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 84 3 2 1 Try a bit of elegance. Michelle Schefter, owner of Langdon Hardware in Langdon, North Dakota, uses a stylish wooden cabinet to merchandise a specialty line of food items. The cabinets accentuate the niche so shoppers will stop and look. They also dress up the area leading into the paint department showroom, designed to attract fashion- conscious customers. Whether she's merchandising an endcap made from a wooden cabinet or traditional metal shelving, Schefter says it's important to be strategic about the items she places there. "Make sure everything on that endcap makes sense together," she says. "And don't let the shelves get empty. If the product count gets low enough, switch it back to its regular place in the aisle." Show and tell. Project-based endcaps can remind customers of common seasonal projects and take some of the mystery out of how to do ordinary household repairs, such as fixing a toilet. A good project endcap will have the items needed to start the project as well as some of the add-on items that go with it. "It's a form of suggestive selling. Instead of a checklist, we're using a collection of items to help a customer remember what they need for a project," says Steven Ai, president of the City Mill stores in Hawaii. Ai also finds it helpful to include how-to guides alongside products on endcaps. "The more questions we can answer with the displays, the more we can free up our team members' time to address the in-depth questions customers might have," he says. Go with the season. Ryan Flaherty, store manager at Balsam Lake Hardware in Balsam Lake, Wisconsin, often themes endcaps seasonally. To make them stand out from the standard hook and pegboard racks, he's used a wire rack in a few places in the store. The racks are good places to showcase some of the more unusual items the store offers, but they are always arranged around a theme. Careful planning ensures endcaps are always changing and staying fresh. "I recommend brainstorming to make a list for the next few months of endcaps," he says. "If the same item sits on your endcap for too long, it is no longer effective. People will just walk right by the display and pay no attention to it."

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