Color plays an important role in driving traffic to your paint department. Use the following steps to boost sales and encourage customers to try something new.
- Create the space.
Retailers who have been successful in selling paint have created paint rooms or dedicated areas away from the busy aisles of the store where customers can sit, look at paint swatches and get a vision for what they want in their home. Create an inspiring environment by including architecture and design magazines, chairs and a table.
- Focus on value.
If color is what started the conversation about paint, don’t let price end it. Customers should understand that different grades of quality will have different end results. No matter which grade they buy, they’re going to expect a great finish. Educating them up front on the different types and encouraging them to buy a better product could help alleviate frustrations later.
- Hire design pros.
Customers might get excited about a new color on the paint chip rack, but they may not be sure what to do with it. Hire a designer who can show customers how to match complementary colors and connect their new throw pillows to their walls. A designer can help the customer by suggesting a scheme for an entire room.
- Know your product.
DIYers browsing your paint department may have some knowledge of the project they’re aiming to tackle. It’s even more important for your staff to master their own product knowledge. Take advantage of training from the North American Hardware and Paint Association (NHPA), wholesaler classes and vendor seminars. Learn more about what’s available at yournhpa.org/training.
- Maintain inventory.
The color chip rack is going to be the centerpiece of your paint department. Make sure the sundries aisle isn’t a letdown. Be fastidious with your inventory management, eliminate holes in the inventory, face and front products often and keep the area clean. Change out endcaps near the paint area frequently, too, so the department always looks fresh.
- Fill the basket.
The quest for a new color is the springboard for a larger project. There is a basket full of items customers will need with the project. Use merchandising to your advantage. Project lists placed strategically throughout the department will remind customers of what else they need. Creative endcaps and power aisle displays can also suggest add-on sales.
- Keep up on trends.
Paint trends are not something you should look at only once a year. Use wholesaler markets to stay up to date on new products, such as specialty paints or applicators. Also read craft magazines, browse popular home design websites and study social media sites such as Pinterest. When you understand what projects are popular among DIYers, you can align your product mix accordingly.
- Elaborate with events.
Introducing your paint vendor’s color of the year is a great opportunity to hold an event. Use the new colors to build excitement, then segue the conversation into a seminar on how to match colors, how to successfully paint a room or how to refurbish an antique. Bringing in your paint vendor to talk about new products will help cement the loyalty customers have with the brand you sell.
See 2023 Colors of the Year here.