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MERCHANDISING merchandising strategies. Your store should experience and provide what they need. increasing item sales at the same time they
MAKES A DIFFERENCE too. Customers are accustomed to shopping It Promotes Repeat Shopping—Turning lower prices. Studies show that by simply
Disciplined Merchandising Strategies in stores that practice good merchandising. shoppers into repeat shoppers is critical. moving a product from a shelf location to a
Merchandising makes three important con- From mass impulse displays in power aisles Experts on the subject of store loyalty say promotional location, sales can double or
tributions to a retail store. It increases sales, to feature endcaps packed with special mer- that customers who are most likely to come even triple. This gives your store the flexi-
it improves profitability and it helps control chandise, there’s no reason why independent back are those who made a recent purchase, bility to make strategic pricing decisions.
expenses. It increases sales by making a retailers should not take advantage of the who buy frequently and who spend the most It Increases Your Sales Per Customer—
store appealing to customers. It improves merchandising techniques that trigger addi- money. With all of the competition for con- An attractive merchandise arrangement
profitability by generating more margin dol- tional sales. sumer dollars, prime opportunities for stimulates extra sales and impulse purchas-
lars. And it controls costs by improving growth comes from bringing existing cus- es. This boosts your sales per customer,
employee and salesfloor productivity. In 1. How Merchandising tomers back more often and giving them which makes your sales record run well
doing so, merchandising touches almost Appeals to Customers reasons to buy more each time. above the national averages. But for mer-
every aspect of how your store conducts It Makes Shopping Easier—The first chandising to be fully effective, shelves,
business on a daily basis. Like advertising aspect to merchandising is how it can be 2. How Merchandising hooks, bins, feature endcaps, dump bins and
and inventory management, in order to be used to attract customers—making shopping Improves Store Profitability all the other display areas must be full.
successful, retailers need to plan and exe- easier for them and giving them reasons to It Enhances a Store’s Price Image—Many Stockouts aren’t allowed. It takes only one
cute merchandising techniques. This section come back often and spend more money. independent hardware and home center experience of not finding the items they
will help you understand why merchandis- Underlying any merchandising plan should retailers battle a perception among con- need for do-it-yourselfers to shop else-
ing is so important to your store and what be the understanding that many consumers sumers that they are high-priced. This is a where. Full displays mean accurate invento-
you can do to help your store develop better no longer consider shopping fun. A retail- perception that is heightened by the pres- ry tracking and appropriate ordering levels.
merchandising practices. er’s challenge is to use merchandising to ence of big-box competition. The independ- Promotes Self-Service Shopping—You
take the hassle out of shopping. ents’ challenge is not to under price com- can only wait on one customer at a time, but
It Creates Customer Loyalty—The reason petitors, but to convince consumers that many customers can serve themselves at the
THE IMPORTANCE OF do-it-yourselfers choose a certain store they are priced competitively for the value same time from the displays you build. This
MERCHANDISING depends on what they are looking for at and service they offer. At the same time, frees up your time to spend with customers
Customers Expect Good the time. Discount store purchases tend to they must protect profit margins and gener- selling more extensive projects and higher
Merchandising be products needed for light home repair ate resources to grow. Merchandising can end merchandise.
Taking maximum advantage of the benefits of jobs that are picked up while shopping for play a large role in helping your store devel-
merchandising demands discipline and plan- other merchandise. Warehouse home cen- op a value priced image. With skilled use of 3. How Merchandising Helps
ning. Skilled merchandising is hard work. It ter purchases lean more toward major product selection, display and pricing, it can Increase Productivity
requires daily attention to detail. Competitive remodeling projects. Consumers shop suggest to consumers that they can, indeed, It Increases Salesfloor Productivity—One
pressure demands disciplined merchandising. where they feel certain they can find the find good prices in independent stores. way retail companies can control costs is by
Big-box home improvement centers, discount merchandise they want, and they are gen- It Allows Retailers to Make Strategic improving the productivity of salesfloors
stores and even supermarkets selling home erally very loyal customers when hard- Pricing Decisions—Merchandising can also and employees. Productivity improves when
improvement products practice disciplined ware stores can create a pleasing shopping help retailers protect operating margins by the same salesfloor square footage and the
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Organization is Key
same number of employees generate more problems, plan projects and go home with track is not practical. It is a double width
Most stores are departmentalized, and cus-
sales. Merchandising affects virtually all of all the items needed for their project. And aisle that runs the full length of the store.
tomers are accustomed to shopping this
the measurements of retail productivity, that’s what you should be concentrating Departmental Cross Aisles—These aisles
way. They like organized stores, and most
including average transaction, sales per on—answering questions, solving problems, feed off of the power aisle. The power aisle
like to be able to find merchandise quickly
square foot, gross margin per square foot, selling related items. You should not simply gives exposure to most major departments
and easily on their own, even if they need
sales per employee, gross margin per direct traffic—that’s what signs and other through the use of feature endcaps and pro-
help from a store sales associate. All of the
employee, payroll costs as a percent of sales merchandising techniques do. Many cus- vides room for impulse or promotional mass
elements of merchandising, when working
and as a percent of margin. tomers truly need help. Yet, there are times displays in the center of the aisle. It makes
together, will help accomplish this.
