By David Anzia – Frank Mayer and Associates

The process of designing displays for your dealer networks in the flooring, paint, or home improvement industries presents a unique set of challenges. Build your framework around five questions when developing display programs for home improvement dealer networks. Store layout is unknown and can be inconsistent, even between stores in the same chain. Dealers may opt out of the purchase or place the display in a less than ideal location. Or the display might not be well maintained, making it hard for the product to sell itself. Fortunately, these challenges can be overcome by asking five simple questions during the display development process.

1 – How much square footage is available?

No two stores are the same, but by estimating the sizes of the smallest and largest footprints available, it is possible to create flexible displays that offer a variety of setup configurations.  For example, rather than creating an 8-foot display, we often recommend a 4-foot center module with 2 two-foot add-on modules. This allows dealers to easily arrange the fixture to fit their floor space.

2 – How often does product need to be removed and reinserted?

Metroflor-600x400.jpgSome items, such as carpet or tile samples, will be removed and replaced many times so customers can look at the sample on the floor or under different lighting conditions. How the samples attach to the display should be easy to operate so customers can shop without assistance and return samples to the correct location. For example, we developed a modular display for Metroflor Corporation that can showcase up to 96 large samples. The easily assembled point-of-purchase fixtures include product information boards which are color-coded for easy replacement back on the display.

3 – How many samples will be included and where do they come from?

Most displays will include samples made at several factories. Your display partner should have all of the samples on hand to ship with the display and provide a planogram to attach the samples at the store level.  When all of the display program items arrive at the same time, successful implementation of the display increases significantly.

Wilsonart-Quartz-Display_300x6004 – When do you want the display on the sales floor?

In an ideal situation, the process for developing a customized display from design through shipping to the field takes five to six months. Of course, this process can move faster. Having a better understanding of what you need creates a more efficient design process. If your vendors ship samples efficiently, the samples can ship with the display. Also consider the dealer’s time when shipping the display. If your display is going into stores that are short staffed or likely to let the fixture languish in the stockroom, we suggest shipping the display fully assembled with all the samples included, or using a third-party install group for easy set up. We recently completed a display for Wilsonart that holds up to 52 samples. We received, labeled, and collated the samples to each display, then sent the fully-assembled fixture to dealer locations and retail home centers with the samples.

5 – How will you want to handle replacement parts or sample updates? 

MasterBrands_Gresham-2015_in-store.pngYour product line won’t remain static and your display shouldn’t stagnate either. By building a plan for spare parts as well as semi-annual or annual signage and sample updates into the manufacturing process, you’ll ensure that it is easy for dealers to maintain their fixtures. If needed, we’re happy to help with this and can explain the semi-annual update program we developed our long-time partner MasterBrand Cabinets to refresh their displays with new product line offerings, while removing styles that are no longer desired.

A well-designed display unit showcases the product so well; the display almost fades in the background. By putting thought into this five-question development process, your company can ensure its products are showcased in an innovative display that will help customers shop and (more importantly) purchase your products.

Photo Credit: iStock and Frank Mayer and Associates