Craft Beer Floor Display Merchandising: The Sales Results Are Powerful

23/09/2020 Use the power of floor displays that have immense selling power.

This Article was written by Jon Reynolds

[Image: Growlers craft beer & ales]

What Is A Floor Display?

A craft beer floor display is much more than a stack of beer on the floor.  A floor display is an arrangement of a quantity of beer. Five or ten cases of craft beer mixed in with other cases of craft beer brands of beer does not make a floor display.  A floor display should also not be part of the normal warm beer section for beer.

A floor display should be separate and apart from the normal warm beer section and the cooler area for craft beer. A floor display should be arranged in such a way that it attracts attention and stimulates impulse sales to customers. Mere presence on the floor does not guarantee attention-getting power.  To be an effective selling vehicle for craft beer, a floor display must have a sign and must be clearly priced.  Signs and price posters are needed if the floor display is to attract consumer attention.

By displaying craft beer on the floor, a retailer directs attention to the beer and suggests by the floor display that his customers make a purchase of the craft beer brand displayed.  Floor displays have tremendous power in influencing impulse sales; they are particularly effective in stimulating add-on purchases of craft beer.  See Sam Adams President’s Day 62 case Display.

craft beer display- How to merchandise craft beer through floor display

The Power of Floor Displays

Floor displays have immense selling power. A study conducted by the Progressive Grocer Magazine back in 1990, for a major brewer indicated that floor display sales can increase sales of beer by 414% over normal sales. This study is consistent with other more recent studies which suggest that floor displays increase sales between 300 and 500%.  Even more important is the retailer’s own realization that floor displays increase sales.  Almost all retailers have had experience with craft beer floor displays that they know themselves that floor displays have immense selling power.  Here’s an example of a Pete’s Wicked Ale former Sales Promotion 20 case display called “Unleash A Whole New Wicked.”

an example of 20 case display called "Unleash a whole new wicked"-  How to merchandise craft beer through floor display

Floor Displays and Retailer Decisions

Every week retailers are offered hundreds (if not thousands) of products to place on their floors.  Since the number of display locations for all food items, in even the largest store is seldom more than 100, not every item on the floor.  This means you must sell the retailer on placing your craft beer on the floor instead of on a crowded warm beer shelf, where every other craft beer is placed.  (Note: This will become increasingly important in many markets as the craft brewery total increase from 2,350 in late 2012 to 2,450 in late 2013—there won’t be many more retail stores built and while craft beer display space is increasing, there won’t be enough shelf space to handle in the specialty SKU explosion coming?).  This means that every craft brewer must sell beer floor displays against all of the other products, such as wine, spirits, chocolate and crackers, that are also available for floor displays.


As in selling cooler and warm shelf resets, you must be able to state the floor display merchandising idea you want the retailer to use and then be able to justify your craft beer and package size against all other products which compete for the same floor space. The floor display merchandising ideas we want the retailer to use involve location, size, signs and type of floor display.  Justifying your craft beer and package size as the best sales opportunity for a floor display usually involves a comparison of the profit, volume and potential of the craft beer and/or package size.

This varies by regional popularity, profit structure, advertising and sales promotion support, volume potential and the local and national trends for the craft beer and package size.  Sometimes the retailer will not believe the sales rep on how the above factors impact sales and they require independent sales data for proof.  In this case, the craft brewer will have to make a purchase of IRI or Nielsen Scantrack data to “prove“ the comparison referenced above.  

Four Types of Floor Displays

Here are the four most common types of floor displays found to promote craft beer sales. The side-stack or in-aisle display requires about one square foot of floor space and can be placed in a wide aisle or next to an end-aisle display of another product.  The end-aisle floor display is a display on the gondola or at the end of a grocery aisle.  An island or spot display takes about 10 square feet of floor space and can be shopped on all four sides.  

 Permanent End Cap Wooden Custom Merchandised area- How to merchandise craft beer through floor display                              Temporary End Cap in Cros-  How to merchandise craft beer through floor display

Permanent End Cap Wooden Custom Merchandised Area              Temporary End Cap in Cross

22 oz Craft Bomber Side Stack-  How to merchandise craft beer through floor display                   Island Themed with Pole Stacker- How to merchandise craft beer through floor display

22 oz Craft Bomber Side Stack                                                                            Island Themed with Pole Stacker        

Floor Display Sales Effectiveness

Not all floor displays sell craft beer equally well.  The key factors that are most important in the sale of craft beer from a floor display are:   

1. Location
2. Appearance
3. Signs and Price Posters
4. Brand or Brand(s) on Display
5. Size of Display

The Craft Brewer looking at a particular store location should attempt to implement “standards” that work well for all types of stores.  These merchandising standards will includes floor displays that are, at minimum:

1. Well located (“A” or “B” position in any given store)
2. Fully stocked (Out-of-stocks are a function of poor distributor execution or lack of brewery supply)
3. Properly Signed and Priced (POS with name of product, large print to read, size of container and reason to buy and price point)
4. Features a Single Brand or Brand Family (This could also include a co-branded promotion with a snack food, chocolate or food item like pizza or brats)
5. Large Enough to Attract Attention (If a normal size is 5 cases, then 3 to 5 times will equate to 10 – 100 cases, depending on space, theme and the price on the display—a $3.00 to $5.00 mail-in refund or IRC or consumer offer complimenting the price will also drive more volume).


The procedure for selling floor displays, the most successful sales reps for craft brewers use a procedure similar to the one presented below:

Procedure for Selling Floor Displays:

► Begin with Promotional Features (Theme or Target Tie-In)

► Outline the Total Impact (Both advertising and Promotion Support)

► Ask fro a Specific Location (Target a spot on the floor or a brand who has that spot now)

► Suggest a Large Floor Display (Be creative in both the features, the decoration and a tie-in with the store’s marketing plans for that timeframe)

► Discuss the POS on the Display (Some stores have special POS requirements, approvals or colors that create consistency and make the store aesthetically- appealing—play by their rules and everyone wins!

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