It Enhances Sales—Merchandising can when customers don’t need and don’t want maximum use of display area.
suggest related purchases at the point of help. They know what they want and only Project Centers and Demonstration
sale and impulse purchases in a power aisle need to know where to find it. 1. Salesfloor Layout Areas—These areas can be developed with
or at the checkout. Merchandising should It Makes Retail Selling More Grid Layout—This is the simple, tradition- any salesfloor layout. They can be used for
complement the efforts of salespeople by Rewarding—Rushing around the salesfloor al layout for hardware/home improvement classes, workshops or product demonstra-
organizing the store, suggesting project to make small sales can be frustrating. stores, with straight cross aisles leading off tions as well as collection points for how-to
ideas, reminding customers of forgotten Effective merchandising frees you for activ- one or more main aisles into departments. videos, books and other kinds of take-home
items, promoting special buys and seasonal ities that challenge your selling skills. This layout is neat and makes good use of project and product information. These
items and providing self-shopping informa- It Gives You Time to Develop New space. Its main drawback is that it does not areas should present products related to
tion while allowing employees to give full Skills—Self-service displays give you time put the maximum amount of product in projects and focus attention on promoted
attention to customers who need their help. to involve yourself with other retailing front of customers. merchandise. Signing should suggest proj-
It Complements Advertising—Some of the activities, which increases the speed of your Loop/Racetrack Layout—This layout has ects, explain product features, benefits and
factors that go into improving salesfloor pro- advancement within the company. the main traffic aisle circling the salesfloor. price and highlight the value of home
ductivity include stock turns by department, It gives every major department exposure improvement projects. People want to par-
product line and item, peak selling periods for on the main aisle. It moves customers ticipate in Shopping, and classes, clinics
each department and customer traffic pat- THE ELEMENTS OF through the store and lets them see mer- and demonstrations appeal to this desire.
terns. Gathering this information for each MERCHANDISING chandise in more departments. It provides Cube Display—This is another way smaller
store provides guidance on what items to pro- There’s More to Merchandising Than more locations for endcaps, which helps stores can get the maximum amount of mer-
mote, when to promote them and how to mer- You Might Realize create a value price image. chandise on the salesfloor. It means using
chandise the items on promotion. Merchandising is much more than attractive Diagonal Layout—This is a modification of higher fixtures with careful attention to the
displays. It incorporates salesfloor design, the loop/racetrack layout and can be effective kinds of merchandise displayed on higher
4. How Merchandising Makes product selection, product presentation, in smaller stores. It creates several triangular shelves. An effective way to use cube dis-
Your Job Easier pricing and interior signing. Merchandising areas in the store and pulls customers to cor- play is to put the higher fixtures in the back
It Helps Provide Better Customer is the effective use of products, display fix- ners they might otherwise miss. of the store to make more merchandise visi-
Service—It is your knowledge, experience tures, space, color, lighting and signing to Power Aisle—This design works well for ble from the front and lead customers
and selling skills that help customers solve encourage customers to buy. smaller salesfloors where a loop or race- through the store.
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2. Interior Signing 3. Departmental Organization/ • Lawn sprinklers and garden hose 6. Use of Lighting
Makes Shopping Easier—Signing is key C ross Merchandising • Plungers and liquid drain cleaners Setting the Mood—Lighting does more
to making shopping easier for customers Cross merchandising is when you display • Garden gloves and shovels than let customers find their way through
and giving them information to make intel- products together that are used together in • Batteries and flashlights the store. It sets a mood and creates a shop-
ligent buying decisions. Signs keep cus- projects. This is especially effective for relat- ping environment. Bright, well-lighted
tomers in the store longer, move them from ed items normally stocked in different depart- 4. Use of Space stores are more appealing than dark, poorly-
department to department and suggest more ments. Cross-aisle merchandising is display- Making Productive Use of Space— lighted ones.
items to purchase. In addition to department ing related merchandise on facing shelves. Merchandising should organize products to Drawing Attention—Lighting can draw
and aisle signs, shelf and product signs can Why Cross Merchandising Works make the most productive use of space. This attention to feature departments and high-
convey shopping information. • Customers want convenience and one-stop involves setting shelves at heights that will light special areas of the store. It can
Provides Information—Signs should tell shopping. clear merchandise but not waste space, enhance the color and appearance of mer-
price, savings, features, benefits and uses of • Cross merchandising suggests related items. adjusting hooks and bins to the size of the chandise. For maximum effect, lighting
products. They can create urgency by iden- • It organizes products the way they are used. item and fitting long- and short-handled should be replaced on a regular basis and
tifying items as one-time-only bargains or • It can suggest better quality items. items together. before bulbs burn out. Fixtures should be
closeouts. They should be neat, easily read, • It appeals to consumers’ desire to save time. Determining Which Products to Put cleaned every time lighting is changed.
eye catching and informative. Informational • It makes shopping easier. Where—Retailers advertise products they
signs should describe the product, state its • It gives customers project information. think customers want. That same idea 7. Mass Displays
price, identify advertised items, flag new How to Use Cross Merchandising for should govern what items are put in prime Enhancing Price Image—Mass displays
items, etc. In addition to giving customers Best Results display space in the store. Keep the best dis- help enhance a store’s price image. In the
instantaneous information, item/price signs • Look for opportunities to combine prod- play area for high-demand, fast-moving consumer’s mind, high volume equals low
help establish a value price image ucts from different departments. products. Putting slow-movers in prime price. Mass displays put a high volume of
Department Signs—These signs should be • Take advantage of seasonal projects. space won’t make them sell faster; it will merchandise in front of the customer, with
visible from the front of the store to help • Promote common household repair and only suggest to customers that the merchan- its accompanying message of economy and
time-pressed customers quickly find what maintenance projects. dise they want is in another store. value pricing. Dump bins, feature endcaps,
they are looking for. Departmental signs are • Display the pairs in the department where movable racks, stack displays and special
different from decor and point-of-sale signs. customers are most likely to go first. 5. Use of Color promotional areas are the vehicles for effec-
They should be a regular part of your mer- • Look for vendor planograms that take Attracting with Color—Color attracts cus- tive mass displays.
chandise arrangement. They help any store, advantage of cross merchandising. tomer attention, whether the color is in the Displaying Loss Leaders—Placing low-
but they are essential on any salesfloor that • Use informative signing to compare bene- packaging or in the product itself. Try to priced, loss-leader items in the front of the
is 5,000 square feet or larger. fits of good-better-best quality and remind take advantage of color in organizing dis- store adds to a low-price image. The first
endcaps.jpg customers of items that complete projects. plays. Surrounding color—walls, fixtures, items customers see are the bargains.
