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messy supermarket

4 Avoidable Costs of In-Store Collisions

As a university student, I started a weekend nightshift at the local 24-hour convenience store. Sometime between the midnight rush and welcoming the milk and bread deliveries, the floors were to be mopped and then polished. I learned all about employee-inflicted damage at 3am on my second shift - my first unsupervised attempt with the floor polisher. My next few hours were spent sorting through damaged stock and trying to put a shelf back together.

In-store collisions result in 4 clear and avoidable costs - so in this light, consider where your attention is most warranted in your own stores.

Show me the 4 key collision protection focus points

Damage to Fixtures

My early morning misadventure resulted in a dented gondola end. Not the end of the world, but ultimately replaced. I'm a quick learner and stayed away from the freezer cases for a while - that would have been a very costly exercise. One US retailer, Meijer, found they were incurring an average repair cost to grocery cases of over $1000 per month, per location -  a total bill of $2.7 Million per year! (Check out how they solved that problem here.)

Damage to Stock

How I wished that tissues had been displayed on the gondola end! Instead, a mixed display that included tomato sauce in glass bottles became very messy. Only a few bottles broke - but glass and sauce damage to packaging of other items saw more than 20 items go into the dumpster. It could have been worse... no red cordial involved.

Cost of Labour

Collisions create damage - and the clean-up requires labour. Whether it's cleaning up the floor, shifting stock to a different fixture, or time spent arranging contractors to conduct repairs, there's an unnecessary cost that has been created. 

Lost Productivity

My early morning clean-up had a flow-on effect. It's amazing how many people are buying sausage rolls and hot dogs - but on this day, they went hungry as the warmers were not filled on time. I hurried the milk order, which saw the shop run out early on the Saturday. I lost us sales - and the shop floor still didn't get cleaned properly that night. An inauspicious beginning!

What Can I Do?

There's several strategies to protect vulnerable areas - you can read more about these here. One solution that works well to protect expensive fixtures, such as refrigerators, EAS gates and doorways is a flexible bollard. Unlike standard bollards that use a plate to mount directly to the floor (which then can create floor damage after a heavy hit), flexible bollards absorb the shock and spring back into position. See the video below that shows high impact testing of a flexible core bollard.

Show me the 4 key collision protection focus points

Below, you can see bollards protecting retail assets in higher traffic areas. Corners are especially vulnerable. Just be glad I found a career that doesn't involve using floor polishers!

Flexcore Post 5


Author profile

Steve Nelson believes in incredible retail spaces that sustain communities. Steve is a Retail Display and Operations specialist and has worked with iconic retailers across the globe. As leader of Euroswift Retail Creations in Australia, his focus is delivering solutions and techniques that assist retail hubs in growing and protecting their investment. Connect with Steve on LinkedIn

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