Hardware Retailing

APR 2017

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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• Store Location Harmony, Pennsylvania. In an 11,000-square- foot building constructed for modern-day retailing, this is owner Tim and Mary Post's showpiece. It sits off a main highway near a shopping district and draws a mix of contractor and consumer customers. • Challenge This past year, Scott Post, sales and rental manager for the company, presented employees with a company-wide sales goal: Add one extra dollar to every transaction and add one extra transaction per hour. Meeting that goal has involved finding new ways to merchandise. Becky Guisler, sales support for the company, tackles the challenge by watching how customers shop. She noticed that when customers walked in, they seemed to ignore the first one-third of the store. "No one was looking left or right or slowing down. It was as if they had their blinders on," she says. People were coming to the store and heading straight to their destination items, instead of noticing those other items that might not be on their list. There was something else she wanted to fix: "I noticed there was a huge lack of women shoppers. The ratio of men to women was about 10 to 2," she says. "One of my goals is to drive sales to women shoppers." • Strategy Guisler wants customers to start shopping as soon as they walk in the front door, picking up impulse items and increasing their transaction sizes. For female shoppers who come into the store, she wants to have home decor and gift items. But since the store isn't necessarily known yet for those items, she uses her merchandising skills to start reshaping that image. Her strategy involves both major changes to the store's look and feel, as well as some minor tweaks. See it from a different angle. If customers walking in the store are looking straight ahead and focused on what they came to buy, then the aisles most likely to be missed are those directly on either side of the door. To interrupt that tunnel vision, Guisler set the first two endcaps of the store at a slight angle so they're facing customers as soon as they walk in. "It gives our customers more of a chance to see something they might otherwise miss," she says. The space behind the angled endcap gives her an opportunity to place items related to what's on the display. Create open space. While on one side of the front door Guisler has angled the endcaps to grab shoppers' attention, on the other side she went for a different tactic. There were too many shelves crowding that area, which meant most customers weren't paying any attention to it. While it's important to maximize a store's square footage, good merchandising isn't necessarily about seeing how much product will fit in the store, but rather how to get customers to notice what's there. And sometimes less is more. If customers were going to stop and shop the front of the store, Guisler recommended opening up the space to draw them in. HARDWARE RETAILING | April 2017 46 Create New Shopping Habits Endcaps angled toward the front of the store catch the eyes of shoppers as they walk in.

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