Some Good Products to Cross etc.—should compliment the merchandise; Products that are good candidates for mass
Merchandise Together it should not distract customer attention display include bagged goods, stackable
• Electric trimmers and extension cords away from products and packages. items, consumables, special buys, seasonal
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items, advertised specials and closeouts. from shelves. • They expect to see sharp prices on the
• Check shelf labels and price stickers to be TYPES OF DISPLAYS merchandise displayed there.
8. Interactive Technology sure they are neat, clean, complete and cur- Many Different Techniques—One Goal • They promote seasonal products.
Creating Fun and Excitement—Putting rent. There are various types of displays that you • They highlight fashion items such as
some fun and excitement in shopping appeals • Check displays for orphan items and use every day in your merchandising housewares and decorating products.
to customers, especially younger customers empty packages. Orphans are items that are efforts. They include endcaps, dump bins, • They help close out overstocked inventory.
who are accustomed to computers and other in the wrong place, usually left by a cus- checkout and service counter displays, • They promote projects.
kinds of technology. They are willing to use tomer who picked up an item in one depart- rolling racks and bulk stack displays. Each • They draw customers off the power aisle
interactive computer kiosks and touch-screen ment and left it in another. Empty packages one plays a unique role in a store’s overall and into departments.
computers on the salesfloor to get informa- should be removed and inventory merchandising efforts, and each has the • They help you develop a competitive price
tion, to plan their own projects and to find out checked—they could be a warning that a ability to dramatically increase sales of the image.
about product availability and even place shoplifter has been at work. products merchandised in them. • They appeal to customers’ desire to save
their own special orders. • Check displays for shopworn or torn pack- They All Work Together time and money.
Making You More Productive— aging and remove it. Customers view dam- All the different types of displays in your • They suggest home improvement ideas.
Technology is not a replacement for knowl- aged packaging as old or damaged goods. It store work in conjunction with one another Effectiveness of Endcaps Depends on
edgeable salespeople, but it can make your contributes to a perception that the store is to provide a better and more organized • The display's attractiveness.
job more productive. Interactive programs not current in its product selection. shopping environment for your customers. • The seasonal nature of the merchandise.
that produce a list of tools and materials for • Make sure displays are full and organized. They can help stimulate impulse purchases • Location in the store.
a project or an electronic version of how-to It is not a good idea to shift the height of and give your store a better price image. • Relationship to surrounding merchandise.
project brochures both lead customers to shelves or the position of hooks to cover • Price.
make purchases of all the items they need to empty displays. This can destroy the organi- 1. Endcap • How well it has been advertised or
complete a project. zation and eye appeal of a display and make What It Is—The displays at the end of p r o m o t e d.
it difficult for customers to find the items each gondola run, called feature ends or • Ease of accessibility.
9. Housekeeping they want. The best solution is to review endcaps, are highly effective. Whether or How to Use Feature Endcaps for
A Daily Plan—Careful and regular house- inventory order quantities and make sure not endcaps are signed for special pricing, Best Results
keeping creates a bright, clean, cheerful, displays are never empty. consumers assume the items stocked on • Promote price specials.
uncluttered salesfloor. It helps customers • Dust merchandise on a regular basis, espe- them are on sale. Some manufacturers cre- • Promote special buys.
find the items they are looking for and it cially in departments where women fre- ate displays with endcaps in mind, while • Choose low-priced consumables.
improves the store’s in-stock image. Typical quently shop and that have a fashion ele- many wholesalers have special programs • Promote new items.
housekeeping chores include: ment. Dusty merchandise equates to old, that offer endcap displays and a seasonal • Call attention to seasonal items.
• Clear aisles of obstacles such as boxes and out-of-date merchandise. rotation schedule. • Tie in with advertised specials.
totes being unpacked. Why Feature Endcaps Work • Mass display items to clear out overstocks.
• Make sure there are no sharp items, • Consumers expect to see endcaps in a • Display related items, including how-to
loose cord or cable or boxes protruding retail store. information.
• Develop project themes.
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• Limit the number of items to two or three. • Choose items that customers use everyday. They are generally made of cardboard and are • Kitchen sponges
• Choose related items. • Choose consumable products. supplied by manufacturers. • Car wash mitts
• Design displays to increase customer con- • Choose low-ticket items. Why Temporary/Disposable
venience. • Choose items that can be sold for a very Dump Bins Work 4. Checkout Display
• Design signing to inform customers. good price. • They produce significant sales increases. What It Is—Checkout displays are
• Change frequently on a rotating schedule. • Choose items that can be easily picked up. • They create a sense of urgency. impulse-driven displays that remind cus-
• Place a TV with a video demonstrating the • Promote special one-time buys. • They focus on seasonal products. tomers of something they might have for-
product on the endcap display surrounded • Promote seasonal items. • They project the image of a special price gotten. They can either be contained in a
by the product so shoppers can see how to • Look for project starters to promote. that will not last long. cardboard merchandiser, placed in wire
use the item. • Use colorful items to attract attention. • They appeal to consumers’ desire to save racks or peg hooks next to the checkout
• Fill the dump bin with a single product money and time. counter or placed directly on the sales
2. Permanent Dump Bin and keep it full. • They contribute to a competitive price counter.
What It Is—Permanent dump bins are • Use signs to suggest a special sale or image. Why Checkout Displays Work
power aisle displays that should be used to blowout price. • They promote extra bargains in the power • Everyone who comes into the store passes
merchandise one-time special buys or close- • Change the product selection frequently. aisle. the checkout on the way out.
outs. They are generally made of wire so • Tie in with advertised specials. • They make shopping more enjoyable and • Checkout counter displays remind cus-
the color in the product packaging can help Good Items to Use in a Permanent Dump fun. tomers of something they may have forgotten.
attract additional attention. Bin How to Use Temporary/Permanent Dump • They promote impulse sales.
