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Chalk Displays Bring DIY Attitude Into Store

Adding a new niche or category can sometimes present challenges that require a little elbow grease to solve. Nearly three years ago, Petersburg Hardware in Petersburg, Indiana, moved to a new location which grew the salesfloor by more than 20,000 square feet. The new space allowed the company to enhance its feed department, and they quickly realized that a few bags in an aisle would not meet their sales goals.

“Initially, we chose pallet racking to put bags on, but that didn’t allow very many SKUs of different feeds or large quantities,” store manager Eric Smith says. “In our area, when people come in, they buy five, 10 or 15 bags sometimes, so we realized we needed to have a lot more in stock, and we didn’t want it in the backroom.”

Smith designed and built two 17-foot-long stack displays using pallets, plywood and pipe that allows the business to merchandise several varieties of feed and include product information that customers need.

“I wanted the display to mimic our in-store signage, so we framed out thin plywood and painted it with chalkboard paint,” Smith says. “With the chalkboards, we can include facts, like what type of animal it’s for and the pricing, and it’s also easy to change.”

Smith says that since they transitioned to the new displays and put one in the power aisle, the store’s sales in the department have grown more than 400 percent.

“We had these same amounts in the back before, but the displays helped sales take off,” he says.

Another added benefit of the displays was that Smith had the opportunity to show customers how they can use the products Petersburg Hardware sells for decorative purposes. A recent trend has been using pipe for DIY projects, like wine racks, so Smith used pipe to connect the chalkboard signs to the pallets to show customers another way to utilize it in their homes.

Read our step-by-step guide on building this merchandiser.

About Melanie Moul

Melanie is the communications and content manager for the North American Hardware and Paint Association. She joined the NHPA team in 2016 as an editor for Hardware Retailing and now helps lead the communications team to deliver relevant, timely content to the industry.

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