Scrambled merchandising

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Scrambled merchandising is a retailing practice of combining dissimilar product lines to boost sales volume[1].

Scrambled merchandising in which a retailer dissimilar product lines in an attempt to boost sales volume - has also muddied the waters. Drugstores, such as the newly renovated Shoppers Drug Mart stores, not only fill prescriptions but offer:

  • cameras,
  • cards,
  • magazines,
  • small appliances,
  • home decor accessories,

and even fresh and prepared foods.The company is allocationg as much as 75procent of its new square footage to general marchandise such as clothing, housewares and toys[2].

Innovation is at the heart of competitive change. Innovative merchandising strategies and operational tactics are constantly developed to meet commpetitive threats. Innovation by merchants But 50 yers ago, the idea would seem redical because specialised limited-line retailers used to sell fresh produce. WHen grocery shops combined these two categories, they were using a scrambled merchandising strategy, in which the merchant uses unconventional combinations of product lines.Today, the meat department, bakery, deli section, seafooddepartment and many other sections combine naturally in a modern supermarket, And many supermarkets are adding other products and services, such as a coffee bar, bank, bookshop, dry cleaners, shoe repair service, hair salon, photographer, flower shop, post, office and so on. In the same way, petrol stations combine with fast-food restaurants and conveniience stores to offer pit stops for both car and driver. Thesescrambled merchandising concepts are now widely accepted[3].


Innovation by scrambled merchandising is a strategy for increasing sales of existing stores in with new products and services are sold that are unrelated to the store's marchandise assortment[4].

Innovation by merchants is frequently a deteminant of profi or survival in retail trade ans is often at the core of an evolving marketing system. There are risks involved, however, such as nisreading customer interests and ending up with large inventories of unrealized profit. An example of innovation amazon,com, which pioneered theonline bookselling industry in the 1990s. successfully dominated the market by utilizing the Internet and electrroniccommerce, a unique method of distibution for booksellers at the time, to maximize selection while iniizing inventory. Toys "R" Us in the past struggled against discounters like Wal-Mart and Target but today has stronger competition, an onlie retailer called eToys[5].

Innovation includes not only invention but also adjustment and adaptetion. Toys "R" Us responded to the new competition by setting up its own online toy businessoperations. New consumer purchasing patterns may serve as an impetus for the implemenation of innovation as demonstrated by the proliferation of Interne Wesites and online commerce in recent years[6].

Examples of Scrambled merchandising

  • At a mall, a jewelry store might offer clothing items and accessories to attract more customers who may be looking for items to match their jewelry.
  • A clothing store might sell jewelry, hats, and purses to attract customers who might be looking for accessories to complete their outfits.
  • A toy store might also offer books, arts and crafts supplies, and educational items to attract parents and children who might be looking for multiple items in one store.
  • A furniture store might also offer home decor items such as curtains, rugs, and lamps to attract customers who might be looking for items to complete their living spaces.
  • A grocery store might offer items such as clothing, books, and electronics to attract customers who may be looking for convenience and one-stop shopping.

Advantages of Scrambled merchandising

Scrambled merchandising is a retailing practice of combining dissimilar product lines to boost sales volume. It provides many advantages to the retailers, such as:

  • Increased sales volume due to offering a variety of product lines in one store. Customers are more likely to purchase products that they would not normally buy when they are presented with a larger selection.
  • Improved customer experience. Customers don't have to go to multiple stores to buy different products, and can find all their desired items in one place. This makes shopping more convenient for them.
  • Helps retailers attract new customers. By offering a variety of products, retailers can attract customers who might not have been interested in their store before.
  • Increased brand awareness. By including different product lines, retailers are able to increase the visibility of their brand and build a larger customer base.
  • Improved profits. By offering a wide range of products, retailers can increase their profits by selling products with higher profit margins.

Limitations of Scrambled merchandising

Scrambled merchandising is a retailing practice of combining dissimilar product lines to boost sales volume. This practice has several limitations which include:

  • Difficult to manage inventory: It can be difficult to manage inventory when combining dissimilar products since the items may have different production cycles, storage requirements, and shelf lives.
  • Competition with other retailers: This practice can also create competition with other retailers since customers may be able to get better deals elsewhere.
  • Reduced product quality: Combining products may also lead to a reduction in product quality, as the overall quality of the items may be compromised.
  • Product inconsistency: Scrambling product lines can also lead to inconsistency in terms of product quality, features, and pricing.
  • Confusing customers: Customers may become confused when browsing through the store and not be able to easily find the items that they need.

Other approaches related to Scrambled merchandising

Scrambled merchandising is a retailing practice of combining dissimilar product lines to boost sales volume. Other approaches related to this strategy include:

  • Cross-merchandising - placing products from different categories together to make it easier for customers to find them and increase the likelihood of impulse purchases.
  • Category management - a process of managing product categories as separate business units, based on consumer demand and buying patterns.
  • Assortment planning - selecting and organizing products in a way that would meet customer needs and optimize store efficiency.
  • Space planning - designing the retail space to maximize customer flow and product visibility.

These approaches are all designed to maximize sales, profits and customer satisfaction. By combining different product lines, retailers can create an atmosphere of discovery and attract more customers. Summary: Scrambled merchandising is a retailing practice of combining dissimilar product lines to boost sales volume. Other related approaches include cross-merchandising, category management, assortment planning and space planning, all of which are designed to maximize sales, profits and customer satisfaction.

Scrambled merchandisingrecommended articles
Category KillerMass MerchandisingPrivate label productsChain storesDifferential pricingCross merchandisingRange of productsConsumer marketsNew product development



  1. L. Kurtz D.(red)(2009), p.440
  2. L. Kurtz D.(red)(2009), p.440
  3. Brooks G. (red)(2011)
  4. Dunne P. (red)(2008), p.12
  5. Dunne P. (red)(2008)
  6. Dunne P. (red)(2008)

Author: Sylwia Szrajber