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   Tops Bulk Department Slims Down
by Tops Markets, LLC
Posted: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 3:24PM EST

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – As American’s are becoming more and more health conscious, retailers are finding customers are buying less food items in bulk and are becoming more conservative in their portion sizes. This shift to “less is more” can prove to be a challenge especially for a store team whose emphasis is the bulk department.

In an effort to not only adapt to the changing needs of the customer but to also stay abreast of the latest store trends in maximizing space while still providing a bulk option, last year Tops Friendly Markets director of edible grocery, Keith McFayden and his team took a step back and analyzed how they could accomplish both challenges with one solution.

“When we looked at the task at hand we found we could still offer our customers the items that they wanted, but be more efficient in how we went about doing so,” said McFayden. “By offering them a variety of “Better For You” portion size containers versus an endless bin with a bag and scooper, consumers can now feel confident in knowing the exact serving size, calories, and evaluate the nutritional facts.”

Better For You packages vary in size ranging from 6oz to 21oz and offer a different approach to what customers are looking for. Ideal for snacking on the go, these new packages were designed to not only contain healthy bulk food items like banana chips and locally roasted snack nuts, but also more indulgent items like locally produced chocolate covered products which better align with consumer trends as well. Additionally the change brought an expansion of organic items into the bulk section with now over 20 items being offered.

From a retail space perspective, the traditional plastic bins that were previously used took up significantly more space. Once store implementation is completed, this new approach will reduce bin size by 47.0%. The goal is to implement 12 foot tub sections (where space exist), which will allow Tops to fully merchandise the enhanced assortment.

“This new approach allows us to be more versatile,” said McFayden. “Products can be interspersed throughout the store - whether it’s on a display near a complimentary item or near the checkout, we now have the ability to have the ready to go containers available at a customer’s fingertips.”

While not all of the TOPS stores have converted their bulk departments over to the new ready to go containers, 60 of the 169 stores have already undergone the implementation with the remaining on the horizon for the balance of 2018.

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Tops Markets, LLC, is headquartered in Williamsville, NY and operates 169 full-service supermarkets with five additional by franchisees under the Tops banner. Tops employs more than 15,000 associates and is a leading full-service grocery retailer in New York, northern Pennsylvania, and western Vermont. For more information about Tops Markets, visit the company's website at www.topsmarkets.com.

Source: Tops Markets, LLC


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