Spar Innovation Reduces Retailer's Costs

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Faced with resetting the shelves in one of the largest retail sections of one of Canada's largest retailers, merchandisers at Spar Group Inc. found a way to save themselves lots of time - and saved their customer a lot of money.

We couldn't do much to improve on removing and replacing the packages, so we tackled the sorting step

One of the largest product resets in Canadian Tire stores is the fastener section - removing and replacing about 17,000 items, all in similar packaging, in over 400 stores across Canada. It's a significant challenge, which most stores would rather not tackle on their own.

'When we were approached by ITW, the primary fastener supplier to Canadian Tire, we realized this was an extraordinary job," says Larry Deverett, President of Spar Canada Company. "So we decided to go at it in an extraordinary way."

"Usually during a shelf reset, we take products off the shelves, sort the new product line-up and put it up according to the new shelf planogram," explains Jo-Ann Bobier, a District Supervisor for Spar. "Sorting so many SKUs, of similar products in similar packages, was not a job any of us looked forward to."

Spar's innovative approach addressed the problem at a basic level. "We couldn't do much to improve on removing and replacing the packages, so we tackled the sorting step," explains Deverett.

Using sorting trays designed specifically for the job, along with planograms for the old and new shelves, Spar's crews were able to remove packages in the order in which they would be replaced, effectively reducing two steps into one. "We sorted as we pulled," says Bobier, "it worked so well that our reps were saying it made the job more enjoyable."

"This was the most productive reset we've done - the fastest and most cost effective," says Deverett. "Previous fastener resets took about 25,000 man hours and we did this one in just less than 20,000. We planned well."

According to Spar, the 20% time saving translated into about a $140,000 savings to ITW and CT.

'It just makes sense that if we can make our customers more profitable it helps our business too," added Deverett. "We're looking forward to using the new system with other customers in this year's reset season."

About Spar Canada Company.

Spar is a diversified marketing services company providing in-store merchandising, database and research services to general retail, mass market, drug and grocery chains.

SPAR Canada Company
10 Planchet Road, Unit 21
Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
L4K 2C8

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Larry Deverett
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