NORRISTOWN, Pa. -- Genuardi's Family Markets here is racking up higher checkstand magazine sales with a larger front-end fixture.
Genuardi's, working closely with its fixture manufacturer and news distributors, designed a few versions of the magazine rack -- one 24 inches wide, another 40 inches wide, and a 46-inch-wide version, with a side-basket for impulse general merchandise.
Each style displays magazines on five shelves in a cascade effect, and all are an inch-and-a-half higher than the old checkout rack.
Periodicals movement from the front-end position has increased ever since Genuardi's installed the new Turkish-white and Givenchy-green stands chainwide in March. There are 26 supermarkets in the chain, according to Jack Mahon, category manager for general merchandise. "The new racks have improved appearance, stimulated higher impulse sales and squeezed out more display space."
During the design stage, Genuardi's wanted the racks to be low enough so that a cashier could see over the top for lines backing up at the checkouts.
According to Mahon, register magazine stands at some chains he's seen "are too high. They go overboard with extenders for baseball cards along the top, making it too high for checkers to see over."
Although some magazines merchandised at the front-end duplicate the mainline department, "the front-end is the driving force for magazine sales," he said.
The small basket along the right tier is level with the checkstand belt on some of the fixtures. It is used to merchandise a range of nonfood items, from insulated mugs, priced at 99 cents, and matchbox-type cars marked at $1, to small picture frames, retailing at $1.59.
Store managers like the new rack because there are fewer floor stands, and magazines sold at the cash register have a neater appearance, Mahon said. Fixtures without the side basket are 24-and-a-half-inches wide.
The chain, however, still uses floor-shippers placed at the front-end to highlight special promotion issues, "which can drive sales of the featured title 30% to 40% above normal levels during those weeks," Mahon said.
The new register side-racks also opened up new display opportunities for batteries, film, breath products, cigarette lighters and nasal breathing strips above the belt at all registers.
Genuardi's previously had these products at the front-end, but only on the confectionery side at two check-out lanes per store. The additional exposure "stimulates unplanned purchases during the check-out process at every register. We're tracking the movement with the regular section's sales," said Mahon.