Research Reveals Major Opportunity At Front-End Checkout


Research Reveals Major Opportunity At Front-End Checkout

Front-End Focus research profiles consumer buying patterns and defines Best Practices for retailers to maximize checkout performance

Arlington, VA, April 26, 2010
– The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) announces that the findings of a comprehensive new study of the front-end checkout will be revealed at the FMI 2010 Show in Las Vegas on May 11.  The study, called Front-End Focus, was sponsored by Mars Chocolate North America, a Division of Mars, Inc., Time-Warner Retail Sales & Marketing a division of Time Warner, The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company and The Coca-Cola Company.  Industry consultants Dechert-Hampe & Company conducted the study and will present the findings.

The research was conducted in partnership with leading grocery retailers representing over 3,200 stores and 12% of U.S. Grocery volume. The retailers provided extensive data on product sales and merchandising conditions.  They also provided transaction data from frequent shopper cards.  The study included in-store interviews with over 1300 consumers relative to attitudes and buying behavior at Regular, Express & Self-Scan checkout lanes.

Based on the Front-End Focus research, checkout sales represent over 1% of total grocery store sales.  The contribu¬tion from front-end checkout sales is larger than all but a few major product categories and even many entire departments. The study strongly suggests that retailers should manage the front-end as a Department with a dedicated manager.

“Leading edge retailers recognize the value of the front-end checkout to their business.  We are working to provide them with the knowledge to optimize their results”, said Drew Wintemberg, Executive Vice President for Time-Warner Retail Sales & Marketing.  

The study revealed that retailer sales performance at the front-end checkout varies widely based on the merchandising practices followed by the stores.  The research defines a set of Best Practices that can help retailers realize up to 30% or more improvements in sales and profits at the front-end.  

“Working in collaboration with our industry partners, the Front-End Focus initiative provides a touchstone to improve checkout results for everyone,” said Tim Quinn, Director of Trade Development for Mars.   

“The Front-End Focus results have provided us with new insights and led to innovative solutions that benefit all the stakeholders at the checkout,” said Ron Hughes, Director, Innovation and Shopper Experience for The Coca-Cola Company.

Dechert-Hampe & Company is an independent management consulting firm specializing in Sales and Marketing.  DHC is a recognized leader in consumer and shopper insights, category and customer leadership, and go-to-market strategy.


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