Ordering Ice Cream when there is not enough room.

At our store, our ice cream section is about six feet short of a standard ice cream section. With that size restriction there is no possible way to put a row of every product in the ice cream freezer. Ours is a coffin freezer (one that you look down in to, as opposed to a stand up freezer with shelving.) We have two mouldings on each side of the freezer to hold the shelf labels, because there is not enough room for even the labels. When it works out, we have one facing of all the products on top. To achieve this there are a few guidelines to follow:

  • If there are any, don’t order more. Really even just one is enough until the next order.
    • This does not include high volume items like pails and economy 2l ice cream. You would have a defined number of facings for these.
  • Use the over flow from one product stack to “dummy up” the low stock items.
    • A case of twelve can be used to create one stack of 5 (typically) and the other 7 would be used to “dummy up” products that you have 1, 2 or 3 of.
    • If you have two facings of something on top, see if there isn’t something else that needs a facing. When you have things stacked up, you might spot something that was used to “dummy up” that is not at the top anymore.
    • There is some “house cleaning” involved with this. gather up some of the old “dummy up” product and make a single stack
  • Order small cases first. Cases of 6 before cases of 12. It means more variety and less to bury when the order arrives.
    • This implies that some cases of 12 will go a long time before they are ordered. There is nothing else you can do. Once the freezer is full another case of 12 will just sit in the back.
    • Cases of 4 (No Name Cones) can be ordered all the time. If you order the flavour you have the least of, you can use the overflow to dummy up the other flavour.
  • If it’s on sale, and you have to order too much
    • If you have too much when you receive the order, it is important to think about what you are going to take to the back. It’s not too hard to see when you are going to run out of room, especially if you have prepared the section when you ordered it by dummying up and burying, you’ll have a spot for each sleeve plus a little extra to dummy up the low stock. Once you decide that something has to go to the back, the selection should be obvious:
      • everything you have out there already
      • one of everything you have two of
      • half cases of 12s (just take 6 out of two cases and make a single case of back room stock with two flavours in it. Before the next order is written you might put out this case. If it isn’t selling well, you might leave it in the back and order stuff that does. If there is lots of room in back, why not. If the freezer is jammed up with stock, lowering you stock level might be more important than improving your variety.
  • Getting your order out.
    • Work from the Novelty end and fill it. Usually the House Brand (No Name) novelties are first so fill them and take as much space as you need. Keep an eye out for things like ice cream sandwiches, which are slightly shorter than the other novelties which can allow you to put your novelties in without turning them sideways.
    • Product orientation (i.e. sideways) though usually important, is secondary to getting a good use of space in this scenario. Do what you must to get a good fit.
    • When you are finished and find you have some space left, split the full stacks and use the stuff under the “dummied up” products to make the section more level and presentable.
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