Why Permanent Dump Bins Work • Duct tape Bins for Best Results • They put products within easy reach.
• They create a sense of urgency to buy at a • Work gloves • Choose seasonal products. • They create a sense of urgency.
value price. • Painters tape • Choose low-ticket items. • They turn an unattractive backside of a
• They promote a closeout type sale. • Shop towels • Choose items that can be easily picked up. checkout counter into prime selling area.
• They promote a special deal the retailer is • Steel wool • Limit product selection to two or three • They appeal to consumers’ urge to save
passing on to customers. • Paint brush items. money.
• They focus on products that customers can • Extension cords • Keep the display full and neat. • They add excitement to shopping.
use everyday. • Safety goggles • Use signs to suggest a special sale. How to Use Checkout Displays for Best
• They project the image of a special price • Trash bags • Change the product selection frequently. Results
that will not last long. • If the dump bin becomes damaged or • Choose items that excite consumer interest.
• They contribute to a competitive price 3. Temporary Dump Bin worn, replace it. • Choose impulse items.
image. What It Is— Like permanent dump bins, Good Items to Use in a • Choose consumable items.
• They appeal to consumers’ desire to save temporary dump bins are power aisle displays Temporary/Disposable Dump Bin • Choose items most customers recognize
time and money. that should be used to merchandise one-time • Plant fertilizer and use.
How to Use Permanent Dump Bins for special buys or closeouts. The difference is • Garden gloves • Choose low-priced items.
Best Results that their disposable nature suggests a limited • Wasp/hornet killer • Choose items that will not be damaged by
• Choose products that have broad appeal. time offer, which appeals to bargain hunters. • Hose nozzles handling.
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• Keep merchandise off the checkout count- money and time. moved from place to place on the salesfloor
er; use the display area at the front of the • They add interest to shopping. to make productive use of limited space. 7. Stack Displays
checkstand. • They create a sense of urgency. Why Rolling Racks with Signs Work What It Is—Stack displays consist of any
Good Items to Use for Checkout Displays How to Use Service Counter Displays for • Rolling racks highlight related products in display where the merchandise is simply
• Duct Tape Best Results high-visibility areas. stacked on the salesfloor. It can include
• Work Gloves • Choose items that are small. • They make productive use of small space. products in boxes, bags or nested together
• WD-40 • Choose items that are not likely to be • They are adaptable; they can be used any- (such as trash cans.) It is one of the easiest
• Batteries knocked off or spilled. where in the store, even outside. display methods to use.
• Extension Cords • Choose items that will not be damaged by • They display several different products but Why Stack Displays Work
• Candy handling. require minimum inventory. • They bring excitement and urgency to
• Snack Food • Choose impulse items. • They can be moved easily and frequently. large items and big-ticket merchandise.
• Choose consumable items. • They create a sense of urgency when used • They put lots of product in a small amount
5. Service Counter Display • Choose items most customers recognize in different locations. of space.
What It Is—Like checkout displays, serv- and use. • They can be effective with seasonal and • They focus consumer attention on the
ice counter displays are impulse-driven dis- • Choose items that relate to the type of everyday products. product.
plays that remind customers of something service being offered. • They appeal to consumers’ desire to save • They create an image of value.
they might have forgotten. Since customers • Position items carefully—where con- money and time. • They enhance a store’s price image.
often spend time waiting at the service sumers will see them but where they will How to Use Rolling Racks for • They require no special fixtures, although
counter for a service to be performed, these not be in the way. Best Results platforms could be used.
displays usually consist of a plastic or card- • Consider items that need a little explana- • Choose related products. • They appeal to consumers’ desire to save
board merchandisers or items placed direct- tion to generate questions that would result • Choose products that are easily picked up. money and time.
ly on the service counter. in sales. • Choose products that are relatively low • They put excitement in shopping.
Why Service Counter Displays Work Good Products to Use in Service priced. How to Use Stack Displays for Best Results
• Displays suggest an additional purchase. Counter Displays • Combine impulse items with needed items. • Choose bagged or boxed items.
• They remind customers of something they • WD-40 • Keep the racks in high-traffic, high-visibil- • Use colorful packaging to catch attention.
may have forgotten. • Key Chains ity locations. • Choose unpackaged items that stack con-
• They give customers something to look at • Lock Deicer • Use signs to increase sense of urgency. veniently.
and think about while they wait. • Safety Goggles Good Products to Use in a • Choose items that require assembling and
• They may suggest another project. • Utility Knife Rolling Rack Display set them up.
• They may generate conversation that can • Tape Rules • Choose seasonal items for special pro-
lead to another sale or future project. 6. Rolling Rack • Hammers motions.
• They put products within easy reach. What It Is—As the name suggests, rolling • Compound Snips • Tie in displays with advertised specials.
• They can turn empty counter space into racks are display units on wheels, usually • Files Good Products to Use in a Stack Display
productive selling area. consisting of a steel frame with several • Sanding Tools • Lawn Fertilizer
• They appeal to customers’ desire to save shelves made of wire. They are easily • Diagonal Cutters • Trash Cans
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• Rock Salt dising for items such as door locksets, entry • Organize service items as they will be used,
• Lawn Mowers DEPARTMENTAL sets, dead bolts, chain door guards, etc. putting related items close to each other.
