Markets, convenience stores, and large and small hardware stores prominently display items along the checkout aisles or on the counters to trigger a wanted or impulsive (additional) purchase by a customer. The impulsive purchase of an item is one that the customer probably would not have considered if the item was not directly in front of him or her.
Impulse items appeal to the emotional sides of customers. Most items bought on impulse are not considered necessary in the customers’ lives. Impulse buying is not limited to inexpensive items.
A good example of impulse buying is going food shopping when you are hungry and buying those snack items that immediately catch your eye.
Research has demonstrated that the longer a person stays in a store, the more money that person spends. This is why more and more stores do not have straight front-to-back aisles. Markets are beginning to rearrange and resize their aisles to require customers to walk further to get anywhere including out.
For store-based locksmiths, the opportunities to market your business has never been better. There are so many impulse items related to keys and security, that it can be difficult to decide what products to offer your customers.
According to Lucky Line, “Locksmiths were buying our multiple product cards years ago, thinking it was cheaper to buy the product that way. Today about 95 percent of locksmiths buy the individually carded items because the reorder quantities are smaller, so the dollar investment is lower per product, plus they can display many more choices for the consumer in the same amount of space.”
For this article, I visited an existing locksmith store to see what a customer will see when entering, walking through the showroom and at the counter making their purchases.
This locksmith store is about 2000 square feet, having approximately 1000 square feet of showroom available to customers. The showroom is further divided by 60 percent dedicated to safes, and the remaining 40 percent to locks, keys and related security products.
An annunciator is interconnected with the front door. When a person opens the door, a notifying sound occurs and one of the employees will quickly walk out and greet the customer.
The store is long rectangle with the entrance towards the center of a long side. Starting at the hinge side of the front door, the right side of the store is dedicated to safes. Two seven-foot-tall racks stocked with Medeco product stand side by side, creating an eight-foot wall just behind the hinge side of the door. On the back of the racks are color samples for safes and several smaller safes are on display.
To the left of the door are two cases, one tall and one short. The tall case has sliding glass doors and contains a variety of concealment devices (key hiders). Made from an ordinary household objects such as a cleaning product, book, pillow, soda or water bottle or can, or a food item, the concealing device is hollow, used to hide things. The idea is that an inconspicuous object would not be expected to contain anything of value.
In addition to household items, there are outside items including the Lucky Line Sprinkler Key Hider that looks like a black plastic sprinkler head. The cap unscrews having enough room to conceal a number of keys. The cap fits air tight protecting the content. On the bottom level are door closers. On top of the case are more products.
The shorter case is open with white boxed residential entry locks and deadbolts. On the upper shelf are racks with $5 special items. On the top half shelf are mounted mechanical and electromechanical locks.
The cases on the left and the racks on the right create an aisle that customers entering the store must navigate. Just past this and directly in front of them is the counter which also contains many impulse items.
The front of the counter has a slotted board that can accommodate a variety of merchandise hooks. Abus padlocks, International Door Closer hardware and Master Lock padlocks and hasps are displayed. Plus, an information board asks, “Do you know this about burglaries?” and presents burglary facts and figures.