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Mars Says New LED-Lit Racks Can Boost Front End Confectionery Sales

Mars-Wrigley - LEDGUM_OvertheBelt - low res

Mars Chocolate North America and Wrigley are introducing racks illuminated with LED lights that the companies say can lift front end grocery sales by 10 Mars-Wrigley - LED CANDY_FrontEnd - low resto 12 percent. These innovative LED-lit racks—combined with the ideal assortment and shelf pitch—create a brighter environment and make it more appealing for shoppers to browse while waiting to check out.

According to a 2012 Envirosell study, 59 percent of shoppers said they did not consider purchasing items at the checkout because they either did not notice anything or did not think about it. These LED fixtures address that challenge.

“To increase confectionery sales at the front end, the merchandising must capture shoppers’ interest,” says Susan Gwinnett-Smith, VP of grocery/retail for Mars Chocolate North America. “The new LED racks attract attention and encourage confection sales. Instead of looking at their smartphones while in the checkout lane, shoppers now look at the racks.”

“The front end is critical—it’s a retailer’s last chance to make a good impression with shoppers,” says David Kennedy, VP of U.S. grocery at Wrigley. “These bright racks look more inviting and appealing. Our goal is to help retailers increase sales and profit in the confection category. We’re always seeking and developing new tools to help lift the category—whether it’s a new front end rack, shopper insights or merchandising strategies.”

Last year, Mars Chocolate and Wrigley released a Front End Study that examined shoppers’ need states at checkout, as well as purchasing behavior. The study verified that confections are impulse-driven, so the companies sought an innovative way to attract shoppers’ attention and get the products noticed. After more than a year of testing, the companies have determined that the best-performing front end racks have the ideal combination of assortment, shelf pitch and lighting.

While this idea may be new to the front end, LED displays already invigorate grocery sales in cosmetics, produce and fresh foods.

Currently rolling out to grocery retailers across the country, the illuminated rack with best-in-class merchandising is producing consistent results. The test markets, which launched in January 2013, prove lift across the confection category, without regard to brand, items or pack size. Momentum is building: as other retailers hear about the successful tests, they’re asking for the LED fixtures, according to Mars and Wrigley.

The high-quality LED racks are easy to install, and a simple switch turns them on. The lights last up to 20 years and require the same amount of electricity as a 60-watt light bulb per checkout lane.

As part of a retailer’s overall front end replacement strategy, the ideal time to consider LED-lit displays is when a retailer is ready to reconfigure the front end.

Retailers can contact their Mars or Wrigley representatives to make the switch.

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