Hardware Retailing

MAY 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 | May 2018 192 1 2 3 Encourage a project. One of the most effective ways to use cross-merchandising is to promote project sales, and there's more than one way to do that. Merchandisers such as clipstrips can help combine two products that might be used together. Product signage can provide a checklist of items a customer needs, too. At Brewer's True Value in St. Peters, Missouri, aisle violators offer an explanation of how to use certain plumbing fittings and suggest other items used to complete the project. While product checklists don't get actual products in front of the customer, they give them important information, save space and will help drive customers into other parts of the store. Change with the seasons. At Cottonwood Hardware Hank in Cottonwood, Minnesota, ice melt, snow shovels and cold-weather hats and gloves (just across the aisle) are a natural fit. Owner Ben Andersen leaves them up front, where it's easy for shoppers to see them. "It's important to follow the season when you're thinking about cross-merchandising," he says. "Think about the needs of the customer and how you can encourage impulse purchases." Retailers with small spaces can use the power aisle to put cross-merchandising to work. That area is where you are able to bring together larger items too, such as lawn furniture, grills and coolers. Look for something unique. Not every product you suggest as an add-on sale needs to be part of your core hardware mix. Ryan Flaherty, store manager at Balsam Lake Hardware in Balsam Lake, Wisconsin, has added garden hats as a natural accompaniment to his garden department. "We look for ways to place fun or unique items that are going to catch the customer's attention," he says. "The hat, for example, makes them want to grab it and put it on." If he can first get customers to stop and pick up the item, he's brought them one step closer to the sale. He carries that philosophy throughout the store. Near his hunting and fishing department, he offers snacks, such as chips, salsa and trail mix.

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