The Details of Retail
What does every retail store have in common? Bags and in-store displays. They need the in-store displays to drive traffic to the store and they need the bags to send their customers home with something to carry their new purchases—and remember their store name. We reached out to a storefront display supplier and a bag supplier to get the low-down on selling these products to the retail market.
Traci Mark, sales manager for Royal Crest Promotions, Golden, Colo., mentioned that in-store displays are useful in increasing traffic in a store, whether large or small. "The [storefront display] stockings are designed to be a traffic builder for a retailer, so whether it is applied in a small or large retail chain store venue, it will draw the same results in increasing sales, boosting traffic and a tool to create customer good-will," she said.
Mark noted that the best times of year for traffic-building in-store displays are around holidays. "We have seen an increase in the use of our promotions for Easter and Christmas as a premium gift (closing gift for large purchases)," she said. "Holidays are a fun time to get creative and capture the imagination of the retailer and their customers." Mark suggested showing an example promotion done with an in-store display to illustrate to your retail clients how excited consumers get about a giant toy giveaway. "Showing a promotion wherein customers can participate and get excited at the idea of winning a giant 8' tall, toy-filled stocking for their kids and/or grandkids is super—fun and something that takes the pressure off of the hard sell," she said.
If that is not enough to convince your clients, remind them of the likely increase in revenue. "We have found the stockings to be a 'pull'-type marketing piece, wherein retailers will be guaranteed additional sales of some sort by the amount of time a customer will spend in the store signing up, and then again returning back to the store with their children to sign up again," she said.
Mark offered an example of a holiday promotion for a retail store. "We sell a large program two times per year (Easter and Christmas) to a distributor who works with a large furniture retail store chain on the East Coast in a multi-state region," she said. "The client will purchase over 800 of our giant promotions [one of which is pictured on page 68] and ship roughly 15 to each store. The furniture store will advertise and market this item as a free gift if a purchase of $999 or more is made. This has been so successful for them that they have run it three years in a row," she said.
Another use for in-store displays is to enhance advertising space for an apparel, food or hard goods company that only sells through retailers. "The items are also popular with chip and bottling companies, wherein a company like Frito-Lay or Coca-Cola will use our stockings as a dealer-loader to gain more space inside of a grocery store venue," Mark explained.
Christopher Duffy, senior vice president of marketing for Bag Makers Inc., Union, Ill., explained why bags are so important to the retail market. "We have sold plastic, paper and nonwoven bags for both large and small retailers—entirely through our promotional product distributor base," Duffy said. As for the differences between small stores and national chains, Duffy noted exactly what you would expect: "Budget is the primary difference," he said. "Larger retailers looking for bags to hold customer purchases view this as a 'replenishment buy' and the large quantity volume dictates a lower unit price," he said.
However, when it comes to special purpose bags, price is less of an issue for large and small stores. "Many retailers also buy our bags for specific marketing purposes, such as gift-with-purchase, grand openings, co-branding opportunities, etc. In these cases, they're looking for more upscale designs and functionality," he said. "Price becomes less of an issue as the marketing presentation itself becomes the key factor." Duffy offered an example of a specialty bag used by a retail store. "A large chain of grocery stores in the southeast sells our insulated grocery tote at their checkout counters," he said. "Its distinctive design makes it a unique purchase and the stores can get their premium for it."
Duffy listed other bag promotions Bag Makers has done for retail stores. "[Bag Makers made a] four-color process, die-cut handle bag for an electronics store chain. It was part of a co-branding marketing opportunity with a software game developer," he said. He also mentioned promotions using custom totes for use at customer service counters or as gifts-with-purchase for national mall retailers.