Assortment and Merchandising Strategy

Building a Retail Plan to Improve Shopper Experience

  • Constant Berkhout

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Constant Berkhout
    Pages 1-11
  3. Constant Berkhout
    Pages 13-37
  4. Constant Berkhout
    Pages 39-53
  5. Constant Berkhout
    Pages 55-91
  6. Constant Berkhout
    Pages 93-119
  7. Constant Berkhout
    Pages 121-139
  8. Constant Berkhout
    Pages 141-164
  9. Constant Berkhout
    Pages 165-182
  10. Constant Berkhout
    Pages 183-194
  11. Constant Berkhout
    Pages 195-203
  12. Constant Berkhout
    Pages 205-217
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 219-224

About this book


“This book provides a comprehensive yet easy-to-read account of current knowledge related to assortment and merchandising decisions. It uncovers the interdependencies between these decisions from the shopper’s perspective, and translates academic insights and experience-based evidence into practical guidelines. A strongly-recommended read for suppliers and retailers alike!”

Els Gijsbrechts, Professor of Quantitative Marketing, Tilburg University, the Netherlands


“Today, shoppers often struggle with endless assortments. Berkhout offers visionary shopper-focused solutions to tackle this so-called assortment anxiety. The book provides both tactical and strategic approaches on how to create more variety without increasing complexity. A must-read for all retail professionals.”

Ari Akseli, President, Grocery Trade, Kesko


“In a time of disruption, where consumers’ needs are rapidly changing, all shops are in need of a rethinking in the way they facilitate customer interaction. This book offers complete support, academically solid yet focused on practical insights, for both online and offline product representation. Berkhout has created a guide to successfully manage the ‘magic cube’ of complex assortment and create value by optimizing shelf space.”

Eric van der Hoeven, Vice-President Growth through Engagement, Danone Early Life Nutrition


“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. Based on solid research but written for the practitioner, this book brings together shopper behaviour and retailer objectives to generate principles that can be applied to all categories.”

Koen Pauwels, Distinguished Professor at D’Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University, USA, BI Norwegian Business School, Norway and VU Amsterdam, the Netherlands


“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.  This book is a must-have guide for those wanting to grow sales and satisfy their shoppers.”

Bob Nolan, Senior Vice-President, Conagra Brands


“Rapid changes in technology, online landscape and shopper expectations call for a new approach to assortment management - Assortment and Merchandising Strategy provides practical frameworks and valuable insights that get you started straight-away. 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, International Retail & Development Director and Member of the Board, SPAR International

Demonstrating how retailers can tap into shoppers’ needs for variety without increasing complexity and stress, this innovative book combines cutting-edge research with hands-on, practical frameworks.


Experts in the retail sector have long been convinced that small assortments are more appealing to shoppers than large selections of products; in other words, less is more. However, the human brain has an innate need for variety.


Addressing this challenge Constant Berkhout offers practical merchandising guidelines both for stores and online retailers. Indeed, studies show that it is not the actual size of assortment that drives traffic to online stores, but the perception of assortment variety. The author illustrates how decisions around assortment and visual merchandising must be made in conjunction with each other, rather than separately, and provides a step-by-step plan to do so.


Grounded on shopper needs, emotions and behaviours that apply to both online and brick-and-mortar stores, this book integrates assortment and merchandise thinking and takes a human and shopper perspective. With practical frameworks that can easily be implemented in real-life situations along with examples from a number of retail sectors, Assortment and Merchandising Strategy provides a deeper and much-needed understanding of how shoppers process information, and the strategies that retailers must adopt in order to satisfy and retain their customers.



Retail Management Shopper Marketing Applied behaviour economics Visual Merchandising Space management consumer stress consumer emotion

Authors and affiliations

  • Constant Berkhout
    • 1
  1. 1.Rijnbrug AdviesUtrechtThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Business and Management
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-11162-5
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-11163-2
  • Buy this book on publisher's site