Michele Gerard’s popular Atlantic News location in downtown Halifax, NS is known for its wide availability of magazines and newspapers from around the world, but while Gerard deals mainly in the printed word, she also places an emphasis on her convenience sales with the use of eye-catching point-of-sale materials.
Gerard recently ordered the Nestlé fab 5 wobbler from ccentral.ca/free-pos, a site that allows retailers to order up to 20 pieces of POS at a time and have the materials delivered to their stores, all free of charge. She says this particular piece of POS, which highlights the company’s bestselling SKUs, stood out for a number of reasons.
“For one, it just looks really good,” Gerard explains. “It’s also a general category, so for me, the idea was that instead of anything so specific, I could put the POS anywhere in the store to remind customers about chocolate bars. Right now, I put it up by the beverage fridge instead of on the candy rack as a reminder to pick up a chocolate bar, too.”
The newsstand may take up three quarters of Gerard’s store, but the smaller convenience area is just as mighty. “The convenience side is actually a huge part of my business,” says Gerard. “For me, it makes sense to be able to put the materials elsewhere, rather than only in the confectionery area.” Now, when shoppers are perusing the magazine racks, they can see that chocolate signage, and pick up a bar on the way to the cash counter.
Jeff Mayo is another non-traditional convenience retailer looking to draw attention to convenience SKUs at his site. Mayo, general manager of The Chamois Carwash in Winnipeg, MB, says he uses POS materials to incent his wash customers to make that extra purchase.
“It’s really important to get people thinking,” Mayo says. “If they come in for a car wash and they get the drink, what’s going to go with the drink? A salty snack. So you want them to think about combining items. If they walk by a chocolate bar and see a dangler for a chocolate bar and Coke bundle, they think they might as well get the Coke, as well.”
Both Mayo and Gerard use materials found on free-pos.ca to supplement those supplied by sales reps, and say visual cues in YCM magazine ads serve as a reminder to mix up their display repertoire.
“Really, they have nothing to lose; the price is right,” says Mayo. “When it comes down to business, you need to take every chance you can get to increase those sales. If you have a tool which is free to you to promote product, which will increase your sales, it’s a no-brainer.”