To assist multi-unit retailers starting or improving their retail audit program, Compliant IA regularly publishes how-to guides, best practices and checklists.
Use this sample checklist to create or update your visual merchandising program across your retail locations.
- The store name is clear, visible and well-lit. The address sign or number is easily visible to passing pedestrian/car traffic.
- Store name signage reflects current branding.
- Store hours are up to date and visible.
- External store is well-lit, including doorways, back lots and sides (if applicable).
- The store exterior is clean and free from debris (no chipping paint, burnt-out bulbs, cracked walkways, scuffs, graffiti, etc.).
- Landscaping is well maintained and compliant with brand standards (if applicable).
- Store is adequately staffed to keep exterior clean.
- Sandwich boards are in good repair and feature current promotion (if applicable).
STORE EXTERIOR Windows
- Store exterior windows are in good condition and clean.
- Window clings/signage/banners reflect brand standards including placement, size, and current marketing campaign.
- All window signage is in good repair (no fading, tearing, wrinkles, bubbling).
- Window displays feature the correct campaign and conform to merchandising planogram and/or brand guidelines.
- Window displays are rotated according to the organization’s seasonal calendar and promotional events.
- Window lighting is maintained and reflects brand and marketing standards including a focus on featured products.
- Display supporting equipment (fixtures, shelving, lighting, mannequins,props) are in good repair and clean.
- Windows remain well lit after closing hours.
STORE Interior Layout
- Sales floor layout and positioning are compliant with current company planograms and branding standards.
- Customer traffic flow is aided by store layout.
- Aisleways are free from debris.
- Flooring displays do not block aisles or customer movement. No tripping hazards.
- Displays and aisles are wide enough apart to accommodate strollers and mobility assists.
- First 5’ – 15’ of store entrance follows best practice and is open and uncluttered.
- Quantity and types of gondolas/displays/end caps are appropriate for store size.
- The layout is updated at least yearly.
- Staff have a good view of the store at all times from the main counter.
- Potential blind spots are identified and managed.
STORE Interior Sales Floor
- Store is well lit with no burnt-out bulbs.
- Lighting is positioned for maximum impact according to brand standards.
- Key sales floor areas are merchandised with new products and high margin SKUs (i.e. the area directly to the right of the entrance, right wall, wall behind cash wrap if applicable).
- Key sales floor displays are changed at least monthly.
- All fixtures, floors, walls, windows, and surfaces are clean and well maintained.
- Music is at an appropriate level.
- Temperature is at an appropriate level.
- The purpose of each display is clear; Can be understood in 5 seconds or less.
- All displays have signage including a call to action.
- Displays are not over or understocked and allow customers to interact with products.
- Speed bump displays are utilized strategically and feature new/seasonal/high margin SKUs.
- Promotions are current and consistent with company directives.
- Cross-merchandising for complementary items is implemented.
- Slow-moving SKUs are paired with better performing SKUs (where applicable).
- All displays in “like new” condition.
- Bulk floor displays are positioned correctly and safely.
- Stand-alone displays are maintained and re-stocked daily.
- Special bins or baskets are clearly signed with pricing and positioned in hot spot zones.
- Product is priced correctly.
- Shelves reflect merchandising schedules and planograms including substitution suggestions. Shelves are fully stocked but not cluttered.
- Shelving at eye-level is merchandised with seasonal or high margin SKUs.
- There are no product holes.
- Product is not hidden and is easily found in the appropriate area.
- Product packaging is in good condition (if applicable).
- Product is organized logically by size/color/type/brand.
- Number of shelf “facings” is appropriate to allow an optimum number of different SKUs.
- All product is “fronted” correctly.
- Product is easily accessible (not placed too high or too low). Heavy/bulky products are placed on lower shelves for safety.
- Signage and shelf wobblers are used effectively and in good condition.
- Staffing is adequate so that product is restocked completely at regular intervals.
- The main counter/cash is clean and free of clutter.
- POS display equipment on counter is appropriate for cash counter size.
- POS features low ticket, easy to grab products.
- Signage is attention grabbing and appropriate size for POS area.
- Staff look professional and are easily identified.
- Staff have adequate product training.
- Staff have good customer service and selling skills.
- All staff are assigned daily housekeeping responsibilities.
- All staff understand the industry and customer needs.
- Staff demonstrate product knowledge when asked.
More checklists to improve your store merchandising, loss prevention and operations standards:
- Merchandising Checklist
- Loss Prevention Checklist
- Health and Safety Checklist
Compliant IA is a complete retail execution and store communication platform. It runs on smartphones, tablets, and laptops. It combines task management, social collaboration, smart checklists, action plans, and photo verification to ensure store programs are communicated and executed in time, in full, in all locations.