Why A Store Reset Boosts Grocery Sales

Posted on October 18, 2022 by Bud Morris

Why A Store Reset Boosts Grocery Sales

Posted on October 18, 2022 by Bud Morris

A retail reset forces shoppers to hunt the store so they discover new products and make more impulse buys

Grocery is notoriously competitive and has a much lower margin than other retail types. So every grocery store is always looking for ways to get a leg up on their competition.

For most grocers, I’m told net profits average around 2%. So to maximize profits, you must increase overall revenues or sell higher-margin goods.

One strategy we’ve seen a lot of success with is a retail reset – aka changing your store layout, product placements on the shelf, or planograms – simply making it harder for shoppers to find what they’re looking for.

By forcing shoppers to hunt for what they want, walking down every aisle, you introduce them to more of your goods and increase their chances of making additional impulse buys.

This all leads to an overall larger cart value.


Jeff Campbell is a Whole Foods Market OG, starting with the company in 1988 and, over a 25-year career with the brand, opened and managed stores across the country. Today, Jeff’s known as “The Grocery Store Guy” and runs a blog under the same name.

In a recent post, Jeff asserted that a retail reset is “a critically important retail strategy that can have a positive impact on sales in any retail environment.”

In short, The Grocery Store Guy saw first-hand how this technique boosted sales during his time with Whole Foods. 

“By changing where the items are placed, the customers will have to walk around the store as they try to locate what they want.”  Jeff adds, “As you walk around trying to locate them, you’ll see other items that catch your eye, and you’ll end up buying them on impulse. If the products were left in the same place year after year, you’d probably pick up exactly what you came for. Then, most likely you would leave without ever buying anything else.”

In short, a static retail environment that never changes will give you static results. But, on the other hand, a dynamic environment will give you changing results – hopefully in the right direction.


We don’t have to overcomplicate this. Really a retail reset can fall on any schedule or cadence. While some of our clients follow a monthly reset schedule, others do a focused reset quarterly or semi-annually.

Either way, the main drivers that tend to trigger a reset include when you want to:

  • Sell products that are about to go out of date
  • Position higher-margin goods
  • Introduce new products that require shelf space
  • Remove discontinued or under-performing items from your shelves
  • See a new product category gain momentum
  • Introduce localized or seasonal products

Also, consider that an effective retail reset looks beyond moving goods around the shelves; it’s all about change:


There’s been a big shift in retail fixtures from single-purpose shelving and displays to a modular, more universal system.

And it makes perfect sense. Having fixtures that work for 10-15 different types of products, areas of your store, or setups – having a more universal, Meccano-style fixture – makes things like a reset faster and lower cost.

On top of modular fixtures, having fixtures that allow for different trim packages, overhead signage, or backlit displays allows you to change up the look quickly and inexpensively.

So now, you can change out colours, add seasonal touches, or rebuild entire sections of the store without a remodel.


We recently shared 12 Signs Your Store Is Overdue For A Retail Remodel with indicators ranging from not embracing “dwell-time” to low employee morale, displays not making an impact to feeling overcrowded and hard to navigate.

And while we’re all for a store remodel, as we’ve discussed a store reset is a different strategy altogether.

A store reset focuses on rearranging your fixtures, shelves, and displays to accommodate moving products in, out, and around your store.  Ultimately to make your products more discoverable, consolidate underperforming goods, and make space to highlight higher-margin items.

If you’re having trouble turning over goods or increasing cart value, a store reset may help.

A store remodel, on the other hand, is about doing a hard reset on your store. New look. New feel. New layout. Basically, taking what you had – holding onto its best bits and rethinking everything else.

Designing and merchandising a retail space is a never-ending process. You’ll never stop switching out, tweaking, or adding elements to build sales and a great experience.

  • Store remodels have their place – when you need an overhaul of the space.
  • Store resets have their place – when you need to relocate goods to boost sales.


Being one of Canada’s largest retail fixture and store design builders, we design-build retail environments, displays, and fixtures with your business and the entire shopping experience in mind.

Always willing to do whatever it takes, we will lead every part of your retail renovation, from construction management and planning, to fixture and display design and manufacturing, to installation and merchandising.

Looking for help with your next project?

Contact our retail design-build team to get a project plan and quote now!