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dump bin

Can You Restore Order to This Display?

The dump bin is a fairly simple concept. Grab a big container and dump a lot of product in it.

NRHA’s 2016 Merchandising for Profit Study found products placed in a permanent dump bin have an 86 percent sales lift over their regular place on a shelf. Customers associate this type of display with bargain merchandise, making dump bins ideal for impulse buys.

With a display that’s easy to create and will sell a lot of merchandise, what could go wrong? A barrelful. Look at the photo below and you’ll see a dump bin in chaos.

Look at the display in the photo above, decide how to fix it and then check out the photos below to review a few merchandising best practices. Then, look around your own operation and see if you have any dump bin displays spiraling toward mayhem.

Have your employees try the exercise, too. The more they know about maintaining displays, the more they can help you keep order with the merchandising in your business.

If you missed any of the merchandising exercises in this series, go to the Fix Your Merchandising Trainer’s Toolbox at nrha.org/training.

dump bin before and after

1. Clear the Confusion
Dumps bins create a sense of urgency. Customers may think the product and price you’re offering won’t be around for long. To heighten that sense of urgency, it’s important to have clear, well-maintained signage. If it gets torn or wrinkled, replace it. Poorly maintained signage creates a bad impression for the rest of the salesfloor. Even if you’re not offering a special price, dump bins, by nature, compel shoppers to buy more than other types of merchandising.

2. Product Is King
Take away anything that distracts from the product. Dump bins easily attract trash or stray products, so all staff should make a regular habit of picking out what doesn’t belong. Generally, depending on their size, the best dump bins hold a single product at a time. Since nearly all shoppers pass by strategically placed dump bins, you also want to choose products that have broad appeal and customers might use every day.

3. Keep It Fresh
The product in this dump bin is starting to disappear. If you run low on whatever you’re selling in a dump bin display, swap it out for something different. It’s also a good idea to regularly rotate the products. If customers get accustomed to seeing the same item in the dump bin, the merchandising will start to lose its effectiveness. Showing a full bin also helps enhance your price image, as customers tend to equate large quantities of product with lower prices.

4. Find What’s Lost
This display took a wrong turn on the way to the main aisle. In order to be effective, a dump bin should be in a heavily trafficked part of the store, not a back corner. Good places include power aisles and service counters. Being strategic about the location will boost sales. Sometimes the location will determine the products you place there, as you might want to suggest an add-on sale. Sometimes you just want to surprise customers with something they don’t expect.

About Jesse Carleton

Jesse Carleton has visited independent hardware retailers, conducted original research on the industry and written extensively about the business of hardware retailing. Jesse has written for more than a dozen of NHPA’s contract publishing titles, all related to the hardware retailing industry. He also was instrumental in developing the Basic Training in Hardware Retailing courses now used by thousands of retailers across the country.

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