When there’s a new arrival at Mark’s Ace Hardware, Camille Gibson wants to make sure everyone has a chance to see it. Gibson, general manager for the Tucson, Arizona, store, doesn’t want any new addition to her product lineup to go unnoticed.
That’s why she’s created a new item board, a white board located in the employee breakroom that announces the arrival of each new product she or one of her employees brings into the store.
While information on each new item is posted for all employees to review throughout the day, Gibson also makes sure each gets a proper introduction during her daily employee meetings. During those meetings, she often brings a sample of a new product and offers a quick overview of its features and benefits.
The idea for the board originated when Gibson began creating a “lost sales” sheet, which was her system of tracking why customers left the store without purchasing the items they came in to buy. Once she knew why a customer didn’t make a purchase, she could address those issues in the future.
“I discovered that the majority of the sales we were losing was due to items we didn’t stock,” she says. But bringing those items into the store only solved half the problem. Employees needed to understand that the new products were available and be proactive in recommending them to customers.
“When we started bringing in those items, we needed a way to communicate to our employees and our customers that those products were now available,” she says.
“The new item board has helped with that communication,” she says. “Sales on some of those items are typically strong, because employees are more likely to suggest them to customers.”