Replenishment Assistant Job Description: Skills and Duties of the Shelf Stacker
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Shelf Stacker Job Description
A replenishment assistant (also known as a shelf replenisher, shelf filler, shelf stacker or shelf stocker) is a person responsible for stocking and maintaining shelves and displays in shops and stores. Replenishment assistants are typically employed in mass retail environments, such as supermarkets, hypermarkets and shopping centres.
The main tasks of a shelf stacker are to ensure that shelves and displays are well stocked at all times and are visually appealing. Their duties include moving pallets of merchandise from the warehouse to the appropriate department or aisle and arranging products on the shelves and display units. When placing goods on shelves, replenishment assistants are required to check best before and expiry dates and to place the stock that is closest to expiry at the front of the display. As products are transferred from the pallets to the shelves or display units, shelf fillers remove the pallets, cardboard boxes and packaging and dispose of them in accordance with correct store procedures. In addition to restocking shelves and display units in the area, department or aisle assigned to them, shelf stackers may have a range of other duties, including labelling and pricing goods and attaching security tags, keeping aisles and display units clean and tidy, helping with stock inventories, loading and unloading incoming and outgoing merchandise in the warehouse and setting up displays and store windows.
The duties of a replenishment assistant may vary according to the shift they work. For example, most shelf refilling is done by evening and night shelf fillers while the store is closed. During day shifts, when customers are present in the store, shelf stackers assist customers by answering queries regarding product location or price and providing information on discounts and promotions. When providing customers with sales assistance, shelf fillers should always conduct themselves in a polite and friendly manner and seek to encourage customers to make purchases.
The majority of shelf fillers are employed at medium to large-sized stores, supermarkets and mass retailers (e.g. chain stores selling electronics, electrical appliances, clothing, furniture, cosmetics, home improvement goods etc.). They usually work in teams within a specific product aisle or area and report to a shift manager or department manager.
shelf stackers are also sometimes employed in smaller stores, where they typically report directly to the store manager. In addition to stocking, arranging and tidying shelves and display units, shelf stackers at smaller shops may also be expected to perform sales and customer assistance tasks and/or to operate the checkouts.
Since shelves and displays need restocking whenever a store is open, the working hours of a shelf replenishment assistant usually include both weekends and public holidays. Night shifts are common too, as shelves need to be replenished overnight in time for a new day of sales. Finally, vacancies for part-time replenishment assistants also tend to arise fairly frequently.
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Responsibilities and Tasks of a Shelf Stacker
The main tasks of a shelf stacker include:
- Filling shelves and display units with merchandise
- Arranging, repositioning and tidying shelves and displays
- Checking best before and expiry dates
- Pricing merchandise and verifying correct prices
- Attaching security tags
- Sorting and distributing incoming merchandise
- Performing inventories
- Keeping store clean and tidy
- Providing customer support and assistance
How to become a Replenishment Assistant - Training and Requirements
There are no specific educational requirements to become a shelf filler. However, since most companies operating in the mass retail market have their own specific in-house strategies and procedures for stocking and refilling shelves and arranging merchandise, designed to maximize sales, they usually organize short training courses for new recruits to show them how it is done, which are usually followed by a period of mentoring by a more experienced colleague. Shelf stackers who will be expected to interact with customers, provide sales and customer assistance or work at checkouts are also given appropriate training in accordance with the store’s internal procedure and guidelines.
Finally, since the duties of a shelf replenishment assistant also include moving merchandise from the warehouse to the various departments and carrying out general material handling tasks, they may also need a knowledge of material handling equipment and vehicles and in some cases may even require manual or electric pallet jack certification or a forklift operator license.
Shelf Stacker - Skills and Qualifications
Shelf replenishment assistants need the following skills:
- Ability to fill and maintain shelves and display units without supervision
- Knowledge of relevant product sectors
- Capable of working quickly and efficiently
- Precision, meticulousness and attention to detail
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Very flexible approach to working hours
- Strength and physical fitness
Shelf Stacker Career Path
The job of shelf replenishment assistant is an entry-level position for those interested in pursuing a career in the supermarket or mass retail sector. Professional development opportunities for workers starting out in a shelf-stacking role include progressing to a role as a shift manager or gaining additional skills and becoming a sales assistant, checkout operator, window dresser, department manager or even a store manager.
Alternative career advancement opportunities for those with experience in a shelf replenishment role can be found in the logistics sector, where their skills make them a natural fit for positions such as forklift operator, warehouse worker and picker.
Top Reasons to Work as a Shelf Stacker
So, why should you consider working as a replenishment assistant?
Two of the major attractions of a job as a shelf stacker are its ease of access - given the absence of any specific educational requirements for the role - and the possibility of using it as a springboard to a career in the retail or supermarket industry.
All sales outlets of a certain size require shelf fillers and so demand for personnel is high in all areas of the country - particularly for those willing to work night shifts. Consequently it can be relatively easy to find work close to home. Finally, the role offers a certain degree of flexibility, with part-time work contracts fairly common.