NORTHLAKE, Ill. -- Dominick's Finer Foods here this month begins testing cross-merchandising of Ekco kitchen gadgets and Baker's Secret bakeware at frozen food display cabinets and fresh foods departments. Gadgets, roasting and broiling pans will be displayed on wire racking at frozen food cabinets to capture impulse sales from the high customer traffic in the frozen food aisle. The chain also will use freestanding displays, power panels and endcap presentations to merchandise kitchen gadgets and tools in the fresh foods department.
"The chain's decision to boost its gadgets volume is based, in part, on the concept that a supermarket gets a third of its gadgets sales from in-line, another third from J-hooking and perimeter merchandising, and the balance from off-shelf displays and cross-merchandising," said an industry observer.
Presently, the chain has 12- to 16-foot in-line gadget sections and merchandises items from J-hooks at grocery aisles. Company officials at Dominick's declined to comment on the gadgets cross-merchandising program. Dominick's will track its gadget sales using a different Universal Product Code for products offered in-line and those merchandised in outposted areas. White carding is used in-line, while gray carding is on gadgets cross-merchandised on tower displays, J-hooks and other areas, said the trade source. "This way, Dominick's can tell if it's getting better movement on some gadgets from the secondary displays," added the source. The chain has begun installing new
wire rack fixtures that hold bakeware at reach-in frozen meat cases. Situated close to frozen turkeys and steaks, the display holds three each of the permanent broiler and roasting pans. The retailer will use the same display concept to micromarket better grade and higher price-point kitchen tools and accessories. "Dominick's expects to set up a 20-item Eterna, upscale European-style gadgets line at frozen food aisles at its more affluent stores to spur impulse sales of higher price items," said the source. Dominick's is also experimenting with cardboard display pockets 12 inches long by six inches deep that can be attached to a power panel or counter at produce. "These pockets can be set up in a series of four to create a vertical presentation on a power panel. Each pocket can contain a different [item], or the same item at the same price point. The different pockets hold a variety of small gadgets. At produce it can be clipped onto the front end of a bin or counter almost like a shelf extender," noted the source. As it attempts to develop potentially higher gadgets volume, Dominick's is implementing a new strategy of placing freestanding power towers at grocery and fresh food sections.
The power tower display is set up at produce and seafood sections with assorted small gadgets that relate to those specific product areas, exposing a wider number of customers to gadgets, according to the observer. The five-foot tall power tower unit has four sides and contains 12 gadgets that are clip-stripped on each side. The mix includes basic and seasonally oriented items, including bamboo skewers, corn holders in summer, apple corers, basters and pastry brushes in the fall.
"Dominick's will adjust the product mix seasonally on the tower displays, which take up 12 inches of floor space. The chain will place the fixture at meat, produce and liquor departments, with corkscrews and can openers for beer and wine," said an observer. The power tower fixtures will also carry some gadgets "that may not do well in-line, but that move better cross-merchandised. An orange peeler, for example, may not move well at the in-line section, but sells well when it's placed close to oranges at produce," added the observer. "These days, with the produce department offering a wide variety of fresh out-of-season fruit and vegetables from South American growers, the need for product-related gadgets is growing. It's created the need to place the gadgets close to the products they are used with," noted the observer. "Dominick's is attempting in its proactive approach to gadgets to reach out to that customer who walks the perimeter aisle and grazes the outside of the center store, but doesn't go down a general merchandise aisle," said the source. The source added that Dominick's is a strong gadgets promoter and likes to take advantage of the potential for higher sales that can come from the perimeter aisles.
"When Dominick's promotes gadgets at a percentage off the whole department, it can sell four- to six-weeks' worth of product in a one-week period," the source stated.