The next time you head to your distributor market, keep in mind that you can find more than new products or inventory there. You may discover your next great idea.
That’s what happened with Joe DeRoest, owner of Joe’s Hardware in Fallbrook, Calif., when he attended his distributor’s market this past fall.
He saw a model store that included a single-queue checkout system and liked the way it looked, so he decided to try the same thing in his store.
DeRoest already had a curved counter that was being used for customer service, so he turned it into the checkout counter and added a single-queue line in front, along with new flooring that looks like wood plank. (Taking out the old checkout counter gave him more room for a remodel that included the addition of a housewares department and some small appliances, the expansion of his canning section and a remodel of the paint department.)
Now, customers wait in a single line until the next available cashier calls them to the checkout. “They tease me and say they feel like mice going through a maze, but this new system has worked well for us,” DeRoest says.
He completed this remodel last fall, just in time for the holiday selling season. He saw his transaction sizes increase by an average of $1.06 in December.
“We put out a lot of stocking-stuff-type items in December,” he says.
“In January, our transaction sizes were up, and in February, they increased even more.”
In fact, the change and increase in transaction size helped DeRoest pay for his remodel in just a few short months.
In addition to freeing up space and increasing sales, DeRoest says the new checkout setup has created a better flow throughout his store. “When you walk in, the checkout is to the left, and the traffic flows to the right.”
He encourages other retailers who are considering something similar to give it a try. “I’ve seen a good return on investment.”