Hardware Retailing

FEB 2018

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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February 2018 | HARDWARE RETAILING 85 6 5 4 Rotate monthly. Having a rotation schedule is one of the basic tenets of endcap maintenance. At Norfolk Hardware of Boston, store manager Kevin Peebles has a schedule that includes rotating each of the 30 promotional endcaps about once a month. But regardless of the schedule, it's important to change an endcap as soon as product gets low. "One mistake I see some retailers make is letting endcaps go too long with missing products," he says. "If the shelves are halfway empty and your stock on that promotional item is low, it's time to switch it out." Endcaps should follow the three basic rules of merchandising: Keep them full, fronted and faced. An endcap that looks empty or messy sets the tone for the rest of the store. If the endcap is half empty, will the rest of the store look that way, too? Make it personal. Personalizing your endcaps to your unique business will help set you apart from competitors who go for a more cookie-cutter approach. The endcap headers at Scheels Home & Hardware in Fargo, North Dakota, are custom-made to take shoppers on a trip back in time through the company's history. Vintage advertisements or historical facts about the company remind customers that Scheels is a locally owned business with a deep connection to the community. But the creative header alone won't make these endcaps effective. The rest of the display has to follow best merchandising practices. "We try to keep our endcaps focused on seasonal, promotional or newer items, and we limit the number of different items on any one endcap," says manager Mark Hulbert. Be crystal clear. Whatever message you're trying to send with your endcaps, say it clearly. At Randy's Do it Best Hardware in Timberville, Virginia, CEO Christian Herrick says making the pricing simple and limiting the SKUs on each display is key. "Our ideal endcap has one SKU and one price," he says. "Sometimes it makes more sense to have more, but our ideal is one." It's also important to avoid confusion by setting the entire endcap all at once. Don't add the promotional signage and price a few days after putting the product on the shelf. Instead, have a clear message, which will have a better chance of capturing the impulse sale. "I think of endcaps primarily as a way to get customers to buy something they didn't intend to buy when they came to my store," Herrick says.

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