How it works

How a supermarket works

Life around decided to launch a series of materials in which the editors will talk about how popular urban places are arranged. They decided to start from the supermarket - most people come here every day.

At the request of "supermarket Moscow", the online directory "2GIS" issues 4,549 organizations. The largest network in Russia is Magnit, originally from Krasnodar. She ranks third in the ranking of the largest companies according to Forbes: her revenue reached 763.5 billion rubles. Above only the "oil industry" - "Surgutneftegas" and "Lukoil". The ranking also includes the X5 group (Crossroads and Pyaterochka networks), Dixie, Tape and O'KEY. In addition to them, smaller networks work in Moscow. Life around went to the store of one of them and found out how everything is arranged there.

New stores

In any grocery chain, if it is more than five or six stores, there is a back office. At the "I Beloved" network, it is located in the Tiera business center, here they are engaged in the selection of goods, logistics, hiring personnel, a control system, finance, marketing - a total of 200 employees. Before opening a new store, you need to conduct a study and calculate the number of residential buildings, evaluate car traffic, monitor competitors, attendance. Of course, it’s more profitable to go to the newly built area, where residents only call in, and there are almost no shops there. Mikael Iordanyan, deputy director of trade for the I Beloved supermarket chain, says that there is such a supermarket in the Moscow Grad microdistrict: “We want to add cash registers and refrigerators because we did not expect such a flow of visitors.” More often, of course, there are several competing stores on the territory. For an interview, we meet in a supermarket on the Nosovikhinsky highway, opposite which Auchan is located.

In addition to shops, employees monitor nearby grocery markets, grocery stores, and separate shops with milk and meat. Even when opening a new point, it is important to estimate approximate attendance: according to Mikael Iordanyan, no matter how good the store is, the buyer will not go further than one and a half to two kilometers and will not go if the distance to the supermarket exceeds seven to eight kilometers. So, a circle is drawn around the store to understand what the pedestrian traffic will be and what the car traffic will be like. According to the manager, it’s worth opening if the planned number of visitors at the beginning of the supermarket reaches thousands of people (for an area of ​​at least a thousand square meters) and about 600 people a day for a store that is half as much.

1 270

square meters - square
trading floor


person works
in the supermarket


meter - maximum shelf height

20 700 -

number of units of goods
in the supermarket


rubles - average check

There is also a spy method to find out the approximate number of buyers that many chains practice: a store employee makes a purchase in a competitive store in the morning and saves a check, arrives again in the evening and breaks goods at the same cash desk. So, by check number you can understand how many purchases were made today at this cash register, multiply by the number of cash registers and approximately calculate how many people entered. Of course, you need to consider that the point of sale reaches its capacity in about a year, so often the owners have to keep the right range of products, even if it is financially unprofitable. “The goal is to accustom the customer to what we have,” explains Jordanian. Sometimes you have to refuse sites, the reasons are different - transport accessibility (for example, in the center it is difficult to unload and load goods), the high cost of rent or the absence of a target audience.

The leaders do not choose the working hours of the "I Beloved" supermarkets - all stores are round-the-clock. Moreover, employees admit that such a step is fashioned so that "the client knows that we are always open to the buyer." According to them, from a financial point of view, this is not profitable in any of the stores after the ban on the sale of alcohol was introduced: nightly revenue does not cover either the cost of electricity or the cost of people per shift. “Consider this an investment in marketing,” explains Jordanian.

Rush hours in stores that are in the "sleeping bag" last from 17:00 to 21:00, when many people return from work. In office areas, activity increases at lunch time - from 12:00 to 16:00. It is predictable that most purchases occur on Friday and the weekend, and Monday is considered a dead day, when revenue is the lowest in the week. Usually, on Mondays, stores accept the bulk of suppliers and load the hall after slaughter trading on the weekend.

