Assortment and Merchandising Strategy

How to increase assortment variety without choice stress for shoppers, can be read in my book “Assortment and Merchandising Strategy, Building a Retail Plan to Improve Shopper Experience”.


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Need for variety

Shoppers have an innate need for more variety. The rise of online retailers shows that large assortments sizes do work and one may actually say ‘more is more’. The challenge is how to increase assortment size without increasing complexity and stress for shoppers. This becomes an even more difficult task when you realise that same shopper feels different needs depending on the shopping mission, the category and the retail context.

A key to the solution is the way assortment is merchandised, both online and in brick-and-mortar stores. The book identifies a number of pathways how to determine the size of assortment, measure assortment variety, display products online or in-store, and deliver targeted messages along the shopping journey.

The book offers practical models such as a step-by-step plan for building assortments. With help of clear merchandising principles you improve the visibility of products. The hands-on advices are supported by examples in various retail sectors and a wide number of academic studies. The book helps you to rely less on simple rules of thumb and apply frameworks to build a solid assortment and merchandising plan.


Answers to assortment and merchandising challenges

The book “Assortment and Merchandising Strategy” provides answers to questions such as:

  • How much will revenue grow when I increase the amount of space for products?
  • How can I reduce assortment size without negative impact on category sales?
  • What is the definition of shopping mission and how does shopping mission impact assortment variety?
  • How do shopper decision strategies influence the composition of assortment?
  • How can I merchandise products so that it becomes more attractive and easier for shoppers to search and select their favourite products?
  • How can I identify the shopper decision tree when there are little data available?
  • What is the difference between a shopper decision tree and visual search tree?
  • How can I transmit the desired retail brand image through assortment and merchandising tactics?
  • What does a good assortment and merchandising plan look like?
  • What are universal merchandising principles?
  • How can I select the type of merchandising for each category following a structured approach?
  • In which manner can retailers tailor their communication by considering System 1 and 2 thinking?
  • How will shopper decision-making change as a result of voice-based search and assistance?


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You may find “Assortment and Merchandising Strategy” at your favourite retailer or order through Management



This is what others said about “Assortment and Merchandising Strategy, Building a Retail Plan to Improve Shopper Experience”


“Berkhout offers visionary shopper-focused solutions to tackle this so called assortment anxiety.”

Ari Akseli, President Grocery Trade @ Kesko


“This book provides a comprehensive yet easy-to-read account of current knowledge related to assortment and merchandising decisions.”

Els Gijsbrechts, Professor of Quantitative Marketing @ Tilburg University


“Berkhout does an amazing job bringing simplicity and clarity to the complex and often debated world of assortment and merchandising. He not only makes it relevant in the still large world of physical stores but also in the new and emerging digital world of online shopping.”

Bob Nolan, Senior Vice-President @ Conagra Brands


 “Constant Berkhout created a guide to successfully manage the ‘magic cube’ of complex assortment, simplified presentation and solid merchandising, offering all elements to create value by successfully optimizing the shelf space available for shoppers of numerous categories.”

Eric van der Hoeven, Vice-President @ Danone


“Very comprehensive in its coverage, this book is all about integration: assortment with merchandising, online with offline, insights into shopper psychology with economically viable retail strategy. It is based on solid research but written for the practitioner with plenty of visuals.”

Koen Pauwels, Professor @ Northeastern University, BI Oslo and VU Amsterdam


“Berkhout introduces a number of useful frameworks that help brand managers, category managers and retailers assess the context in which they are competing, identify different pathways for action and make reasoned choices.”

Oliver Koll, Professor of Marketing @ University of Innsbruck


“Best practices from Berkhout’s vast retail experience and the wealth of academic insights on shopper decision-making make this book an essential handbook on assortment and merchandising.”

David Moore, Member of the Board @ SPAR International


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