Case Study: Maximizing Performance of the Front-End Checkout


Merchandising at the checkout lanes is the most valuable location in retail stores. Retailers are continuously looking for ways to increase the sales and profit generated by this real estate. The Front-End is the only place in the store that every shopper visits on every trip. The Front-End checkout is the ultimate impulse location and the retailer’s last chance to make an incremental sale. It can also define the consumer shopping experience in the store since it’s the last and final impression of the store.

In addition, the retail checkout environment is changing. Developments such as Self-Scan checkouts are redefining the consumer shopping experience. While retailers have adapted these systems seeking labor savings, the impact on customer satisfaction and the shopper experience are also critical concerns.

Most importantly, because there are so many different and conflicting interests at the Front-End checkout, there was an overall lack of effective leadership in managing the space.


DHC brought together a consortium of four major manufacturers to sponsor research and provide leadership on Front End best practices. Working in partnership with seven major retailers, DHC conducted an extensive study of front-end checkouts.

  • Retailers provided UPC level sales data for over 5,000 items found at front-ends in 500 stores
  • Studies were conducted to identify the source of volume for categories found in multiple locations
  • Checkout planograms were collected and stores were audited at the lane level for merchandising conditions
  • Several retailers also provided shopper card data on over 750,000 individual front-end transactions
  • In-store interviews were conducted with a total of over 2,000 shoppers in multiple channels about checkout purchase behavior


The study identified the potential for a $2 billion increase in front-end sales and uncovered a number of specific revenue opportunities for each manufacturer and retailer that participated in the analysis. It also:

  • Revealed new insights to consumer shopping behavior at the checkout
  • Identified key strategies for retailers to improve Front-End management
  • Defined Best Practices in merchandising to maximize sales performance
  • Established the expertise and leadership of the sponsors in the marketplace

© COPYRIGHT 2017 Dechert-Hampe Co.


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