those too!” Surely this has happened to you before… It gets me almost every time!

End cap displays are also great ways to move specific products in your store. While the candy aisle may be stocked with similar products, your end cap displays will highlight the specific item to customers, compelling them to choose it over other items they might have to spend time looking for in the aisle.

The more bright colors you use on end cap displays will help boost product visibility in your store. Since most candy wrappers and packaging is brightly-colored, these hotspot displays can and will draw customer’s attention to your candy aisle.

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With all of these simple tips to manage your candy aisle, you should see noticeable results in your c-store’s sales. These tips are also designed with the consumer in mind, because a happy customer will not only buy more, they will turn into repeat customers, which is the greatest accomplishment of all.

At Redstone Foods, our expertise doesn’t just stop when our shipment arrives at your delivery door. We have over 55 years of experience in the candy industry, so we understand that our business depends on your success. From helping you find the right products to order, to strategies to increase your store’s bottom line, our level of customer service is second to none. Our team of dedicated sales reps are here to help you, every step of the way!

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