Shopper Marketing - August 2017 - 124
Redesigning Checkout Lanes
Mars Chocolate and Wrigley's insights lead to changes
that improve the shopper experience
By Samantha Nelson
Albertsons Cos.' Jewel-Osco tried remodeling its checkout lanes to resemble those at
Best Buy, using theater ropes to direct people to the shortest lanes. Yet the plan failed
when neither store employees nor shoppers
could figure out how to navigate the new
system. When the chain looked for a better
approach, Mars Inc.'s Mars Chocolate and
Wrigley had a solution.
"We really didn't have the data and research to help us make the right decisions,"
Jeff Hancock, Jewel-Osco's assistant sales
manager of confection and beverage, said
during a May panel discussion at the Sweets
& Snacks Expo in Chicago. "Mars came to
me with presentations outlining ... data from
other retailers with similar configurations
and had great insights on those queuing
lines to meet our shoppers' needs."
Mars Chocolate and Wrigley had finished
a massive project in 2016 that explored how
shoppers think about, research and buy
confectionery. While they found that con124
y SHOPPER MARKETING AUGUST 2017
sumers love the category, the manufacturer
also learned that they hated shopping for it.
"It's not fun," said fellow panelist Tiffany
Menyhart, director, U.S. category management for Wrigley. "They can't find what they
want. It's a chaotic mess. Through truly understanding what they want, we've come
up with essentials to bring the joy back and
make it fun again."
At Jewel-Osco, Mars focused on keeping
shoppers occupied while they waited to
check out, developing a more curved line
that removed the anxiety of not knowing
how to proceed while also providing more
space to merchandise product for impulse
That included not just Mars confectionery
but an expanded selection of other graband-go products shoppers were looking for,
including coolers stocked with energy and
coffee drinks, and shelves stocked with granola bars, single-serve cereal and oatmeal.
An insight that print magazine readership