I was at the store last week and took the opportunity to capture a few examples of the on-shelf availability problem. This is the same store I blogged about previously, which had (as far as I could tell) perfect on-shelf availability the day it opened. That was a few months ago now and while I consider this a well run store you really don't have to try too hard to find the holes on the shelf.
This was a quiet weekday, early morning but after overnight shelf-stocking should have been completed.
I did not check the planogram for compliance, look for missing tags or deal with any slide and hide issues, this was a simple visual check of the categories I happened to be shopping in. The real off-shelf position is undoubtedly worse.
I did spot 2 special examples. In the dog-food section there is a clear off-shelf b ut it also illustrates the difference between being physically and effectively on shelf.
With one product missing you can see that this is warehouse shelving, designed to hold a full pallet of product and it's over 40" deep. It's well stocked right now with the Beneful product on the right but when that get's shopped down to the last 2-3 bags could you reach it? I'm a tall guy but I can't reach and I'm not climbing into the shelving to get a bag of dogfood. For me, it's effectively not on shelf at that point.
In the freezer section, the MorningStar Sausage Links are not off-shelf, in fact there are a number of packs behind the damaged one at the front.
I just picked one of these for my basket and (like most shoppers) reached behind the damaged pack to get a "good" one.
Once the good packs are gone, for many shoppers this is effectively off-shelf.
Grocery on-shelf availability averages about 92%. It really does't have to be this bad: the shopping experience is compromised and both retailer and manufacturer are losing money.
This post is the fourth in a series on On-Shelf Availability