Monday, April 11, 2011

Norton's Note -- The man behind the merchandising

Since our last edition of Norton's Notes, some of our website visitors were curious about our head of merchandising, Jim Norton, and his background in the convenience store business. I'd like to take a quick break from the industry info. & advice and peel back the curtain to reveal one of Allen Brothers' biggest assets, Merchandising Manager Jim Norton.

A recent example of a store set by Merchandising Manager Jim Norton
Pictured above, a recent store set performed by Merchandising Manager Jim Norton

Jim has enjoyed an extensive career in the convenience retail industry, but for the sake of reading, I'll try to keep it brief. Norton's emergence into the retail side of business started in grocery in 1986. During his first few years in the business, Jim worked for a food broker in the mid-Atlantic region successfully calling on some of the most prominent grocery chains in his territory. During his time working strictly on grocery categories, Norton was responsible for placement of new items and was an instrumental part of a high-ranking reset team at the company.

Following a four year stint in the grocery sector, Norton then went to work for Wakefern Food Corporation as a sales and merchandising representative. It was during this stint that he realized his true passion for working with store sets and assisting customers in maximizing their store's potential. Mainly working with ShopRites throughout the Delaware Valley, Norton played a crucial role in successfully implementing new products and programs that were customized to the needs of each store. He was renowned for his expert product knowledge. Norton held this position for six years before tackling his next career move at Gourmet Award Foods from 1996 to 1999.

It was not until his move in late 1999 to Heritage's Wholesale that Jim Norton became immersed in convenience retail. With nearly 40 convenience stores to look over in Southern New Jersey, Norton discovered a renewed enthusiasm for convenience store merchandising. Working in tighter confines, Norton's creativity came to the forefront. He developed entire layouts for stores to optimize sales volume. In addition, he developed a program for designating certain "high-sell" areas for maximum product profitability based on category.

Following a ten year stay with Heritage, Norton made the switch from the convenience retail side of the business to convenience wholesale. Since January 2009, Jim has been an integral part of Allen Brother's sales and merchandising team. His past experience in the field as a sales representative and merchandising coordinator made him a perfect fit for Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution. Since joining Allen Brothers, Norton has successfully incorporated his core philosophy of a fresh and well-kept store set being a key ingredient for a store's overall success.

To find out more about what Allen Brothers' can do for your business, contact the merchandising department at, or call 1-800-207-2553 today!

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