PIGGLY WIGGLY SWEETENS SECTION WITH REDESIGN

CHARLESTON HEIGHTS, S.C. -- Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. here has revamped its in-aisle candy section to offer more items in the same amount of space.According to Judy Baker, the grocery buyer involved with the reset, Piggly Wiggly felt it was time to reset the gondola candy in order to get more out of the department."We conducted a lot of market studies and research to see how we could tighten the

CHARLESTON HEIGHTS, S.C. -- Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. here has revamped its in-aisle candy section to offer more items in the same amount of space.

According to Judy Baker, the grocery buyer involved with the reset, Piggly Wiggly felt it was time to reset the gondola candy in order to get more out of the department.

"We conducted a lot of market studies and research to see how we could tighten the space and bring in more items," she explained.

"We enlarged the selection by getting rid of a lot of duplication, which gave us room for newer items.

"In the peg section, we got rid of duplicate facings of the same item. And in laydown bags, where we may have carried three different sizes of one item, we cut it down to two or one."

However, if a store, for instance, had a 16-foot candy section prior to the redesign, it maintained the same amount of footage.

"We were able to put in one more line of pegs and another shelf for laydown products by tightening up the space we had."

To fill the newly acquired pegs and shelves, Piggly Wiggly has added a line of sugar-free candy, as well as additional kids' novelty items, more gummi products and nostalgic favorites, such as Bit-O-Honey.

"There's a lot more selection," said Baker. "And, although we took out some products, overall, I don't think the candy companies lost any major SKUs. For instance, we may have taken three Hershey's out and brought in two."

Although the company finished devising the new plan in April, implementation at store level in its 103 units is still taking place. Therefore, said Baker, it's too early to tell if the reset has resulted (or will result) in enhanced candy sales.

Nonetheless, initial word from the stores has been positive. "The managers like the sets because of the variety they're able to offer," said Baker.