Organizing the Aisles: How a Successful C-store Retailer Merchandises

Power Market stores in Northern California have enormous footprints and plenty of merchandise to fill the 4,000-4,500 square-foot space, but it’s the strategy that pulls it together into a cohesive and efficient shopping experience. 

Power Markets are so big, customers can (and will) use shopping carts.  

And while most convenience stores aren’t even half the size of a Power Market, there are plenty of merchandising ideas that apply to any size operation. 

Power Market category manager, Ryan Monty, took us on an aisle-by-aisle tour of a Power Market in West Sacramento to show us how it all works. 

“It’s a pretty good size store, much bigger than the convenience store, but like a small-scale grocery store,” Ryan says. So, it does fit the hybrid mold pretty well.” 

Right from the front entrance, the coffee bar and grab-and-go food can’t be missed. This section is straight ahead, and gives a direct path to the cash register for swift shopping.  

“We keep all the convenience store items near the front so people can get in and out easy and fast,” Ryan says. 

Sure, Power Markets are large stores, but the aisles are organized in a way that makes it easy to take it all in. 

From the coffee bar, customers can walk down the right side of the store where they’ll pass grocery-style take-home foods like eggs and bacon, along with milk and juice. 

Then we get to the pièce de résistance, “The Chill House.” 

“The Chill House is something that is unique to us and it gives us the cutting edge,” Ryan says. “I’ll put The Chill House up against any grocery store, because I’ll always have cold beer, cold water, cold beverages.” 

This sprawling, store-width cooler does make a statement. The giant sign beckons you from the moment you walk in the store. And it really does have everything: standard light beers, crafts, seltzer, soda – everything. 

Once you’ve gone through the cooler, you have two choices: an aisle with more convenience items like candy and snacks, or the liquor aisle. 

From there, you head to the registers and out the door. 

The store is filled with smart little merchandising schemes. A small produce section stocked with limes is cleverly placed near the beer cooler. Medicines, like pain relievers, just happen to be stocked near the liquor. 

After touring the store, we noticed a pattern: impulse items on the perimeter, “destination items” in the middle.  

“There are things that people have to have. Cereal, frozen foods. We put those in the middle because they will naturally seek them out. The impulse buys, the high-margin stuff, you need that all on the outside aisles.” 

As a category manager, it’s Ryan’s job to keep up with transaction data to identify best sellers and other trends. To do that, Power Markets use Passport Point-of-Sale to keep track of the business.  

Read more about Ryan’s experience with Passport POS here.