Winning the battle at the time of purchase
OOne of the many changes in the retail landscape is the evolution of merchandising units. There is clearly more than one way to market a product, from large, branded loyalty programs with multiple floor categories to the simple black stair step with a small collection in a small space. The most important factor, experts say, lies in understanding the local tastes and demands of not only consumers in a given market, but also the needs of the channel partners serving them.
“We appreciate the fact that our distributors and retail partners across the country should have the ability to tailor their programs to the products that have the most impact in their respective markets,” said Jodie Doyle, vice president, sales and marketing, Indusparquet . “Because consumers in different parts of the country like different things, we want to make sure that our partners can really showcase the products they believe will make the most difference to their customers.”
While Doyle emphasized the importance of an attractive presentation, he said the company is also aware of the limited amount of space available in most retail showrooms. To that end, the company’s new Solid Tower and Engineered Stacker merchandisers were developed to hold 12 samples each – ideal for a retailer looking to explore and develop this part of the hardwood category. “They were developed in response to requests from retailers for something other than the same old showroom appearance,” he explained.
But a striking presentation is only part of the allure. Today’s merchandising systems also require supporting point-of-purchase (POP) materials to send the right messages home. “While display units are the obvious centerpiece of in-store merchandising, retailers have a myriad of supportive POP marketing options at their disposal,” said Pat Oakley, vice president of sales and marketing, Mullican Flooring. “Engaging and informative merchandising tells a compelling story and enhances the consumer experience to create a lasting first impression. Take an inventory of your marketing strategy and make sure you use all the options in your retail merchandising toolbox.”
These include favorites such as monsters to take home. Unfortunately, it’s not practical or realistic to keep an extensive sample chip library that represents all the product in your showroom. The solution? Keep tire kits and building boards handy.
TRY AND TRUE
Brazilian cherry, indusparquet
Indusparquet’s Brazilian cherry in a ½-inch thick x 5-inch wide developed format continues to be one of the best-selling products in its entire product portfolio. Brazilian Cherry (aka Jatoba), available in both engineered and solid sizes, has lasting natural beauty. The images reflected by the Jotaba species are enhanced by a 3mm dry sawn surface, precision sanded for a modern, clean look and using the company’s patented “Breathe” natural wood drying process.
NEW AND REMARKABLE
Sweet memories, Mirage
The Sweet Memories collection from Boa-Franc, maker of the Mirage brand, gets four new colors: Clay Marbles, Jump Rope, Paddle Ball and Rocking Horse. These rich, on-trend colors with natural tones will instantly evoke childhood memories and the authentic charm of classic wooden floors.
AHF products unleash Dogwood line
AHF Products took the wraps off its Dogwood flooring line at the recent NWFA Expo here. The product features a patent-pending process that creates ‘densified wood’, a 100% natural wood floor that resists scratches, gouges, dents, pet nails and accidents. AHF said it has taken real wood made by nature and improved it by more than doubling its density thanks to a natural process of heat and pressure — all without chemicals, additives, fillers or plastic.
What nature takes millions of years to do can be done in minutes, according to AHF Products, transforming real hardwood into even harder wood. “With Dogwood Densified Wood, homeowners can enjoy genuine hardwood floors that are virtually worry-free,” said Brian Carson, president and CEO of AHF Products.
In addition to its durability features, Dogwood features the company’s Cleantivity technology, which protects against odor, damage and discoloration that can be caused by mold or mildew. Made at the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Somerset, Ky., floors featuring new Dogwood technology will first be introduced under the Bruce brand, with new lines already in progress for other leading brands under the AHF Products umbrella, including Hartco and Robbins, the company said.