How products get on shelves

To ensure that new products appear regularly on the shelves of the supermarket, category managers monitor. Each of them is responsible for different groups of goods: some for groceries, others for non-food products, others for children, and so on. Supermarkets themselves are looking for suppliers, often suppliers go to category managers and give them a try on their product. The task of the category manager is not only to choose a tasty and high-quality product, but also to weed out unreliable manufacturers or distributors. Partners are first invited to the meeting - if it is successful, the manager analyzes the market in this category, and then presents the products and tastes them at the assortment committee, which is held at the company on Thursdays.

If everything is in order with this, then the contract is first given to lawyers for verification, and then they are signed. As a rule, a new supplier is given a trial period during which they watch how the partner fulfills his obligations and whether the goods are sold successfully. If no problems arise, the contract is renewed. True, this does not mean that there is no turning back: if the supplier commits serious violations, the network can terminate the contract with him unilaterally.

Who works in the supermarket

The eternal question is why there are a lot of cash desks in the supermarket, but half work on the strength, it is explained simply: the number of cash desks is calculated from the maximum attendance of the store (yes, this is New Year's and sometimes March 8). Adding cash registers is expensive, and on all other days it is simply unprofitable to withdraw all cashiers per shift. Here, on Nosovikhinskoye Shosse, there are only seven cash desks, four of which work on weekends, on weekdays two or three, and a couple of cashiers serve night customers.

The director of the store, Nadia Botasheva, says that around 50 people work in shifts throughout the supermarket — the director of the store, a couple of deputies, employees of the sales area, cashiers, security officers, movers, security guards, and warehouse workers. The cashiers' working hours are usually 12 hours: some work from 08:00, others from 09:00. Often you can see in supermarkets an ad at the checkout that calls to call if the line exceeds four people - so supermarkets try to save. There are no announcements in “I Beloved”, but there is an agreement with security officers: if they see a long queue, and the cashier is at dinner, then he will be called into the hall. If the situation is critical, then the shift supervisor himself sits at the checkout.

How everything is placed on the shelves

"Everything is logical in the store, so that it is convenient to buy," says Anastasia Chulkova, visual merchandising manager. According to her, the concept of the store is aimed at imitating the European market - comfort, mouth-watering smells and bright colors. In this case, the buyer’s route is built according to the same model for supermarkets, based on the consumer basket, which contains all the necessary and most purchased goods.

The task is to build a route so that there are no dead ends anywhere, and the client walks around the entire area of ​​the store. Here, as in many supermarkets, fruits and vegetables are placed at the entrance. The secret is simple - all this stimulates the appetite, which forces the buyer to put more in the basket than he originally planned. Already from the entrance you can see almost everything that is in the store - the windows are not accidentally arranged obliquely: this provides a good overview. Further, it is logical to preserve vegetable preservation: if the buyer does not take fresh products, then he will probably prefer preservation. After grocery (on a professional slang "dry shelf": cereals, salt, sugar, breakfast cereals, cookies) and alcohol.

One flows smoothly into another: for example, in the alcohol zone there are sweets and chocolate sets, and next to meat and fish there are sauces, spices and pasta. In the center of the store there is a large round showcase with meat and fish (here it is called the "fresh zone") and with sausage cheese and cookery (prepared salads, sushi) on the other hand. Such a placement, according to managers, was spied on the market, it causes the buyer more confidence - everything that lies on the window can be well considered and even tried.

The location of products in the supermarket

Vegetables and fruits



Bread and Baking

Fresh zone

Dairy gastronomy

The drinks

Household chemicals

There is a trick in the backlight: the light with a red tint is directed at the meat, and the blue is directed at the fish, so the products acquire a more natural color and look more appetizing. In the farthest corner of the store is a full-cycle bakery and a small cafe with tables. Here, in an open display case, packaged bread and its own bakery products are sold. "The specificity in Russia is that people want to feel the bread. They need to make sure that it is soft," says the deputy director of trade and points to open shelves.

