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6 Tips for Spring Merchandising

As spring shopping starts to heat up, make sure you’re taking full advantage of the season with an effective merchandising strategy. While having the correct mix of products in the store is important, you still could miss sales if those items are poorly displayed. Here are just a few ways you can boost your merchandising this season.

Use plenty of color. If you sell live goods, make sure some of those are mature plants in full bloom. Colorful plants will attract buyers. Stock a few outside in front of the store so they’re readily visible when shoppers walk in the front door. Even if they’re didn’t come to purchase a plant, the scent and sight of fresh flowers will put shoppers in a good mood and may encourage an impulse purchase. If you have a wide variety of plants, group them by type. For example, group shady-growing plants together and full-sun plants together.

Keep live plants watered and fresh. Fresh plants require care. Customers don’t want to purchase plants that look unhealthy. To keep your live plant displays attractive, create a care plan that includes watering twice daily, rotating plants in and out of the sunlight and watching for bugs, spraying as necessary. Missing a watering or letting bugs infest your plants could result in lost inventory. Also eliminate plants that are scrawny or weak, as they will create a bad impression for the entire lot.

Get power equipment outside. Set outdoor power equipment outside so customers can see you have it. This strategy will save you valuable indoor space, and depending on your location, will let passers-by see you can be a source for these items. Display outdoor power equipment in its working condition so shoppers can actually try it out before purchasing.

Show all four steps for lawn care. Spring is the time for homeowners to use step one of the four-step lawn care process. However, you can suggest they purchase all four steps at once so they’re ready for the rest of the year and don’t miss a step. Encourage these sales with stackout or endcap merchandising that highlights the bagged goods necessary for all four steps, not just step one. Include signage that explains when each step should be applied. Don’t forget to merchandise spreaders and garden gloves nearby.

Keep it clean. As the spring selling season gets busy, you want to make a good impression on the crowd of customers you’re expecting, so don’t neglect your housekeeping. Create a plan for how you’ll keep the store clean and inviting throughout the season. Assign employees to specific departments. Remind them to be on the lookout for misplaced merchandise, dusty or torn packaging or clutter that could cause a safety hazard. Some of the popular spring items, such as garden stakes, tomato cages and long-handled tools can easily get disorganized, so take extra care to straighten these throughout the day.

Use educational materials. Having the correct educational materials displayed near popular spring projects will give customers the confidence to complete the projects they have in mind. Place how-to books and pamphlets near the plants, seeds and garden tools. Having a few garden and landscaping design magazines handy could inspire ambitious customers to take on a larger project. Educational materials merchandised throughout the department serve a double purpose, as employees can also use them to boost their own product knowledge.

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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