• Barbecue Grills MERCHANDISING TIPS • Create a home security department. • Combine vertical and horizontal merchan-
• Dog Food Different Departments Have Different dising for fittings and repair parts that are
Needs 2. Hand and Power Tools made of several materials and come in
8. Vignettes Each core department in a hardware/home Shoppers like to handle tools. They need many sizes.
What It Is— A Vignette (also called a store- improvement store has special merchandising information about how to use tools properly • Coordinate water systems and pumps with
within-a-store display) presents products the needs. This is due to the types of products and safely and suggestions about appropri- installation tools and materials.
way consumers want to buy them. Vignettes stocked in each department as well as the ate accessories. This department should • Provide how-to information on common
add color and interest and enhance your store types of customers visiting these departments. focus on how tools are used and what household repair projects.
image. Vignettes sell more than merchandise; For example, your plumbing department accessories should be used with them.
they sell ideas and the desire to own by simu- might be very masculine in nature to attract Merchandising Tips 4. Electrical
lating a home setting. professional plumbing contractors. Your paint • Space tools so there is enough room for Electrical combines impulse items such as
Why Vignettes Work department, on the other hand, probably has customers to take them off the display. light bulbs with service items such as
• How-to merchandising gives customers more of a decorative look and feel to attract • Use vertical merchandising to show differ- wiring devices. Merchandising considera-
ideas and suggestions on how to carry out more female shoppers. Understanding the ent models in each tool category. tions include bulk versus packaged items,
the ideas. various merchandising needs of the depart- • Merchandise power tools with accessories. related items and how-to information.
• These displays show customers how they ments in your store will help you increase the • Set up in-use displays and provide a Merchandising Tips
can use products at home, or shows how the productivity of each department. means for customers to use the tools. • Use vertical and horizontal merchandising
products will look in their home. • Display boxed power tools with models for items in different sizes.
How to Use Vignettes for Best Results 1. Hardware set up for customer use. • Keep carded products in neat, orderly
• You can combine merchandise from sever- Merchandising the hardware department can • Consider feature endcaps for project rows and types.
al departments and make the merchandise be a challenge because of the great variety displays. • Promote consumables such as light bulbs,
easy to see and touch. of items. Organization is key and the pri- • Provide how-to project brochures. flashlights and batteries.
• Vignette displays are more relaxed than mary merchandising • Group fashion or home dècor items such
packaged merchandise on shelves. technique for this department is grouping 3. Plumbing as lighting fixtures, globes, lamp parts and
• Create a mini-room with two adjacent related items. Plumbing is primarily a service department decorative switch plates together.
walls that incorporate a faux finish tech- Merchandising Tips that lends itself to related-item and how-to • Consider using a ceiling cloud display for
nique, window treatments, area rug, light- • Combine bulk and packaged merchandis- merchandising. merchandising ceiling fans and ceiling
ing, chair rail molding, furniture and other ing for categories such as screws, nails, Merchandising Tips mounted light fixtures.
home décor accessories. bolts and other fasteners. • Separate fashion or decorating items such as • Provide how-to signs, brochures and other
• Take advantage of packaging and display faucets from service items such as fittings. information.
programs available from vendors. • Highlight fashion merchandise as part of a
• Combine related item and vertical merchan- remodeling project or create shop or 5. Paint and Decorating
vignette displays. Paint and decorating products lead to proj-
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ects. Merchandising should suggest decorat- areas with promotional signing. needed to complete a project. the old joke: The customer doesn’t want a
ing ideas as well as provide products and • During the season, assemble large items • Create displays that suggest home drill, they want to create a hole. Advertising
how-to information. Couples and families such as lawn mowers, snow blowers, wheel- improvement projects. will attract two kinds of shoppers. The first
shop in this department and will spend time barrows and garden carts. • Offer installation or professional services. kind of shopper knows what he wants—fast
there planning their projects. Techniques • Group year-round lawn and garden tools • Have a special service desk or area for service. He does not demand a lot of con-
include project centers, mass displays, image by type. professional customers. versation and you can serve him best with
displays and finished-product displays. • Group related items together—for exam- complete, well-marked displays. The second
ple, garden hose with sprinklers; work kind of shopper needs help. Your promotion
Merchandising Tips gloves with garden tools. attracts him to the store, but he needs help
• Have a sit-down area with books, maga- • Group like products such as ready-to-use PROMOTIONAL to select the right size, type or model to buy.
zines and electronic planning assistance. herbicides or insecticides together by end use. MERCHANDISING You serve this customer best by providing
• Display samples of decorating materials. • Provide use information with lawn and Creating a Special Atmosphere courtesy and product knowledge.
• Color coordinate decorating materials and garden chemicals. During a sales promotion, perhaps more than Other Ways to Prepare the Store—Give
accessories. • Use sample boards to display bulk goods any other time, your merchandising has to be shoppers a chance to review your store’s
• Show paints, stains and other decorating such as fencing that can be supplied from well thought out in order to help drive sales. promotional offers with ad reprints as they
materials in use. an outside stocking area. But it requires more than just setting up dis- enter the store. Put a copy in their bags as
• Mass display paint. plays full of sales merchandise. You have to they check out. Not everyone who comes
• Promote custom color matching. 7. Lumber/Building Materials have a game plan for success—from planning into the store during the promotion knows
• Merchandise painting tools and sundries The major merchandising issue for lumber and preparing the store to restocking and re- you are having one, so be sure to let them
near paint and the paint mixing area. and building materials is the customer who pricing merchandise after the sale is over. know. Give shoppers a copy of your store’s
• Group products by end use—for example, buys them. In home centers and ad and encourage them to return for an item
paint thinners and removers together, patch- lumber/building materials outlets, home- 1. Prep a re the Store they have overlooked.
ing materials together. builders, contractors and other professionals For a Sale Show Them the Savings—Many customers
• Use eye-level displays to promote better buy in commodity quantities. Do-it-your- Create A Sales Atmosphere—The sales- are skeptical about sale prices. To help pro-
grades of painting supplies and materials. selfers usually want to plan a major remod- floor should create a sales atmosphere. tect your store's reputation:
eling project or pick and choose a few items Make it easy for shoppers to identify the • Put a "Sale" tag on every reduced item.
