Work in 2014 focused on identifying general merchandise product categories in our Northern Canada markets that needed to be downsized to free up space and capital for Top Categories.
In total, approximately 25% of existing general merchandise inventory was identified for reduction.
The Company incurred $3.8 million in costs over and above normal markdown activity related to the write-down and clearance of this inventory.
This reduction in general merchandise inventory and the reallocation of selling space will continue through 2015.
On the Top Category growth side, plans were started and completed in Food Service and Pharmacy in 2014.
Other Top Categories including Produce, Meat, Large-Pack Size, Grocery, Automotive, Outdoor Living, Core Basics, Baby, Furniture and Motorized, will be completed in the first half of 2015.
These plans will be incorporated into all Top 40 Market plans and where cost effective, will be rolled out to all other applicable stores.