Making the Most of Your Retail Space

download (30)There are some differences in merchandising theory between the neighbourhood grocery store and the sporting goods store down the street. The fact remains that both are merchandised in the same way. Both use an organized and attractive layout to maximize each item’s sales potential. These merchandising principles used by major retailers are the same ideas you should follow. Why? Because they work.

It’s an old, often overused retail adage, but it’s true: “You can’t sell it if it’s in the stockroom.” Almost all people enjoy shopping for products in which they have an interest. Why not display products in an attractive way? Then customers can inspect, explore and, yes, even buy.

Floor and wall gondolas are the best merchandising fixtures to use in a retail outlet. A gondola is a freestanding fixture used by retailers to display merchandise. Gondolas typically consist of a flat base and a vertical component featuring notches, pegboards, or slatwalls. The vertical piece can be fitted with shelves, hooks, or other displays.

Your budget may not extend to purchasing new floor gondolas. There are used fixture outlets where many of the same fixturing needs can be bought for much less cost.

For those stores without space for the 8- to 10-foot long gondolas, the same merchandising displays can be set up and organized on wall pegboard.

Self-made wall pegboard is much less expensive. With a few basic materials and a hammer and screwdriver, you can have some decent-looking display boards.

Once your store is set up with the desired amount of floor and wall gondolas or wall pegboards, you can proceed to the next step.

All good merchandising begins with categorizing or segmentation of merchandise by its types. First you must determine the product categories you will stock and offer your customers.

Next, you categorize for the customers’ convenience. You have to make it easy for them to locate and select the specific product desired.

Placing merchandise in categories is nothing new. Department stores were born on the idea. Notice the pages of mass merchants’ advertising circulars are even segmented by category. Hardware items together, lingerie together, automotive accessories together, and so on.

Dual merchandising, presenting the same item in two different locations, is OK. It is a good idea if the product relates to several categories. Batteries show up in department stores in as many as half a dozen departments. (Toys, cameras, sporting goods, electronics, etc.) In a security store, a combination lock may be in the padlock section but also in the chain and cable area. They relate.

Without careful categorizing of merchandising, customers are guaranteed to get confused and frustrated. A scattered unorganized approach to the presentation will make them stop looking before they have a chance to get their wallets out.

Assuming you have plenty of merchandise in each of your basic categories, you are now ready to place them before your customers. Remember, sound merchandise placement sells products. This practice is critical for any retail store.

Your best-selling items should take up prominent locations on the gondolas. These should face either the customers’ counter/register or be in plain view when visitors walk in the store. Some consider this area the “impulse item” region. You will find that these items will sell better if the customers see what you have that they don’t.

Finally, glass cases are great and a must in selling jewelry or cosmetics. They are attractive and effective when selling expensive gadgets, electronics and the like.