6. Lawn and Garden for a repair project. Hardware stores, if they advertised specials with attractive signs and • Show the regular price and the sale price
Seasonality is a key merchandising factor in sell lumber and building materials at all, feature displays. Use departmental signs so so the shopper can see what he saves by
the lawn and garden department. Although usually offer only a limited convenience customers can find what they want without buying during the sale.
core products, such as steel goods, are dis- selection. having to ask for directions. Clear all the • Be sure the sale price offers a genuine
played year-round, seasonal merchandise is Merchandising Tips aisles and leave them wide enough for savings.
moved in quickly, promoted heavily and • Provide help in planning projects. shoppers to browse without bumping into • Make sure that identical items carry iden-
moved out. • Make how-to project information avail- each other. tical prices. When a shopper finds three dif-
Merchandising Tips able. Merchandise Solutions—Remember that ferent prices on the same product, they
• Merchandise seasonal items in high traffic • Use signing to suggest tools and materials customers do not really want products. It's might develop a distrust for the store.
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only brings the customer into the store higher price.
2. Set Up Window Displays where he can examine it. The merchandise • Do the shopper a favor. In many cases, the HOUSEKEEPING AND
• To make shoppers and passers-by aware of usually sells itself. sale item, even though reduced in price, is MAINTENANCE
your store’s promotion, display your ad and Clean, Attractive Displays—You can help not the shopper's best buy. When you dis- Keeping Everything Tidy
the featured item in your store window, merchandise sell itself when you display it play related items with the advertised spe- Customers don’t want to look at dirty prod-
when possible, setting up the display before clearly and attractively. An attractive diplay cial, you help him make the best choice. ucts sitting on messy displays. It gives them
the ad runs. of advertised items: the wrong impression. Careful and regular
3. Prepare Yourself For the • Helps the shopper who saw it in the ad housekeeping creates a bright, clean, cheer-
Sale find it quickly and easily. 5. Re-price ful, uncluttered salesfloor. It helps cus-
People Make the Diff e re n c e— store is • Saves you time and effort in helping shop- A sale is not a sale unless the items return tomers find the items they are looking for
not ready for a promotion until every sales- pers locate the item. to their regular price after the event. You and it improves the store’s in-stock image.
person knows what is advertised. They have • Lets the shopper who did not see the ad have deceived a shopper who comes in to Your store probably has a regular house-
to know where the item is located on the know that the item is an advertised special. the store for a weekend special if he can keeping schedule for maintaining your mer-
salesfloor, its regular price and its sale price. Display Related Items—It is always good buy the item at the same price on Monday. chandising efforts. If not, perhaps you can
And even more important, they have to know to display related items together to increase When you fail to re-price at the end of a suggest that one be created.
how the value of a sale item compares to a impulse sales, even when one of the items is promotion:
comparable item at a regular price. not on sale. The shopper who comes in for • You cheat those who bought during the sale. 1. Housekeeping Checklist
Upselling Opportunities—The shopper paint may pick up a brush or the shopper • You reduce the store's credibility in the Clean Out the Clutter—Clear aisles of
may come to the store to look at the 1/4" who comes in for a fuse may pick up a dim- eyes of the shopper. obstacles such as boxes and totes being
drill you advertised, but he may really need mer switch. When you display related items • Shoppers do not appreciate the low sale unpacked.
a 3/8" hammer drill. The salesperson does together in the same general area you do the prices. Keep it Safe—Make sure there are no sharp
the customer and the store a disservice if he following: items, loose cord or cable or boxes protrud-
does not point out the more expensive drill's • Let the shopper compare the sale item 6. Restock ing from shelves.
benefits. At the same time, he does not criti- with those of different types and quality. Restocking after a sale is a chore, but is Keep it Current—Check shelf labels and
cize the drill on sale, and if the customer This helps him understand that the sale item absolutely necessary. If your promotion has price stickers to be sure they are neat, clean,
decides that is the drill he wants, that is the is really a bargain. been effective, your stocks are low or total- complete and current.
drill you should sell. • Encourage the shopper to buy non-adver- ly exhausted. Your display is probably in Find them a Home—Check displays for
tised items. In many cases, a store makes disarray. If you do not bring stocks back to orphan items and empty packages. Orphans
4. Build Displays Of Featured little or no money on the advertised items. normal, with merchandise rearranged, are items that are in the wrong place, usual-
Items If the shopper buys only the advertised repriced, and, in some cases, moved back to ly left by a customer who picked up an item
Let the Merchandise Sell Itself—Retailers product, the store probably makes no profit its regular location, the store can end up los- in one department and left it in another.
sometimes ask, "Do ads really sell merchan- on the sale. But when you sell other items at ing more profits and customer respect than Empty packages should be removed and
dise?" The answer is probably, "No." normal margins you make the promotion the promotional effort produced. inventory checked—they could be a warn-
Advertising creates an interest in, or a pay off. This might mean displaying items ing that a shoplifter has been at work.
desire for, merchandise. But this interest that are of a higher quality, and usually a
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Remove Damaged Packaging—Check dis- that you must remerchandise your salesfloor your store doesn’t already have a plan like Use Some Non-Advertised Items—Don’t
plays for shopworn or torn packaging and often. This is a tremendous chore, but when this in place. fill all of your endcaps with items that you
remove it. Customers view damaged pack- you plan carefully and approach the job in have advertised in your circulars. Customers
aging as old or damaged goods. It con- an organized way, you can do it with a min- 1. Effective Endcaps looking for circular items will search them
tributes to a perception that the store is not imum of effort. Here are five rules: Density Matters—Plan at lease one endcap out in their regular aisle locations. It makes
current in its product selection. • List all improvements to be made. for every 400 square feet of retail salesfloor. sense to put certain circular items on an
Maintain Displays—Make sure displays • Assign a priority for each job to be done. Fill’er Up—Make sure endcaps look full. endcap, but don’t limit your choice of prod-
are full and organized. It is not a good idea • Secure the merchandising aids you need to When items are sold, make a decision to ucts to circular items.
