The tobacco back bar is always changing. Whether it’s adjusting for new regulations or rearranging for new products, it’s important to maximize this space for optimal profitability. With a portion of the back bar being uncontracted space, retailers are trending toward utilizing these areas for product beyond the tobacco category.
Today’s Back Bar is Not Just for Tobacco
In an article by NACS Magazine titled ‘Today’s Back Bar is Not Just for Tobacco,’ Sharan Kalva, COO at C-StoreMaster (a national c-store distributor specializing in tobacco and beverage product) is quoted stating “Today, if a store is being built with a lot of space and foresight, retailers put their higher-dollar items in the backbars.” Health and beauty products, electronics, and over-the-counter medicines are all mentioned as areas of opportunity for diversifying this space.
While there are many product categories to consider when assessing how to best use back bar sections as a multipurpose merchandising area, liquor is a product category that offers considerable opportunity. After all, nearly half of U.S. states allow liquor to be sold in the convenience channel.
Liquor bottles, especially in smaller sizes, are often “high-theft” items. According to RetailResearch.org, alcoholic products like whiskey and gin are among the most shoplifted merchandise. Securing pints, flyers, and even large bottles behind the counter can be beneficial for minimizing shrinkage.
Flavored tobacco bans are already taking place in California and Massachusetts, with other states proposing similar bans. Regulations like this can cause disruption in the spacing of your back bar. Replacing uncontracted flavored tobacco products with liquor is an easy solution keeping back bar space full and maximizing profitability.
Positioning liquor behind the counter increases visibility (and sales), as small liquor bottles make for a great last-minute impulse item. These items have high margins and are often sold in multiple units at a time, making them a great way to boost the average ticket price and improve your bottom line (koronapos).
How to Convert Your Tobacco Back Bar Shelving
As we look at how to make retail space more lucrative in 2023, it is clear that trends and regulation changes provide opportunity to diversify the tobacco back bar.
As you evaluate transforming part of your back bar into a multifunctional merchandizing area, a key accessory to consider is a caddy/corral solution.
ImageWorks’ shelf corral solution is a 2ft wide insert that easily installs on existing IMPACT! ® shelving without the need for hardware. Constructed from durable plastic and metal materials, these corrals perfectly secure items from all sides.
As the c-store back bar continues to transform, stores will continue to need attractive fixtures that offer agility at retail. Accessories like the Shelf Corral are just a small piece of the future-forward display offerings ImageWorks offers retailers.
To inquire about the IMPACT! Shelf Corral, or learn more about other ImageWorks Display solutions, call 800.704.3660.