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3 Types of Audits Every Retailer Should Conduct

Compliantia | November 22, 2016 –

Conducting store audits should be on the to-do list of every retailer, and for good reason — retail audits help you uphold company standards, improve operations, and promote a safe in-store experience.

But what exactly are the types of audits you should conduct and how often should you do them? More importantly, how can you ensure that these audits are carried out the right way? To answer these questions, we caught up with a couple of retail experts and asked them about store audit best practices. Have a look at what they had to say below.

Merchandising Audits

Merchandising audits are conducted to ensure that product location, shelf space, displays, pricing, and promotions are executed as agreed between CPG (Consumer Packaged Good) companies and retailers.

According to Aaron Chio, Senior Manager at Clarkston Consulting, merchandising audits are implemented either by the retailers themselves or by CPGs that want to ensure their products are stocked and displayed correctly in-store. If done properly, merchandising audits – which historically have been seen as table-stake activities – can help drive differentiated approaches in a rapidly changing and ever-more competitive retail marketplace.

When retailers are conducting the audits, they’ll typically assign employees in each department throughout the store, says Chio.

“You may find department heads, e.g., somebody in center store, or around the perimeter of the store, who are in charge for making sure their store sections are in compliance. These department heads are in charge of making sure the store is up to standards, that products are in stock, that they’re maintained with proper signage, and that they adhere to the planograms.” – Aaron Chio, Senior Manager at Clarkston Consulting

CPGs, on the other hand, usually outsource audits and contract third party merchandisers to come into the stores and check if products are displayed the way they’re supposed to.

In addition, says Chio, leading retailers and brands find ways of driving this front-line merchandising audit information and use it as critical actionable insights for the organization.

Leading practices for conducting merchandising audits

When asked about best practices, Chio outlined the following steps for in-store merchandisers to help ensure their audit goes smoothly: