A dealer submitted this question about their retail space:

I’m concerned about our retail floor space. It seems like our showroom is overly cluttered with handheld power products, gloves, chains, line trimmers, etc. I’ve brought this up with our lawn and garden rep, but he seems to think the shelves need to be full in order to market properly. It is tough to determine what is too cluttered. Can you help?

Here’s my recommendation:

Without seeing your store, I can only speculate on the condition regarding clutter. Shelves are best when full, but not “over merchandised.” We are looking for a balance of product on display. Avoid having fixtures that are too full or crowded as they are not appealing to shoppers.

Now, we might have another factor that makes the product look cluttered — random merchandising. If products are placed where they are not related to the surrounding products, then the displays will look cluttered. 

The eye likes simple clean lines and groupings that are easy to see and understand. It is important to have clean lines and to group products that in the same family, type and brand. For example, all the gloves should be together by brand and type with full hooks but not crowded hooks. Half empty displays make it seem like your selection has been picked over and you are waiting for more stock. 

If you stock small amounts of certain products, you need to concentrate on balancing the space, so it looks like you have a full selection. Also, make sure that you carry an inventory of full sizes if you are selling wearable products.

It's easy to lose focus on the quality of your displays, but they need to be refreshed daily, in many cases, so you always look ready for business. Sometimes, we only get one shot at a sale with a customer, so keep in mind how “shoppable” your store is.

Some displays need to be reset weekly another others monthly, but you definitely need to reset a display when it looks picked over or stale and when too much of a product has been fit into space with other goods. For instance, make sure you separate line trimming products into its own space, gloves in another, and have branded upsell items near the main product. If you sell trimmers of a certain brand, place all the upsell items nearby.

Make it “silly simple” to sell more items per ticket. If you make it difficult for your customers, they are not going to buy. Keep these questions in mind as you look at your entire showroom.

What is the condition?

  1. Does your showroom look stale, sparse or random, or neglected in areas?
  2. Who at your dealership has the best skills for setting up displays?
  3. Can your dealership, as a team, reset the store to look tip top?
  4. Avoid random displays.
  5. Refresh stock daily.
  6. Clean regularly — that’s a big winner.
  7. If it's not appealing or visible, it won't sell.

Do you have a question related to your retail showroom? Email us and we'll pass it along to Jennifer Robison and address in an upcoming Retail Rules post.