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How to Read a Planogram

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A planogram is a drawing that shows where fixtures and merchandise are to be placed in a retail store. It is similar to a road map in that it will guide the setup person, or merchandiser, as to where each item belongs. Knowing how to read a planogram is important to the success of a merchandiser, since it can aid in the speed in which a store setup is performed and will help the project go smoothly.

How to Read a Planogram

Determine whether you have the proper planogram for the store you are working in. Many retail chains will have different planograms to accommodate the various store sizes.

Locate the schematic -- a computerized drawing of the planogram indicating the number of shelves or peg hooks needed, overall planogram dimensions and product information. Also locate the stock keeping unit (SKU) list. This is a listing of all the products and the number of facings, or the number of times each product is merchandised on the shelf.

Locate the lead-in arrow, in the bottom left corner of the schematic. This shows the direction in which the planogram is to be set.

Match the items on your SKU list with the section of the schematic that you are setting. The products on the list will appear in the order that they are to be placed on the shelf. Most planograms are broken into 4-foot sections, which will be separated by lines on the schematic.


Taking the time to familiarize yourself with a planogram before beginning the set will better prepare you to complete the project efficiently. To ensure that you are merchandising the correct product, match the Universal Product Code (UPC), also called bar code, on the product with your SKU list.


Chris Joseph writes for websites and online publications, covering business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing from York College of Pennsylvania.

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