NEW YORK: Brands hoping to drive consumer interest using endcaps, the display space given to products at the ends of a retail aisle, may benefit from focusing on the back of the store, according to a paper in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR).

Among the main findings from the research, entitled The Real Estate Value of Supermarket Endcaps: Why Location In-Store Matters, was that back-of-the-store endcaps had 24% more foot traffic and 30% more visual reach than store-front endcaps.

“Our results suggest that brand strategies that aim to place products on endcaps closer to the entrance might not be justified, because their purported superior effectiveness is not supported by evidence,” the study’s authors argued.

The academics behind this analysis were William Caruso, Armando Maria Corsi, Svetlana Bogomolova, Justin Cohen, Anne Sharp, and Pei Jie Tan, all from the University Of South Australia’s Ehrenberg-Bass Institute For Marketing Science, and Larry Lockshin, from the University of South Australia’s School Of Marketing.

“Although the choice to place brands on displays at the front of the store still might have a positive return on investment compared with simple placement in an aisle, more shoppers walk past and look at endcaps at the back of the store compared with the front,” they reported.

The importance of endcaps should not be underestimated, they added, as they “have become a common component of merchandising negotiations, because it is believed they guarantee higher shopper attention than shelves inside the main aisles”.

Elaborating on this theme, they stated: “Manufacturers value endcaps for the increased physical and visual availability they deliver for brands.

“Retailers also value endcaps, historically using them to sell more merchandise, balance inventories, add excitement to the store, create low-price impressions, help reduce stock-outs on weekly feature advertisements, and offer shoppers suggestions on what to buy.”

Sourced from Journal of Advertising Research; additional content by WARC staff