SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Cross-merchandising 300 assorted kitchen gadgets in grocery, produce, dairy and meat aisles has helped general merchandise sales at Community Cash Stores here jump about 11%. "The added gadgets space is paying off in big dividends, with higher sales this year compared to a year ago," said Glenn Walters, director of operations. Small housewares and kitchen gadgets are now merchandised on 12-inch sky panels on 3- and 4-inch J-hooks. Adding the J-hooks enabled the 24-store chain to boost its housewares variety by 50%. The panels run 60 feet over dairy cases, 24 feet atop meat cabinets, 60 to 72 feet over produce and 36 feet over bread department racks. Selections are priced from 98 cents to $4.99.
The chain opted for the panels, which were installed last year, because it lacked the space to expand in-line, said Walters. Preliminary results show that they help stimulate impulse sales.
"A shopper who may have gone to Wal-Mart for a can opener can now pick one up in our stores," said Walters.
Merchants Distributors, Hickory, N.C., which supplies the general merchandise mix in a fully racked program, provides the retailer with updated movement reports.
The retailer selected the shorter J-hooks, which hold about four items, because it decided they would be better for inventory control. Longer J-hooks, which are about 6 or 7 inches, typically hold about seven items.
In other news, the retailer has added children's toys that retail from $2 to $4 in the cereal aisle. It also has introduced a 4-foot section of pots and pans priced at $8 to $10, along with enlarged stationery sets, which were doubled in size to 8-foot sections at larger stores.