Bare store shelves are trending on social media, as shoppers are stocking their pantries to ride out the corona virus quarantines.
Fresh items like bread, meat and dairy are flying off the shelves, and are proving difficult to keep in stock. Many stores are halting food service
and are instead offering prepared foods as grab-and-go or meal kits.
To meet this unprecedented surge in demand, we have seen our customers react swiftly and with great expertise. Store operations and IT are working together to increase the flexibility of Periscope to allow the forecast engine to process the demand spike and continue to make accurate sales and production recommendations during this quickly evolving situation.
Here’s three ways you can help keep your shelves stocked (as much as possible) for customers during COVID-19.
- To more aggressively drive additional production to help meet these uncharacteristic spikes in demand, consider using the Periscope’s production report Produce Ahead feature for both promotional and non-promotional items. The report will recommend how much extra food you should be producing to meet intra-day and next-day demand and is a great way to produce more product while your staff are in the store.
- Dialing up safety stock settings to higher levels can be an effective weapon against out of stocks by minimizing the forecast volatility caused by the pandemic.
- As your customers’ attention will be focused on staple items in your fresh departments, realigning merchandising layouts to reflect more of these core items and downgrading or removing less in-demand items can help in-store staff concentrate on where the need is greatest. Increasing display minimums is also a good idea, so that you are aligned with more shelf space being provided for these items which will also likely increase their demand.
And from everyone at Invatron, thank you to all of our partners who are working night and day to help ensure our communities are fed.