As any owner-operator of retail hardware establishments know, effective merchandising is the key to increasing store sales. Efficient merchandising allows owners the time to concentrate on other selling activities, improves customer satisfaction, which in turn leads to increased sales per customer. An unorganized store is frustrating for both customers and staff alike, so every effort to achieve a seamless marketing face is rewarded with increased revenues that significantly add to the store’s bottom line.
Unique Problems of Hardware Stores...
According to a 2005 study conducted by the National Retail Hardware Association, hardware store operators routinely waste valuable shelf space on gondola shelving units and sidewall fixtures, which leads to customer dissatisfaction and lowered sales numbers. While floor space is often well managed, operators show less of an understanding of what constitutes well-stocked gondola shelving units.
Typical errors that store owners make include failure to maintain adequate inventory levels on the sales floor once they’ve been depleted, overstocking one item while under-stocking another, using the wrong shelf profile, and stocking the same items in numerous places.
Learning to properly utilize a store’s gondola shelving units is the beginning step to creating an effective retail floor plan and merchandizing solution for a retail hardware operation.
In addition to fixing the typical errors listed above, an effective marketing solution for retail hardware stores is found in the proper management of the gondola shelving units throughout the store. As such, it’s important to stock the merchandise with an eye towards the visual imagery that the display will present.
As a general rule, remember that vertical merchandising is far more effective than horizontal merchandising, and allows the customer the opportunity to examine the entire range of options for a given part by simply standing in one position. Equally important, the retail display is more visually appealing so the expectation is that such an approach will boost customer satisfaction and further elevate that all important bottom line.