Merchandising Checklist

To assist multi-unit retailers starting or improving their retail audit program, Compliant IA regularly publishes how-to guides, best practices and checklists.

Eighty-six percent of retailers agree there is a direct correlation between well-executed merchandising displays and conversation rates. However, 60% of promotional display fail to be executed properly. Use this sample Merchandising Checklist for 2020 to create or update your visual merchandising program across your retail locations.

See the updated Merchandising Checklist here.

Compliantia - Banner Ads - Jan 2020 - v8

Store Exterior

  1. Is signage clearly visible to passing pedestrian and car traffic?
  2. Are store hours up to date and visible?
  3. Do window displays feature the latest campaign?
  4. Windows are in good condition and clean?
  5. Are windows well lit with product highlighted after closing hours?
  6. Signage is current and in good repair?
  7. Is someone responsible for keeping signage/exterior clean?
  8. External building is clean and well lit?
  9. Parking, if available, is it clearly marked?
  10. If landscaping is applicable, is it well maintained?

Store Layout

  1. Is the latest campaign setup near the front of the location?
  2. Are aisles free of clutter?
  3. Is customer traffic flow aided by the store layout?
  4. Store is well lit with no burnt-out bulbs?
  5. Lighting is positioned for maximum impact?
  6. Is the product easily accessible?
  7. Product signage is in good condition?
  8. Are wall displays utilized effectively?
  9. Quantity and types of gondolas/displays are appropriate to store space?
  10. Are hotspots used strategically for high-margin impulse SKUs?
  11. Do staff have a good view of the store at all times from the main counter?
  12. Is the main counter/cash clean and free of clutter?
  13. Are potential blind spots identified and managed?
  14. Flyers/cards/print collateral are readily available for customers to take?
  15. All fixtures, floors, walls, windows, and surfaces are clean and well maintained?
  16. Has the layout been updated at least once in the last year?


  1. Are shelves fully stocked, but not cluttered?
  2. There are no product holes in displays?
  3. Product is not hidden and is easily found in the appropriate area?
  4. Is product packaging in good condition? (if applicable)
  5. Is product organized by size/color/brand as would be expected?
  6. Correct planograms were used for the location and category?
  7. Number of “facings” is appropriate to allow an optimum number of different SKUs?
  8. All product has been “fronted” correctly?
  9. All products are priced correctly?
  10.  Signage and shelf wobblers are used effectively and in good condition?
  11. Are heavy or bulky items stored on lower shelves for safety?
  12. Is product restocked completely at regular intervals?

In-Store Promotions

  1. Is the purpose of displays clear? Can it be understood in 5 seconds or less?
  2. Have you employed a call to action in your signage?
  3. Are promotions current and consistent with company directives?
  4. Are all displays in “like new” condition?
  5. Are bulk floor displays positioned correctly and safely? (no tripping hazard).
  6. Are stand-alone displays maintained and re-stocked daily?
  7. Are specials bins or baskets clearly signed with pricing and positioned in hot spot zones?


  1. Does the staff look professional and are easily identified?
  2. Have the staff received adequate product training?
  3. All staff have good customer service and selling skills?
  4. All staff know and have been assigned daily housekeeping responsibilities?
  5. All staff understands the industry and customer needs?
  6. Staff demonstrates product knowledge when asked?

More ways to improve your visual merchandising standards and boost sales:

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