POS-itive ads and odour issues

17 October, 2008

Q I'm offered all kinds of quirky POS material for my shop. Has there been any research done into what works best in off-licences?

A It would probably be an impossible thing to quantify: if your store is large enough, a pallet-load of Baileys by the front door would perhaps achieve a greater effect than any clever shelf wobbler. And a shelf wobbler is only as good as the brand

and the offer

behind it.

One way of measuring the best POS, however, is to look at what kinds of material are most requested by off-licences. Recently, the marketing consultancy HIM interviewed off-licence managers and staff shopping at cash and carries and asked them what sort of POS they were most likely to use. Almost 200 people responded, and although there was no clear consensus, the results are illuminating.

Window stickers emerged as the most popular type of POS, with 28% of the vote, with open and closed signs in second place with 17%. Then came ceiling hanging signs (16%), ticket edging (15%), till mats (14%), shelf barkers and wobblers (13%), opening hours signs (11%), category signs (7%) and floor stickers (6%).

Q The shop

I go to quite often

smells really bad when the manager is working. His personal hygiene is terrible and makes the shop smell of sweat. Who do I report this to

without causing too much trouble? The shop is a really nice place and extremely clean and tidy, but the smell of this man is unbearable.

A It's tempting to say that, as a customer, you're free to shop where you like and you're not obliged to patronise any establishment where there's a bad smell. For this man's colleagues, it's more of an issue, but confronting a co-worker about body odour or bad breath ranks among the most cringeworthy tasks in a workplace environment.

Ideally, it's a job for the man's line manager. The best way to deal with it is

with a quiet conversation . "We've noticed that you seem to smell a little unwashed, and it's being noticed by your colleagues as well as customers - do you think you could take care of this?" is a lot less confrontational than: " You have BO - deal with it immediately or I'll have to fire you."

Remember that there could be medical reasons behind the problem, such as hyperhidrosis, which causes excessive sweating. If so, the manager should recommend that the member

of staff seeks medical help and provides regular progress reports.

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