Shelving Profiles: Plan-o-Grams

Shelving Profiles: Plan-o-Grams – By Definition…is

The Plan-o-gram originated with K-Mart[1].  And, according to the Oxford Dictionary,

“It is a diagram or model that indicates the placement of retail products on shelves in order to maximize sales.”

The rest, they say, is history.

When to use them

If manufacturer supplied, they will want you to use them ALL THE TIME. Often the manufacturer may have more items in their plan-o-gram than a retailer may want included or have room for.  Manufacturers have responded with different plan-o-grams that will fit either a given space and/or meet a prescribed merchandise mix required by the retailer.

In deciding when to use them, you must consider several things.

Among them are:

  • The space you want allocated for those products
  • The space desired by the manufacturer/vendor
  • Is it ‘paid’ space, meaning are you paid to provide the space
  • Does the product mix fit your merchandise profile, enhancing your store
  • Is it vendor serviced (ordered, stocked, refreshed)
  • Or is the plan maintained  by your staff

Retailers rely on plan-o-grams to help solve product assortment challenges.  However, many merchants plan their own assortments and the amount of space they want to dedicate.  This is to make sure the product assortment reflects the specific image and type of store they want their customers to enjoy.

How does shelving play a part?

Most plan-o-grams are based on certain sizes of gondola shelving.

Fixture height and shelf depth must match, so to use a plan-o-gram, your display fixtures must accommodate it.  When ordering shelving for a new or remodeled store, be sure you have reviewed the plan-o-gram’s requirements.  A display fixture that is too short or not deep enough will be a problem.  Plan-o-gram products may not be the only products to occupy the same 3’ or 4’ section of fixture.

Other related products that fill out your assortment need space too.  Conversely, plan-o-gram products are used to supplement your own larger category or planned assortment.

My fixture is the wrong size.

What happens if your existing fixture needs changed to accommodate a new plan-o-gram of products?  This often happens and is usually caused by a fixture that is too short or has shelves to shallow to meet the plan-o-gram requirements.

The most common issue is height, so raising the height of the fixture with gondola ‘extensions’ solves it.  Simple enough but you need to know the brand of fixture you have to get the correct extension.  Then there is selecting the right sized extension.  For inadequate shelf depths, getting new shelves is easy, but what if the base shelf is the wrong size?

Again, you must know your fixture brand to get the right parts to convert base shelves.

It’s not over until it’s over.

Now that you know the fixture height and shelf depth needed for your plan-o-gram, what happens if the plan-o-gram is only eight feet of a 20’ run?  Or, three feet of a 12’ run?

A familiar scenario for many retailers, they must decide how to handle the rest of the fixture run.  At this point it may be smart to contact a professional who will provide you some fixture or display solutions.

The staff of Midwest Retail Services understands this situation and is prepared to help you. For more information about shelving solutions for plan-o-grams, contact Midwest Retail Services today. Call 800-576-7577, use our convenient site link, or email us at  One of our shelving experts will be available to help you!

[1] Wikipedia



(Visited 111 times, 1 visits today)

About Midwest Retail Services

Midwest Retail Services provides all the store fixtures needed to start, expand, or update your retail store. We serve a wide variety of businesses including pharmacy, grocery, pet supply, party supply, book, C-Store, discount, and many other retailers. We also support POP design and fulfillment, retail designers, architects, contractors, installers, and store fixture resellers.