Placing complementary products next to each other can work wonders for your basket spend. C-Store celebrates Valentine’s Day by sharing some of our favourite partnerships with you.

Think famous couples and Romeo and Juliet, Posh and Becks, or John and Yoko may well come to mind. But there are a whole host of perfect pairings much closer to home. Take, for example, the sophisticated coupling of wine and chocolates the irresistible cheese and pickle or the homely tea and cake. By displaying secondary sitings of one product alongside its perfect partner, you could inspire consumers to pick up more than they planned.

Roli Ranger, of Londis Ascot, Berkshire, has numerous products paired up, including baked beans with bread, and salad cream with chilled veg. He claims that partnering up products makes it easier for customers to create meal solutions. “If a shopper wants to make a salad, I don’t want them having to search the store looking for salad cream. Partnering up can also prompt purchases customers hadn’t thought of,” he says.

“The knock-on effect is incremental sales. We put curry sauce next to chilled meats and now sauce sales are up 35%.”

Roli is so convinced that juxtaposing items is the way to go, he has gone to the trouble of creating dedicated fixtures to secondary site ambient products next to their chilled partners.

But you don’t have to spend loads on fancy shelving to house complementary items. Clip-strips are ideal for locating smaller items next to larger partners. Sunder Sander uses them at his Leamington Spa store, placing beef jerky next to beer and clothes pegs next to washing powder. “Putting complementary products next to each other makes the shopper mission easy for them,” he says.

This thinking is backed by HIM, which states that grouping items together by shopper mission can pay dividends. “Putting parasite units for indulgent snacks by magazines, and keeping soft drinks by newspapers are good opportunities,” says insight director Jill Livesey. “In fact, 79% of shoppers say it would be useful to have commonly-bought items merchandised together.”

So have a browse through the perfect partners we’ve spotted on our travels, and consider what you can pair up in your store.•

asparagus&hollandaise sauce

Asparagus is in season for a limited period so usually sells well, but this clever pairing puts the spotlight on slower-moving hollandaise sauce at Guy Warner’s Moreton-in-Marsh Budgens store in Gloucestershire

beer and lime

As demonstrated on the packaging, San Miguel Fresca is best enjoyed with lime. Jai Singh juxtaposes the pair so fresh limes at his Premier store in Sheffield draw attention to the neighbouring multipack of Fresca

wine&ready meals

Providing complete meal solutions is not only helpful, but can encourage impulse buys. Roli Ranger offers a meal deal at his Londis store in Ascot, Berkshire, comprising two curries and a bottle of wine for £9

pegs&washing detergent

Washing detergent is a staple on consumers’ shopping lists, but clothes pegs are often forgotten. Placing the two together is a gentle reminder to customers, and another clever way to increase basket spend

olive oil&artisan bread

Most consumers won’t automatically link olive oil with bread, so Binny Amin is inspiring customers 
at his Whitstable store in Kent. The oil is a premium brand to complement the artisan bread


Who doesn’t love beans on toast? Product pairings don’t always have to involve premium products. Simply reminding shoppers of a favourite snack can be just as effective as introducing them to a new concept

salad dressing and salad

Salad dressing is easily overlooked in the ambient aisle, but make room for it near your fresh salad and sales will soar. As salad consumers are likely to be health conscious, make sure your offering is a lighter variant


There’s nothing worse than buying wine only to realise that you can’t open it. But there’s no chance of this at David Knight’s Budgens in Hassocks, West Sussex

sharing chocolate and crisps

The Big Night In occasion is a well-established trend, so capitalise on it by putting suitable products next to one another. Sharing bags and blocks are especially relevant, and may persuade customers to upgrade from smaller packs