Transition tips and tricks

Sep 25, 2017
I've been through transition 2-3 times in my area (personal care and OTC) and I think I do a pretty good job of it. But I'm always looking for ways to improve.

What are your best tips and tricks? What seemed like a great idea and really flopped (aka "avoid this like the plague!")? How do you deal with having piles of clearance product?

That question about clearance raises a new gripe for me - why does everything going NOP not go clearance? Some of it, a lot of it actually, has gone clearance since being pulled off the shelf. But wouldn't it make more sense to have it go clearance while it's still in its place? But I guess we can't have things make too much sense! :rolleyes:
Apr 24, 2020
There is a lot that goes into having a great transition before the actual transition.

1.) Have everything mapped well before the transition and pre-tied at least 2 weeks out. This causes the DC to add transition locations to the casepacks, so they're easier to either trap, sort, backstock, flex, etc however your store deals with it. I also like to have the endcaps mapped out early, so I know which endcaps to designate for clearance-I do not like to have to move things around unnecessarily.

2.) Myday is dropping non-carry forward batches up to 6 (I think?) Weeks in advance of the set. You can use these to help purge broken aisles as they're starting to tear. For example, if A35 is broken a few weeks out, I will pull that batch by aisle, so I can get out liabilities before they clearance and hopefully sell them for a higher margin. OR you could use the backroom detail report to show you where your dcode is. The idea is that you never have to pull clearance batches because it's already out on the floor and selling. (in a perfect world). Also, make sure that you have price change done as it's dropping AND that you have the correct flags on it (15% off, 50% off, etc) so that you're drawing a lot of attention to the clearance. When all of my dcode/non-carry forward/clearance is out, i move on to:

3.) When the new stuff starts coming in, I try and flex it where it will be going if there is space. If it is pretied, myday will tell you exactly where the product will be going. I try and keep a printer on my vehicles with labels at this point so I can get the new product out and keep the floor full (PTM=pre-transition merchandising). This maintains presentation and saves labor during the set.

3a.) When the salesplanner freight comes in, I try and set them straight off the truck. When they are planned out, you can address the product and salesplanner right away. For some endcaps, the freight comes in at the same time. If I set the endcap and push the freight straight off the boat, it saves me from having to backstock it and pull it later. Wasted labor for sure.

4.) This is the best time to make sure your backroom profile is correct with your new adjacency. Double check the adjacency and make sure that your backroom aisles are set up to mirror the floor. Ie A35=Section A in your aisle. A36=Section B in your aisle. A37=Section C. Etc etc. If they are not, move the signs around so they are. As you are purging dcode freight and waiting for the new product, your backroom should be emptying out so this saves you more labor.

5.) Set early if you can. Some stores set 2 weeks early, I shoot for at least 1 week if possible. Ideally, the new freight will go truck to shelf. Obviously don't set new salesplanners that are at 15%, but you get the idea. Saving more labor!

6.) Just know that the workload always increases leading into the transition and until the set is done. You get more freight for the set, so your push is heavier (especially repacks in HBA/OTC.) Price changes are heavier than normal to make room for new stuff. Set workload is heavier with revisions, transitions, and salesplanners. You get one for ones like normal, but get batches for clearance and non carry forward that make your pulls larger and etc. I try to keep in mind that those areas that are about to transition are going to need more than a 4 hour shift to get that all done or that you get support from inbound or other DBOs. But not much control that you have over your own schedule here, so.

What have you been doing that feels successful? What do you feel like could be going better when it comes to resets?
Jul 11, 2013
I am the opposite re: transition merchandise.

I back stock whenever possible. There are exceptions - like last year, when products were flying off the shelves - I would flex anything that made sense.

There also was a time when the accumulator was messed up, and sending all transition product to the floor (increased On Floor Counts) when they should have stayed Zero. I flexed since I knew my pulls would be not accurate.

Sometimes all the product in an aisle shuffles around, and I find that flexing the new transition just makes it more difficult to set the aisle correctly. Plus it can be hard to zone or pick - if someone else working in my area.

- Exceptions for stuff like Home Decor - pretty easy to move around candles and pillows and vases. Not so easy to shift around 100 pushers/dividers as an aisle gets reset.

For example, I don't think I would flex out transition rugs unless the aisle was completely empty. Those tall rugs are a bitch to move, and it's easier to set the aisle when it's partially empty.
@SigningLady probably has some good ideas re: transitions
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Apr 24, 2020
I am the opposite re: transition merchandise.
Some really interesting points there.

A few quick notes though:
•as far as bad data after the set, that shouldn't really be a consideration. Presentation team or whoever is setting *should* be fixing data after the set, but at the very least, they should scan the outs. This would help alleviate issues with messed up counts and the accumulator.

•also, when something is pre-tied, you can see the exact new location, ex A35 1-4-6. I definitely wouldn't want my team placing that item randomly in A35 5-6-1. It would need to go in or near the location that it would already be going to. But if there are adjacency changes in the transition, then I would agree that it'd be better to backstock instead of adding to the chaos.

I'm also with you about the rugs. There's probably a good case to be made about flexing out rugs, furniture and other big bulky items all willy nilly. And also for departments like electronics where you have merch protection and such to keep in mind.
Jun 11, 2018
Are you a dbo ? What area do you own ? Because some areas like sea for example it changes every 3 months . The game for sea is always staying ahead with ptm so you have little to no clearance and start setting a week ahead then it will be truck to floor.
Pre-tying ahead will help tremendously When I had my team doing otc transition i walk the worse aisle and start with those first . The order I have them do is not best practice but is most efficient , I have them tie and pull the pogs first ( that way no one says it drops in their 141 and somehow hand it to my team ) then they de merch , clean , set , and psa ( a term I use for fixing data integrity push sfq and audit). Start utilizing the Backroom detail report get your de-code to the floor 3 -4 weeks ahead to sell at their true value . If you have to much clearance start taking endcaps down that have dual location and utilize that ( make sure you are not taking down endcaps that was set that same week , it will screw up your report ) .
All in all is about getting your decode to the floor to minimize clearance in the back or having it all piled up in one section . With transition It is always best to start with the lightest aisle (worse) because that will be the first freight you will get in .as for salesplaners I use the same strategy pulll the pog first , de-merch , set , stock, backstock if any, less steps to the Backroom .
Jul 14, 2016
A lot of good suggestions in here so far.

As a general rule, unless an aisle is changing significantly or moving to a different aisle, I do not de-merch. This is especially helpful when items don't move much if at all, saves a lot of time. Now, if the shelf needs cleaning because of an ignored spill (something I encounter a lot at my store 🙄) that I will de-merch to fix.

Keep in mind if aisles are pre-tied any new merch that does get backstocked will not automatically pull when the new pog is tied/set. This can lead to empty spots if SFC/SFQ is not being updated after setting.

I have found it is easiest to update counts as I set. I update everything I have on the floor already, one shelf/peg at a time. Once the set is complete, I go back and check all of the outs to catch any items that have floor counts but are really in back.

Others have stated this is a good time to update your backroom. My store does not group products by salesfloor aisle in the back, they are grouped by type of product so they never really need updating because they are not dependent on which aisle they go to. Hand soap could change from aisle A27 to A28 and it wouldn't need updating in the back because it is just a section for hand soap.

Having a plan on where to put clearance/decode/nop before you start is extremely helpful so you are not scrambling while in the middle of setting. And staying on top of markdowns is essential. Some areas of the store are lucky enough to have the clearance salvage the week of the transition which is the ideal. OTC and personal care have not got on board with this yet.