After that there is dairy products, drinks and at the very exit at the box office - household chemicals. This is generally the golden rule - chemistry, due to its smell, should stand separately. As a rule, there is alcohol at the box office, because these are the most successful shelving units for sale. And not even because you are standing in line and looking at everything that is nearby (although different little things hang here for exactly that reason). The fact is that the buyer can’t get past the cash desks anyway - you need to pay for the goods. And alcohol is no secret to anyone, the marginality is quite high, so the most advantageous place is given for it.

There are no high shelves in the supermarket - the maximum height reaches 1.7 meters, so it will be convenient for the buyer to reach any product. The best-selling items are eye-level - these are the best places to sell. Therefore, distributors themselves often buy such shelf space when they need to increase sales or promote some new product. In addition to popularity, the cost of goods also affects the placement: at the top left will be the most expensive product, at the bottom right the cheapest - this is how a person’s gaze slides on the shelf.

In addition to shelves, the manufacturer can buy the entire rack and brand it. It affects the perception and color: the buyer is much nicer to watch when there is a smooth transition of color on the shelves from product to product, and not when there are lurid spots around. Therefore, where possible, employees arrange products in packages from dark to light or from light to dark. So stand, for example, compotes.

Another factor is the smell. There is a direction of aromatic marketing, which deals with the fact that attracts customers with different flavors. In “I Beloved” they tried to specially spray the smell of coffee, but they quickly abandoned this venture: the aroma was not like the real one. We decided to stop only at the real smell of the bakery. All music content is broadcast from the central office, that is, the stores do not have the ability to independently change the music. They include a calm and one that is allowed for general use. Slow compositions slow down the heartbeat, so the person stops rushing, which means that he spends more time in the store. And to make purchases stimulate bright wobblers - price tags on which, as a rule, the discount price is indicated. In stores, by the way, they noticed that buyers began to really save and count their money. People are more responsive to instant discounts: they’d better buy a product with a 20% discount now than accumulate points on the card and purchase this product with a 50% discount.

Warehouse and expiration dates

Here, in the store, there is a warehouse where goods are stored, sorted, received and returned to those products whose expiration dates have expired. Products are on the shelves. Some, such as fish, meat or vegetables, are isolated in cold rooms. In a separate room, locked, are goods from the checkout area - alcohol, cigarettes, razors, batteries. Only certain employees have access here, and the key is completely kept by the deputy director. In the warehouse there is an office of a security officer who sits in front of a dozen monitors and watches the picture from them.

All products go through a multi-stage control system. Firstly, upon acceptance, employees check all the documents that come with the product, plus look at the product itself, whether it meets the quality and safety indicators. Secondly, there is an employee who monitors the expiration dates of the goods and controls the people working in the room with these products. In addition to the fact that the expiration dates of the goods are hammered into the 1C accounting system (and in this database you can always see which goods will soon deteriorate), sellers themselves enter the expiration dates of the goods manually in special notebooks to always know whether they are fresh. Plus, all stores in the network have a general chat in the messenger, where employees can write messages with their suspicions about the product. For example, some products still fit into their expiration dates, and the packaging is swollen. Then the store where they found this writes to everyone else to check this brand with themselves. The next and final degree of control is a security service, whose employees check the expiration dates of products at night, when there are significantly fewer visitors. Since this year, a product quality department has appeared in the company, which conducts unscheduled inspections of stores with the sending of goods for examination. All spoiled products are sent for recycling.

“In the field of sales there is such a thing as marketdown,” says Mikael Iordanyan. He claims that such a system is not practiced in their supermarkets, but explains that this is a reduction in the price of goods that expire. In general, the product must be removed from the shelf 24 hours before the expiration date. Employees do not have the right to launch the final product in the store, which has less than 70% of the time from the date of issue.

Photo: Ivan Anisimov

Watch the video: The hidden war over grocery shelf space (January 2020).

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