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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HARDWARE RETAILING | February 2018 100 Last Word M aintaining your store's merchandising is hard work. It requires constant attention to detail and usually a little creativity. From time to time in the pages of Hardware Retailing, we offer some of the best practices and tips for improving your merchandising. This month, for example, you can read the story on endcaps on Page 82. As your days get busy, you may think it's simpler to let some of your good merchandising habits slide. Resist the urge as if your business depends on it. Good merchandising helps improve your profitability, so it's important to make sure your store looks its best. Here are four reasons why you shouldn't ignore this part of your business. Why Merchandising Matters Customer Satisfaction Customers want to find what they need easily and quickly. Good merchandising helps organize the store and suggests additional sales, improving the shopping experience. For example, cross-merchandising puts project-related items together so customers can easily find everything on their lists. When customers feel as if your store is easy to shop, they will return, again and again. Improved Price Image There's a common perception among consumers that independent retailers have high prices. But it's no secret that even discount retailers use variable pricing combined with merchandising techniques to produce their low-priced image. For example, dump bins and pallet displays are two techniques that reinforce a low price image. If customers see an ample supply of a discounted item, they might assume that the rest of the store has good prices too. More Profitable Salesfloor Merchandising can influence many measurements of retail productivity, such as sales per square foot or gross margin per square foot. For example, strategic product placement on a checkout counter can suggest impulse purchases, which will improve transaction size. Good merchandising techniques teach you how to create a store that doesn't appear crowded, but doesn't waste space either. Productive Employees If good merchandising helps customers easily find what they need, then they won't need to spend as much time asking for directions when they come in your store. Of course, you want to be willing to help, but your employees would rather spend more time helping customers solve home improvement problems than directing traffic. Maintaining merchandising will make your employees' jobs more rewarding for them, too.

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