General merchandise retailer Wilkinson is to introduce a space planning system to improve availability and reduce excess inventory.

Work has begun on the implementation of the JDA Space Planning system and JDA Intactix Knowledge Base to help it plan and execute merchandising strategies.

The value retailer wants to localise its offer further with store clustering initiatives and streamline its store-specific category assortment management. This is the first time Wilkinson has introduced this type of technology, which is already in use by retailers including Superdrug, the Co-op and Boots, where its introduction led to an estimated 1 to 2 per cent uplift in sales.

Wilkinson commercial planning manager Phil Barnes said: “It was necessary to replace our manual in-store systems with sophisticated operational and merchandising solutions to effectively manage our increased product offering, improve shelf efficiency; as well as increase space productivity with optimised space and floor planning.”

The space planning system models inventories, to try to work out the optimum inventory for each product that provides appropriate availability while preventing overstocks.

The knowledge base system will help the retailer improve category management and provide details to create planograms for its 320 shops.