to shift the height of shelves or the position do the job. restock or move in new items.
of hooks to cover empty displays. This can • Advise everyone in the store what you Promote Projects—One option is to mer- Seasonal Scope—Seasonal products make
destroy the organization and eye appeal of a plan to do and how they may be involved. chandise a product with one or two comple- great endcap items. Consider maintaining
display and make it difficult for customers • Make each remerchandising project a mer- mentary or related items to fill out the dis- one seasonal item for the entire quarter and
to find the items they want. The best solu- chandising training session—and practice play and to promote the sale of projects. A price it lower than the competition to help
tion is to review inventory order quantities good merchandising techniques. good example is merchandising paint with improve your store’s pricing image.
and make sure displays are never empty. paint trays and rollers. Also be sure to New Products—Endcaps are perfect for
Dust, Dust, Dust—Dust merchandise regu- include any how-to project literature or merchandising new products. Use your end-
larly, especially in departments where women EFFECTIVE MERCHAN- information that is available. caps to help develop a reputation for having
frequently shop and departments that have a DISING DISPLAYS A Balanaced Approach—There is an new products, and be sure to include sig-
fashion element. Dusty merchandise equates Part Art and Part Science ongoing debate on how many items should nage that tells customers the item is new.
to old, out-of-date merchandise. It’s often been said that merchandising is be merchandised on any particular endcap. Don’t Confuse Customers—Remember,
Fronting is Key—Make sure fronting is done part art and part science. The artistic portion Studies suggest single-item endcaps make endcaps need to make a strong visual state-
throughout the store, typically on a daily relates to the overall aesthetics of the dis- the most powerful impact and drive the ment and quickly tell customers what you
basis. Fronting is making sure products are play and how it grabs attention and makes largest sales increases with their massive are offering. Make sure your signage and
pulled to the front of the shelf, hook or bin. the product more appealing to the cus- display of products. However, limited related point-of-purchase materials relate to
This puts product in front of the customer, tomer’s senses. There is also some science inventory levels make building single-item the product being merchandised and that it
makes effective use of product color or pack- involved as well, including what types of endcaps difficult for many hardware stores. is easy for customers to understand.
aging and reinforces a complete in-stock products work best in various displays, how A good compromise is a balanced approach, Rotation Schedule—Rotating endcaps is a
image. they should be displayed and maintained. with some of your endcaps having one item, way you can outperform the competition.
Put Someone In Charge while others throughout the store have two Most home improvement retailers rotate their
2. Make Remerchandising One of the best ideas for creating and main- and some with a multiple number that pro- endcaps less than once a month. Stores with
Easier taining effective displays is for a store to motes a project. the most productive salesfloors rotate endcaps
Maintenance is Key—An effective sales- have one employee who is in charge of Color Grabs Attention—Look for colorful about every two weeks, which exposes new
floor is not attained—it is maintained. Since planning and building the displays. If you packaging and eye-catching products that products to customers each time they come in
the merchandise you sell and the shoppers feel you have a flair for merchandising, talk will grab customers’ attention when stocked the store. It can also help bring in customers
you serve change continuously, it is obvious to your manager and propose the idea if on an endcap. more often to see what is new.
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Enhance Your Price Image—Make sure one element in successful merchandising. not for storage. And no top shelf should terminology that you should know.
several of your endcaps contain consumable How you arrange the merchandise on the ever be wider than those below, except on a
items with retail pricing less than $15. This shelves is also important. Three quick tips: sidewall or gondola over six feet high 1. Merchandising Summery
will help enhance your store’s pricing image • Eye Level Profitability—Display the most where the shelf is used more for storage (At a Glance)
with cost-conscious consumers. profitable items between belt and eye level, than for display. • Display slow-moving and low-priced
for this represents the best selling height on Slow Movers—Display slow-moving and items farthest from the customer's reach.
2. Effective Use of any display. low-priced items farthest from the cus- • Always use prime display space for high-
Shelf Space • Show as much as possible—Displaying as tomer's reach. Always use prime display demand, seasonal, impulse or promotional
Don’t Waste Shelf Space—Hardware much merchandise on the shelf as possible space for high-demand, seasonal, impulse or items.
stores and home centers do not waste floor will avoid backroom stock and will give promotional items. • The best selling height on any display is
space nearly as often as they waste shelf customers an impression that you can fulfill Make Your Merchandise POP—Use between eye and belt level.
space on sidewall fixtures and gondolas. all of their product needs. point-of-purchase signs to call attention to • Action, light and color attract attention to
Shelf space is wasted when a store: • Shop and Compare—Use the “good, bet- hot items in each department. any display.
• Overstocks one item while understocking ter, best” approach whenever possible so the Make Pricing Consistent—No display is • Take advantage of color in products and
another. shopper has a choice of quality at different fully effective or complete until the mer- packaging.
• Fails to refill bins or shelves when the price points. chandise is priced. Not only must the items • Tailor background colors to enhance, not
basic stock is reduced. • Adjust the shelves for the merchandise be priced, but the prices must be consistent. overshadow, merchandise.
• Stocks the same items in several places. they display. If shelves are too far apart ver- Keep it Stocked and Fronted—Keeping dis- • No display is fully effective or complete
• Uses the wrong shelf profile. tically, you waste space and the salesfloor plays neat and well stocked is one of the most until the merchandise is priced. And not
• Does not relate shelf space to customer- looks understocked. If shelves are too close effective “tricks” in merchandising. The last only must the items be priced, but the prices
demand fluctuations. together or not set back properly, the shop- thing you should do every night or the first must be consistent.
