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Power of an End Cap Display

When it comes to retail merchandising, the end cap display is one of the most highly coveted spots that a supplier can obtain within your store. These tend to be highly visible, and act as a showcase for a product line, drawing attention, and increasing sales to whichever line is featured. It’s a great opportunity within the store to reinforce other marketing efforts, and when done properly, can greatly enhance sales.

When it comes to retail merchandising, the end cap display is one of the most highly coveted spots that a supplier can obtain within your store. These tend to be highly visible, and act as a showcase for a product line, drawing attention, and increasing sales to whichever line is featured. It’s a great opportunity within the store to reinforce other marketing efforts, and when done properly, can greatly enhance sales.

What is an end cap?

An end cap is the display unit at the end of an aisle, normally at both the front and back ends. When you picture a grocery store aisle, it is on both sides of the aisle, and it’s where they typically pile an abnormally large amount of a single product. I have heard two schools of thought about which products are most often featured in these end caps. It can be items which have a higher profit margin, and therefore increase profits with increased units going out the door. Alternatively, and what I believe is more common, the end cap display features items that have slightly lower profit margins, due to discounted, temporary prices such as sale items.

How do you create a successful end cap display?  

There are a few simple steps to follow, which I have outlined in these six points:

1) Decide upon a theme

If you are creating your display to coincide with a current flyer promotion, this should be easy, as most flyers already have at least one theme pre-chosen in the pages of the flyer, such as “Spring Cleansing” or “Winter Wellness.” It’s then simply just a matter of choosing the items to feature. You can also decide your theme based upon a highly publicized product, or a seasonal item, such as sun care. Your end cap should typically be exclusive to one brand at a time, in order to limit consumer confusion. For example, you can display Brand X’s family of whey protein, including multiple flavours and sizes, but you do not want to display three different brands of a protein.

2) Choose limited assortment of products

When we are bombarded with too many labels and product offerings, we tend to become overwhelmed and one bottle blends into the next, making it hard to stand out. In this case, the power of the end cap display will be lost. To avoid this, I recommend choosing – at maximum – one sku per shelf of the display. The idea is to draw attention to the items that are being featured, and to do so, there needs to be multiple facings of the same label, which creates a very strong, blocked effect.

3) Choose a layout

You’ve chosen the products to feature; now it’s time to decide where each one fits in the display. Typically, the larger bottles, if there are any, should be at the bottom, and the smaller towards the top. Having larger items at the bottom will give weight to the display, and create a nice base. It also minimizes the amount of bending the consumer will have to do to pick up the item, and limits the chances of the smaller bottles being overlooked. When an item is smaller, the writing on the label is also smaller. If the consumer is going to be looking down towards the item, the larger labels will be much more reader-friendly from a distance.

Alternatively, you can create a display which is vertical instead of horizontal. This would be great when the items we are featuring are all of similar size. In this case, you would divide your shelf into three or four segments, depending on the width, and as an example, have three facings of each item from left to right. You would then re-create the same look on each of the shelves, from the top to the bottom. This will enable you to create a strong looking display, and will give each item an equal share of the prime shelf space.

4) Ensure your display is symmetrical

Every time you create a new display, you should adjust the height of the shelves. To create an aesthetically-pleasing look, each shelf should have an equal amount of open space from the top of the bottles, to the shelf above it. You do not want the shelves so close that re-facing and re-stocking are difficult. You also need to leave adequate room for signage and shelf talkers, if you choose to use them.

5) Signage

One of the most important components of a successful display is signage. You can create a beautiful display at the front of your store, but if you do not have the prices listed, or some sort of descriptive shelf talker or promotional printed material displayed, you are losing out. Consumers want simple, to-the-point information. At the very least, you should have a professional – not hand-written – sign somewhere on the display listing the prices. If it’s a flyer display, you can laminate a copy of the flyer and put it on an acrylic stand at the top. If the product was recently featured in the news, print out the article and display it. Your rep/supplier is the best source to find this kind of marketing material, as most have pre-made shelf talkers for you to use: all you have to do is ask for them. The key to remember here is less is more. Do not suffocate your display with excessive amounts of brochures and paper. Whatever you choose to include, make sure it is tidy, well-organized and relevant to the products featured.

6) Keep display stocked and properly faced

This is the most important step to a successful display, in my opinion. If your display is doing its job, then it will need regular re-stocking and straightening. The display should be neat and tidy all the time, and in order to keep its presence strong, the products should be turned to face the front. You don’t want your hard work of creating the display to go to waste by having it look picked-over and inadequately stocked.

End caps are an easy way to change things in your store, and to draw attention to products of your choosing. It is important that you change them regularly to fully realize their potential for increased sales and profit. If you are unsure as to how to begin, follow the steps I have outlined, and perhaps enlist the help of employees/co-workers or sales reps. Always take a step back from your creation and attempt to look at it from a shoppers perspective. Do you think it’s attractive? Would you stop and look? Would you be enticed to make a purchase?

Allow yourself to be creative and most importantly, have fun. •

Merchandising for Sales Growth

“Merchandising is an art.” This is what Alain Roy, vice president of Body Plus (and long-time CNHR columnist) told a gathering of Good Health Mart retailers at a seminar in June. “Merchandising techniques will make your store look great, and it will increase sales of products you want to sell.”

Alain says merchandising is important because it does so many things. “It will dramatically increase sales. It can be more effective than advertising, and it is very affordable. Remember…70 per cent of buying decisions are influenced by merchandising.”

During the seminar, Alain shared some compelling merchandising facts. “Blank spots on the shelf will decrease sales by 48 per cent in that unit. It is important to fill those blank spots and show abundance. If you display 12 items, you may sell 11. If you display 144, you may sell 100-plus. The more you show, the more you will sell.”

Some other interesting merchandising facts shared with retail attendees by Alain include:

• two facings of a product instead of one could increase sales by 150 per cent.

• cross-merchandising may increase sales by 213 per cent

• POP (point-of-purchase) material may help increase sales by 445 per cent

“By combining these three crucial elements – a display, plus signage, plus the POP material – it may increase sales by 629 per cent.”

Alain says you will see sales increases in the following areas of the store if supported with good merchandising:

• counter displays: 40 per cent

• dump bins: 43 per cent

• cross-merchandising: 67 per cent

• case stack displays: 79 per cent

• remote displays: 133 per cent

• aisle displays: 274 per cent

• end caps: 112 per cent

Even discounted products can benefit from professional merchandising, says Alain. “If you run an ad on a discounted product, sales could increase by 78 per cent.

However, the same discount on the same product professionally merchandised in your store could see a sales increase of 105 per cent.”

“As these numbers indicate,merchandising can play a huge role in increasing sales in your store.” •


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