Boating Industry

April 2016

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Page 33 of 43 34 | Boating Industry | April 2016 MARKET FOCUS SECTION { MERCHANDISING } BY BRIANNA LIESTMAN There is nothing more impactful than a good first impression. A parts and accessories department's design has a huge impact on sales – while the exact layout is ultimately dependent on the space available in the store, making it an attractive area will determine its success. "It has everything to do with any store's ability to sell product," said Jennifer Ro- bison, national retail specialist at Tucker Rocky Distributing. This means stocking your parts and accessories department at levels that look plentiful, which leads the customer to be- lieve the dealer will always have what they need at the ready. A parts and accessories department's design "definitely increases the sales, and I think today's consumer is so used to seeing full racks of product. So it's important that the dealer has the showroom looking like they sell a lot of product. They can't really just have one item on the peg hook; they need to give the consumer the idea that they are in the business," said Lori Morrow, direc- tor of marketing at Keller Marine & RV. EYE-CATCHING MERCHANDISING When it comes to the layout, Robison recommends a dealer arrange its P&A department in smart ways, such as hav- ing dedicated areas for different items like chemicals and lubricants. She says dealers shouldn't put any items a customer is likely to ask for near the front of the department, such as batteries. Using Flat Wall displays are very attrac- tive as well and help display product to cus- tomers. Morrow encourages dealers to also use double-peg hooks so product can hang on one and the other peg can be used for displaying a plastic card, which houses the UPC, product number and pricing. "What that allows them to do is quickly scan their store with a scanner to do reor- Displays drive decisions Utilizing parts and accessories merchandising to increase sales ders in our online tool. So it's multi-faceted. It makes it more attractive but it also allows them a quicker reorder," said Morrow. "It allows them to see the pricing right there and also the retailer can change their pric- ing quickly, based on using the little labels, and they can download pricing right from our system to update it." Keller Marine helps dealers be more ef- ficient in their ordering process through these UPC tags and a scanner they provide to dealers. This scanner connects to KWeb, a business-to-business system offered by Keller Marine, and when a product is scanned it is automatically entered into the ordering sys- tem. This gives the department employees more time to merchandise properly. Dealers should utilize counter displays as much as possible, as it encourages im- pulse purchases. Garmin recently intro- duced a tray kit, a countertop display that complements its recently launched Quatix 3 marine watch (read more about this prod- uct on p. 41). The merchandising itself needs to be eye catching. Many suppliers provide dis- plays for dealers and these should be used as often as possible to communicate a mes- sage to the customers. "Proper product placement and pricing, and informative copy, is key in these areas. We really try to design fixtures and artwork that are compelling and emotive, but have a fresh design so they draw in the customer and encourage them to check out more," said Madalyn Radetic, retail merchandising specialist — marine at Garmin. "When we "Merchandising is a strategy and it's a communication tool, and if you're not merchandising, you're basically not commu- nicating visually." — Jennifer Robison PHOTO CREDIT: DON'S MARINE

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