Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/255289
52 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | February 2014 Best Practices When you compare your dealership to a competitor, your first thought probably turns to your service, not your showroom. While service is definitely important, the typical equipment or rental yard facility has historically paid very little attention to merchandising and branding their showrooms. Instead of comparing your dealer showroom to the dealership down the road, walk into a Harley Davidson dealership, or even a Home Depot or Lowes. That's where the owners of Franklin Equipment turned for inspiration when they decided they wanted to see what visual merchan- dising would do for their business. "We're trying to change the equip- ment buying and renting experi- ence," said Troy Gabriel, CEO of Franklin Equipment, a New Holland dealer with four Central Ohio locations. Gabriel had good reason to think that paying attention to merchandising would pay off. He is also involved in a business that manufactures custom fixtures for retailers, called Gabriel Logan. "As a result of our experiences in that industry we learned that retailers do a lot of different things in terms of planogramming, merchandising, layout and design," said Gabriel. A planogram is a diagram or model that indicates the placement of retail products on shelves in order to maximize sales. "The customer experience for retailers of all kinds is top of mind and foremost in their thinking when they are building out stores. We took what we learned in that business and applied it to our equipment busi- ness," said Gabriel. He believes dealerships have lost business to retailers like Lowes and Home Depot simply because those big box companies made the process of purchasing easier. "You can walk in, see it on the shelf, it's well displayed and you can find the price. You can pick it up, carry it to the cash register and be done," explained Gabriel. He admits that prior to the store redesign, Franklin did not have pricing on all the items in their stores. "You cringe when a customer asks how much, because depending on who you ask you might get three differ- ent prices. Someone has to go into a book or computer to figure it out." When the company purchased a 15,000-square-foot building on five Dealer attention to merchandising keeps the cash register ringing. BY JOANNE COSTIN Setting the Stage for Sales Franklin Equipment completely renovated its 15,000-square-foot store in Dublin, Ohio. The fee for a retail designer was $7,000; custom fixtures carried a price tag of $50,000; lighting and other costs totaled $100,000.