Leveraging refrigerated display cases as part of your merchandising strategies

We’ve all been to retail stores that do a superb job with ‘shopper-tainment’ strategies that emphasize experiences while shopping: furniture stores that offer trapeze lessons in their grand lobbies, Eataly large format marketplaces where you “eat, shop, and learn about what you love”, even large shopping malls that host concerts and fashion shows.

We know that promoting the intricacies of wine pairings or a marketing a shabby chic table is not the same as selling groceries, where “furniture” is a refrigerated display case. But the fact is that whether in a furniture store, a corner convenience store, or a large supermarket, selling strategies that focus on the shopper are essential to increasing sales and profitability.

With up to 70% of grocery purchasing decisions made in-store, it’s important to leverage the tools at your disposal to engage shoppers with more enjoyable spaces and a faster, more convenient experience. One important but often overlooked part of your merchandising toolkit is the refrigerated spot merchandisers, and there are at least three effective ways to turn your simple displays into merchandising powerhouses.


According to SupermarketGuru.com, shopping has become a mission with less room for impulse buying. People get in, they get what they need, and they get out. That means mixing, matching, and grouping your displays is more important than ever to create unique opportunities for impulse buying. Placing refrigerated displays of charcuterie next to your eye-catching wine display, for example, can help you capitalize on the ‘in and out’ shopping experience; that means carefully selecting merchandising displays that can easily move around and be plugged in anywhere in your store to create “pop-up” displays in high-visibility locations.


In 2019, the average household in America spent a little over $8,000 a year on food. Even in times of economic hardship, consumers don’t consider food as something to cut back on, which explains why the grocery industry has retained its status as a booming sector. Interestingly, the number of SKUs grocery stores sell is down more than 7%, but shoppers seem to have embraced this shift – finding ‘less to be more’ when it comes to selection and variety. This brings opportunity to create customized displays that group items by meals or menus to help your shoppers make the most of the time they spend in your store. Refrigerated cases of meats flanked by slant bins of potatoes and squashes with an end cap of cheeses and sour creams – with the right supplier, the cross-merchandising combinations are limitless.


While shopper behavior has changed a lot over the last year due to the pandemic, what hasn’t changed is consumer loyalty – they may spread their food dollars around a bit, but they still spend about 75% of their food dollars at their primary store. There is a lot that goes in to building that kind of shopper loyalty, but one surefire way to lose it? Inconsistent quality and availability of product.

Retailers are missing out on nearly $1 trillion in sales because they don’t have on hand what customers want to buy in their stores according to a study conducted by IHL Group. This massive number represents a combination of issues, but 49% of it is caused by empty shelves/merchandising display cases and shoppers’ inability to locate items. One reason for unavailable product can be refrigeration equipment failure that causes product relocation or suspension. With the cost of acquiring new customers five times that of keeping existing customers, the price of display downtime goes far beyond the cost of parts and labor to repair the unit.

A simple way to avoid these costly missteps is to require the compliance and testing checklist for each of your refrigerated displays cases to confirm:

  • – Testing has been validated by a reliable testing organization
  • – The units are designed for in-store service with easily accessible compressors and motors
  • – Raised air flow vents allow for mobility and maximum efficiency while maintaining critical temperature
  • – Only high-quality components are used to assure long life and reduced out of service issues

Your merchandising strategies can be complex and multi-dimensional, but with the right tools and partner, your store can customize its way to attracting and keeping shoppers.

Visit JSI Refrigeration to see how we define merchandising success: unique customization combined with industry-best components that help thousands of stores increase sales every day.