Canadian Music Trade - February / March - Page 29

DOUBLE-DECK MEZZANINES WORK BENCHES WITH LAZY SUSAN This way, during slow times, a manager can man the counter while also doing some paperwork, making for a better utilization of space. For stores that do repairs, a good way to consolidate work benches is to use a Lazy Susan for small parts and tools. Four work benches arranged in a square with a central Lazy Susan and shelving above creates a lot of functionality in a smaller space. For merchandising on the show room floor, Miller’s first tip is to use swinging panels made out of slatwall, peg board, or wired grid. This way, he says, the retailer can fit 13 ft. of merchandise in a 4-ft. section. On endcaps, he advises including power panels that add extra selling space in the same footprint. “We average an extra 3 ft. of wall space on every endcap or peggable space of small shelf or bin space,” Miller says. “We also use sliding panels, so where one panel slides in front of MOBILE AISLE SHELVING the other, so we can add 50 to 100 per cent more merchandise in a 4-ft. section.” A few other simple tips are to add back- bones to browser bins so that the raised bin can display product while storage is created underneath. Also, using drop hooks or peg hooks. “If you don’t have the adjustability and you want to get that extra product in, they do make peg hooks where the weld of the hook is dropped down lower or higher, so there’s your adjustability. So instead of the peg coming straight out, it’s dropped down an inch or two and you can get that product in above it. So that’s another way of trying to eke out another row of merchandise.” Flexibility in function and display is also a key element. “Mobile gondolas and anything on wheels is a good way to go because then you can change your look very easily and create some interest, instead of a piece of furniture that is always in the same place and has the same presentation every time people come, and then people are not motivated to come in the store,” says Miller. At the checkout counter area, Miller also says he commonly uses recessed slatwall shadowboxes. “Basically, there is a slatwall shadow box that screws right to the front of the counter that covers up the back of the cash register with all the wires and junk that accumulates there and it frees up the counter for customer space so they can unload their hands and not have all that clutter on the top of the counter,” he adds. “The top of the count- er becomes more like a shopping cart. We’ve done that in a lot of stores and increased the average ticket sale because people are going to unload their hands and buy other stuff.” The psychology of customers is an important thing to consider. For instance, creating wider aisles, if possible, creates more breathing room for the eye. “The more cramped the store, the less amount of time the average female shopper wants to shop in the store. They’re very attuned to their space needs. It’s psychological; 80 per cent of the population suffers from some type of claustrophobia,” he notes. “We just did a big chain up in Canada where we did a lot of these changes and we got an average in- crease of about 28 per cent in sales and freed up an extra 70 ft. of wall space and kept the average female shopper in the store about 28 minutes to 40 minutes longer.” If a store is a visual train wreck, as Miller puts it, it’s harder for the shopper’s eye to focus on any individual display item. “So we have merchandising tools that can showcase an item and feature it by changing the colour of slatwall or putting it in a picture frame with slatwall. Just changing the colour of the slatwall accentuates what’s being displayed.” Lastly, Miller says colour and lighting are terribly ignored elements in many MI stores. “They’ll go in and put the same colour of slatwall in the entire store. For most it’s white – Sam Ash, to give you an example. You just go in there and it’s all white. There is nothing to attract the eye. There are no focal points where we create, like, a stage. There aren’t layers of lighting to create interest and trigger impulse sales,” he says. “I would say 95 per cent of music stores have one layer of light and that’s what the landlord gave them and they don’t want to spend money for track lighting or accent lighting or task lighting… They say it’s important but they don’t invest in anything to create hotspots and trigger impulse sales and show the sparkle or show the paint colours. Good colour rendering lightbulbs are imperative to creating that environment.” Michael Raine is the Senior Editor of Canadian Music Trade CANADIAN MUSIC TRADE 29