What it’s really like to be a Coca-Cola UNITED Merchandiser

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Coca-Cola Bottling Company United / Kevin Clark (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)
Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED / Kevin Clark (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Have you ever wondered how the huge Coca-Cola displays at grocery stores are created? Who puts them together? How long do they take to create? To learn more, we met with Kevin Clark—a Merchandiser with Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED in Birmingham—who is responsible for creating the displays you see at Publix, Piggly Wiggly and other grocery stores in The Magic City.

Want to become a Merchandiser with Coca-Cola UNITED? Click here to learn more about available opportunities.

Meet Kevin Clark, a Coca-Cola UNITED Merchandiser

Coca-Cola Bottling Company United / Kevin Clark (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)
Coca-Cola Bottling Company United / Kevin Clark (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

To learn more about what it takes to put together the Coca-Cola displays you see in every grocery store, we spoke with Kevin Clark—a Merchandiser with Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED.

Originally from California, Kevin Clark was introduced to The Magic City while pursuing a degree in Computer Science at Miles College. After graduation, Kevin worked for several telecommunication companies before taking a break to stay at home and raise his newborn son.

“During the pandemic, I wanted to find a job that was a bit more secure. I’ve always been a fan of Coca-Cola, so when I saw someone driving a Coca-Cola truck I asked him how I could get a role within the company. He pointed me in the right direction, I applied online and I was interviewed shortly after that.”

Kevin Clark, Merchandiser, Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED

Kevin started out at Coca-Cola in Classic Foods, maintaining vending and snack machines in areas like UAB Hospital and local grocery stores. After gaining experience in Classic Foods, Kevin saw an opportunity to join the Merchandising team and took it.

“The Merchandising role really appealed to me because it gave me a lot of flexibility. The role is meant for people who can manage themselves effectively; I’m not being constantly watched by a manager, but I have a lot more responsibility. And I get to be around a lot of different people each day, and I really enjoy getting to meet new people.”

Kevin Clark, Merchandiser, Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED

What does a Coca-Cola UNITED Merchandiser do?

Coca-Cola Bottling Company United / Kevin Clark (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)
Kevin standing next to a display he put together inside the Hueytown Piggly Wiggly. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Since Kevin manages the Coca-Cola displays in four grocery stores in Birmingham, a typical day involves visiting each store to make sure the displays are looking as good possible.

“We change displays every week, based on what the stores want. It may be simple, like rearranging 12-packs in our brand order. Or it may be more elaborate—during March Madness, we made an entire basketball court of our 12-packs, complete with cardboard coaches on the court! I just finished creating a cage for UFC made out of Monster 12-packs. We get to put together a lot of cool, creative projects.”

Kevin Clark, Merchandiser, Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED

Typically, Kevin will receive bigger deliveries from Coca-Cola throughout the week. Then, on the weekends, Kevin will typically work in any back-stock Coca-Cola products that haven’t yet made it to the floor. Afterwards, he’ll make sure that all vending machines within the store are stocked—then, it’s on to the next location!

“Looking back, my favorite memory from this job is when I put together a display of a huge waterfall made out of 12-packs. It was really well-done. I took my six-year-old son with me to go shopping, and he was in awe—he asked, ‘Did you do this?’ That’s one of those memories that made me feel very special.”

Kevin Clark, Merchandiser, Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED

Learn about opportunities with Coca-Cola UNITED

Coca-Cola Bottling Company United / Kevin Clark (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)
Coca-Cola Bottling Company United / Kevin Clark (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Does being a Merchandiser appeal to you? Learn more about available opportunities with Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED.

“Discipline is very important for this role. You need to make sure you’re waking up on time, managing your time efficiently and making sure you’re accomplishing your duties in a timely fashion. It’s also important to have what I call a ‘student mentality’—always being willing to listen and learn. Finally, communication is key—being able to communicate with the store, with management and with the customer is a valuable skill.”

Kevin Clark, Merchandiser, Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED

Learn more about Coca-Cola UNITED by visiting their website and following them on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer at Bham Now

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