Think Vertically—It is more effective to per cannot see merchandise on the lower thing you should do every morning is move • If feature displays do not blend with other
merchandise most products vertically, dis- shelves without bending over. packages to the front of the shelf which will displays around them, they may repel rather
playing similar goods up and down, rather make your displays look full and neat. than attract.
than stretching them out along a gondola. 3. General Display • Keeping displays neat and well stocked is
The shopper can stand in one spot and pick Suggestions one of the most effective "tricks" in mer-
what he wants. The display is more attrac- Use a Pyramid Profile—This is where the MERCHANDISING chandising. The last thing you should do
tive and it is a lot easier to reorder and widest shelves are at the bottom. It lets the SUMMARY/GLOSSARY every night or the first thing you should do
restock. shopper see the most merchandise. Shelves Keep Your Merchandising Fresh … In every morning is move products to the front
Shelf Configuration—Although the shelf the same width, however, are best to mass Your Mind of the shelf to make your displays look full
profile is only one element in effective dis- display items the same size and shape. There are many things you have to remember and neat.
play, it is an important one. If you use the Don’t Hide the Merchandise—Never on a daily basis to make your store’s mer- • Give high-demand items prime space.
wrong shelf profile, you cannot build a dis- place shelves so close together that the top chandising efforts succeed. We’ve compiled a High-demand departments and service areas
play that will generate maximum sales. The shelf hides binned or boxed merchandise on merchandising summary checklist to keep draw customers throughout the store.
way the shelf is placed on the fixture is only the lower shelves. Shelves are for display-- handy as well as a glossary of merchandising • Highlight special promotions, top-selling
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items and new products on feature endcaps. perfboard indicating size, number, selling • Displaying the fastest-selling and most and sizes.
• Remerchandise promotional and impulse price and other information concerning the profitable merchandise from waist to eye • Another use of horizontal merchandising
displays on a regular schedule. Every two item that will be displayed at that spot. level—40 to 60 inches above the floor. involves stocking items in the order in
weeks at a minimum. Cross-Aisle Merchandising Facing which they are used to complete a project.
• Group product lines in vertical displays. • Displaying related merchandise on facing • The number of similar products exposed An example would be materials for a paint-
• Feature top-of-the-line items prominently. shelves. on a shelf; the number of facings relates to ing project.
• Put slow-moving items in display areas Cross Merchandising sales demand. Impulse Displays
farthest from customers’ reach. • Displaying products together that are used Fronting • Dump bins, movable racks, stack displays
• Follow a logical-use sequence in setting together. • Pulling merchandise to the front of the and feature endcaps that promote seasonal
up horizontal groupings of related items. • Especially effective for related items nor- shelf, hook or bin. items, special buys, advertised specials, new
• Use cross-aisle merchandising for maxi- mally stocked in different departments. Gondola products, close-outs or price specials in
mum product exposure and to promote Departmental Lead-In • Another term for a section of store fixture power aisles and other high-traffic areas.
related items from different departments. • Items with greatest impulse value dis- or shelving on which products are placed. Left-to-Right
• Display related items together. played on the edge of the shelf and near the Grouping • Used for merchandise of different sizes.
• A pyramid profile with the widest shelves main traffic aisle to draw customers into the • Organizing merchandise in logical groups Smallest sizes are at the upper left of the
at the bottom lets the shopper see the most aisle. such as color or related uses. display; largest sizes at lower right.
merchandise. Shelves the same width, how- Display Board Hands-On Displays • Lets customers move through the assort-
ever, are best to mass display items the • Board or panel displaying assembled mer- • Removing items from packages so cus- ment as though they were paging through a
same size and shape. chandise. tomers can handle or use the product before book.
• Never place shelves so close together that • Shows customers how merchandise is buying it. Pallet Displays
the top shelf hides binned or boxed mer- used or how projects can be completed. Hang Tags • When merchandise that arrives on a ship-
chandise on the lower shelves. Shelves are Dump Bins • Informational tags that hang on merchan- ping pallet is placed on the salesfloor while
for display—not for storage. • Bulk display units in which fast-moving dise and list quality features, performance still on the pallet.
• Use point-of-sale (POS) signs to draw (impulse) items can be “dumped” without specifications and similar information that Pegging
attention to hot items in each department stacking or placing on regular fixtures. helps consumer reach a buying decision. • Placement of merchandise on shelf hooks.
and provide product and price information. • Used in heavy traffic areas such as power Headers Some items are binned and some hung on
• Integrate vendor-supplied displays and aisles or near checkout counters. • Signs for use in a merchandising display hooks.
point-of-sale materials into the total sales- Endcap with a selling message, product identifica- • Items pegged must be carded or have
floor design. • Prime display space on any salesfloor— tion, brand name identification or similar some way of being hung on perfboard dis-
• Keep displays neat, clean and full. located at the end of a run of gondolas or information. play or shelf hook.
fixtures. Also called feature-ends. Horizontal Merchandising Planogram
2. Glossary of Merchandising • Use for promotional items, specials, • Displaying related product items in hori- • Diagram showing where and how mer-
Terms advertised items, seasonal items, new items zontal sections. Used primarily for mer- chandise is displayed within the store. It
Back-Up Card and impulse merchandise. chandise such as bolts, pipe fittings and tells store personnel and management where
• A card placed on perfboard hook or on Eye-Level Merchandising electrical items that come in several types every item is located.
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Platform chandise in one spot and encourages related
• Flat display unit used to display seasonal item sales.
or bulky merchandise. • Largest items displayed on lower shelves.
• Merchandise related to a single project
displayed with informative signs, how-to
brochures and other informative material.
• Products that are used together, such as
garden tools and garden gloves; mowers
and gas cans.
• Putting one item in its designated area to
check spacing, arrangement and overall
effect before all items are stocked.
• The inner carton in a master pack.
• Refers to the width of shelves, the distance
between them and whether they are straight
SKU (Stock Keeping Unit)
• Refers to each single item carried by a
retailer. Every size, every style and every
item having its own vendor number is a stock
keeping unit with its own SKU number.
• When a shelf is empty where a particular
product is supposed to be placed—denotes
you are sold out and out of stock on this
• Displaying related product categories in
• Gives customers full view of related mer-