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How to Create First-Class Endcaps

Endcaps are some of the most valuable pieces of real estate in your store. A well-stocked, well-designed endcap can set the tone for the rest of the store. Too many retailers simply use these spaces as extensions of their regular run of merchandise. However, if used strategically, endcaps can be used to increase sales and drive traffic into core departments. As you plan your fall and holiday promotions, consider these five ways you can make the best use of the endcaps in your store.

Rotate Often

Stores with the most productive endcaps change out the products every month, and some will change them every two weeks. It’s important that this piece of the merchandising strategy continually present different items to customers so it appears something is always happening in the store. Leave the same item on the endcap too long, and customers will stop noticing it. Rather, this is one area of merchandising you want customers to notice every time they walk into the store.

Include Non-Advertised Items

It may seem natural to put your items from the circular on an endcap. But remember that customers will come into the store seeking out those advertised items. While you can put some advertised items on endcaps to help promote your price image, put some of them in the regular run of merchandising. Use the endcap locations to show them additional items you want to promote but didn’t put in the circular.

Promote Projects

While you can use an endcap to merchandise one or more products, you can also create a project theme. Include a product with one or two complementary items to fill out the display centered around a specific project. For example, as winter approaches, merchandise a few shovels, along with some bags of ice melt and gloves.

Keep It Filled

Always keep endcaps fully stocked. Not only does it make for a more attractive display, but it also reminds customers you have everything they need. On the other hand, an emptier endcap might lead them to think you are running out of product. As you sell through items on the endcap, restock. If you start to run low on inventory, change out the product for something else.

Maintain Balance

There’s an ongoing debate as to how many items you should include on any particular endcap. Studies suggest that single-item endcaps make the most powerful impact while driving large sales increases. But there is also value in creating endcaps with multiple items, such as those with project-based items. The best approach may be a balanced one—have some endcaps with single items, and others with multiple items.

About Jesse Carleton

Jesse Carleton has visited independent hardware retailers, conducted original research on the industry and written extensively about the business of hardware retailing. Jesse has written for more than a dozen of NHPA’s contract publishing titles, all related to the hardware retailing industry. He also was instrumental in developing the Basic Training in Hardware Retailing courses now used by thousands of retailers across the country.

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