Merchandising and Multi-tasking

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Merchandising and Multi-tasking

Dennis Moore wears many hats in his role as manager of space management for Valero Retail Holdings. While his primary responsibility relates to creating planograms for the Valero Corner Stores, Moore has picked up several other responsibilities, stretching from Valero Retail's Web site to its annual Texas Open Golf Tournament.

Moore is the person who "turns on the lights" at Valero. He is usually one of the first employees in the office when he begins his day at 6:30 a.m. He prefers to arrive early because he said he gets the most done at that time. After answering e-mails and reading the day's e-newsletters, he starts tackling current projects on his plate.

The planograms are created by vendors and category managers who decide placement of items utilizing Nielsen Co. data. Moore takes these files and updates product UPC codes, makes sure the items are available to order and adds scaled images of the products to diagrams of store shelving, per the category managers' instructions.

After the planogram is complete, he uploads it onto a corporate Web site, where he also assigns specific planograms to each store and alerts them, so they can access, download and implement the planograms. Certain categories in the store, such as beer and beverages, have store-specific planograms created to address the needs of that particular store, such as cooler size, Moore said.

Each area of the store is re-planogrammed at least once per year. During CSNews' visit, Moore was reviewing the 2009 Health and Beauty Care planogram.

When new products are going to be introduced at Valero's Corner Stores, Moore photographs the product and measures its dimensions, so it can be easily added to planograms at the correct scale to the merchandising equipment. With this comes Moore's favorite part of his job -- seeing all the new products that come into the stores. On this day, cookies and bars and were the new items Moore was investigating.
Another hat Moore wears is administrator for E-Planner, an online resource that details what is on promotion at the stores for a given time. To update this tool, Moore adds product images, the proper text and signage. He also maintains the retail Web page on, and updates the Corner Stores' special offers posted on the site.
Moore also helps develop Valero's semi-annual tradeshows, one of which is a road show that travels to various markets and offers store personnel the chance to meet with vendors and purchase items. The most recent tradeshow held in January, visited San Antonio, Houston, Dallas and Denver, and showcased 60 vendors with more than 300 items.

A second tradeshow is held in July, and involves a different approach. For the midseason show, Moore develops a catalog of vendors and items by putting together product images, text, UPCs and ordering info, along with bar codes. The catalogs are sent to stores, and managers can order products simply by scanning the bar code on the page using their handheld scanners and back-office computer system.

As if that's not enough, Moore serves as co-captain for the Valero Texas Open tent, which is a mini Valero Corner Store that is built on the tournament grounds and stocked with ICEEs and Cibolo Mountain Preemium Blend Coffee. Moore sets aside merchandising supplies for the tent, and helps run it during the annual charity golf event.

Having so many different roles does pose some challenges for Moore. The biggest, he said, is "getting it all done." Similarly, he said his least favorite part of the job is telling people something they want to do isn't possible. To succeed in his role, he believes a person needs a good sense of humor, along with good multitasking skills.

The biggest success Moore has had is executing the traveling tradeshow at each of the four markets it visited earlier this year. He acknowledged the appreciation the stores had for the show, where managers told him it was their favorite time of year because they can select which products they want to bring into their stores.

-- Joined Valero in 1993 as a store manager.
-- In 1997, moved to San Antonio to join the company's pricebook
-- Assumed his current position in 1999.