Strike that. A better question might be, “What are your top 10 volume items?” This list will vary from one time of the year to another, and it can vary from one region to another as well. I’ve picked a group of strong contenders in no particular order (except for the first item), along with some merchandising tips that can boost overall sales by up to 20% — or more.
1. Bananas. Due to year-round availability, ease of consumption and consistent affordability, nothing comes close to this sales leader.
Enhance Sales by: Building as large a display as you can, even if it means you use your entire daily inventory. Spread the display out using fixture extenders or shipper containers. Offer a selection of ripeness stages, and if you build secondary displays near the dairy or cereal aisle, make it a habit to stock and cull frequently.
2. Oranges. Summer valencias are steady movers, even with their regreening trait. But from early November until May, navels rule the citrus roost.
Enhance Sales By: Keeping the display culled and just-stocked-out-of-the-carton fresh, even if this means dummying up the display base to generate frequent inventory turns. Fresh orange aroma appeals to the senses. Try displaying a few fresh-cut and overwrapped “representative” fruit. Better yet, offer a taste with this easy-to-sample citrus favorite.
3. Apples. Year-round availability makes them a solid seller used for everything from waldorf salad to pies to sack lunches and myriad other applications. This versatile fruit moves by the pallet in numerous sizes and packs.
Enhance Sales By: Eliminating confusion for your shoppers by signing each variety. Offer best-used-for tips and sample both the familiar and unfamiliar varieties. Display cold whenever possible and separate displays using contrasting color breaks to attract attention and slow your customer down. Hand-stack and offer a good selection of both bulk and bags.
4. Lettuce. Still considered one of the top three items, it’s consistently found on many shopping lists. This category lends its qualities well to salads and sandwiches, as well as any recipe that requires the “crunch” factor, such as tacos.
Enhance Sales By: Keeping displays full, fresh and inviting. Cull aged or wilting heads immediately. Avoid packing leafy greens displays overly tight; these sell best when stocked for ease of shopping. Utilize good color breaks with other salad-related vegetables to trigger overall impulse sales, such as with red cabbage, radishes, carrots or green onions. Spur additional head lettuce sales by offering some cut and wrapped half heads for the older or single shopper.