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Toolbox: Merchandising and Store Conditioning

This workbook is designed to support effective merchandising in your food co-op and to help you enhance the customer experience using tools and practices that support retail excellence. It covers all facets of merchandising (merchandising principles, product assortment, pricing, promotions, and product placement, with special chapters devoted to unique merchandising issues for delis, produce, and wellness departments) as well as store conditioning (seeing the store from a customer’s perspective, store readiness, as well as systems and tools to maintain a safe and attractive retail environment). Photos illustrate the merchandising techniques described and sample forms are provided to optimize your ability to use the some of the practices discussed.

This workbook is a supplement NCGA’s Retail Basics (RB) training program and the RB 101, Merchandising and Store Conditioning, module. This workbook draws upon standard industry practices, with sensitivity to their unique application within a consumer co-op setting.

This workbook is made up of ten chapters:

  1. Customer Service – how do shoppers see your co-op and elements of great customer service
  2. Principles of Merchandising – what is merchandising and what is category management
  3. Product Assortment – product selection, mix and guidelines for resets
  4. Pricing – pricing methods, consumer perceptions, conducting price comparisons, and pricing strategies 
  5. Product Placement and Display – the basics of shelf space and product placement, basic shelf merchandising and shelf allocation, maintaining sets, and promotional displays 
  6. Merchandising and Display Concepts for Prepared Food Departments – covering tips and techniques for full- and self-service merchandising 
  7. Merchandising and Display Concepts for Produce – merchandising issues unique to produce, building displays, cross-merchandising, and highlighting local food
  8. Merchandising and Display Concepts for Wellness Departments – special fixtures and factors that shape displays 
  9. Promotions – planning for and building on-shelf and off-the-shelf promotional displays, as well as promotional signage
  10. Store Conditioning – systems for maintaining a clean, safe and attractive store and tools to improve store conditioning from opening to closing

Included with this manual (as separate files) are all of the sample documents in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel format so they can be easily edited and tailored to meet your specific needs:

  • End cap planner (excel file)
  • Deli evaluation checklist (word file)
  • Produce pricing worksheet (excel file)
  • Daily manager on duty routines (word file)
  • Cooler temperature log (word file)
  • Daily store readiness checklist (word file)
  • Store audit form (excel file)

Price: $65 for CGN members. 
Price: $75 for non-CGN members.

To purchase this resource, email, or call Dan Nordley at 612-436-9177. (Only cooperatives are eligible to purchase this resource.)