My two granddaughters and my partner’s daughter have all been hit in the last week. Lots of fevers, coughs, sniffles and other symptoms that need to be dealt with.
So, while we were off snapping some sample pictures of Campbell’s new soup rack in a local Supermarket we wandered by the Children’s pain/cough/cold section.
Wow. What a mess. Of course, on seeing the shelf we were immediately reminded that the section has been beset by a extraordinary series of product recalls and supply chain difficulties. In some cases products have been recalled, redistributed and recalled two and three times.
The sections outlined by the circles are complete out-of-stocks. That is with the exception of the circle at the top right, which is a clip strip holding a thermometer in front of the Tylenol section.
Two years ago Tylenol dominated this section. Now the few brand facings are partially covered by a clip-strip product.
The section looks a bit like a war-zone. 17% of the space is supply chain out-of-stocks meaning it is difficult to tell how long the products have been, or will be out.
Two quick perspectives:
17% of the retailer shelf is totally unproductive. Nothing is being sold from this space. While it is clear that it makes no sense to reset entire sections if the interruption is going to be brief, in this case the interruptions have been ongoing and repeated. At what point does the retailer reclaim their space?
And, there is now a whole generation of children who have gone through at least one and perhaps two cold-flu seasons where the missing products were unavailable for consumers to meet their needs which may have long term implications for customer loyalty (moms, dads and yep even granddads) for the brands and perhaps for the retailers who best meet this shortage headon with the most impactful manner of dealing with recommending substitutions.
How will the retailers and manufacturers gain an effective view of this shelf, and its progression over time back to whatever the new balance will be established? The only effective management tool would seem to be ShelfSnap. This picture of a top retailer store would indicate that no one is watching the shelf, which makes it difficult to manage the sniffle.