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Holidays on Wheels


“Build it and they will come” — the iconic line from “Field of Dreams” might well be changed to “Move it to where they’ll buy” in terms of mobile holiday merchandisers and display equipment in supermarkets.

“Many grocers are stuck with large stores that shoppers find inconvenient,” asserts Harry Newton director of sales and marketing at SPC Retail, a division of Structural Plastics Corp., in Holly, Mich. “Pop-up retail shops and a store-within-a-store with specialty holiday displays in high-traffic power aisles and temporary areas are great ways to inspire shoppers and generate excitement, featuring unique seasonal items to increase sales.”

Newton points out that SPC’s specialty displays feature the patented modular “Kit of Parts” system, which is made of 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic and easy to assemble in minutes without tools.

“Retailers love the lightweight versatility, mobility and extreme durability of our displays, and that they can be used indoors or outdoors as a single display, or grouped together to create a temporary seasonal or holiday pop-up retail shop in minutes,” he adds.

SPC’s new Tilt-Top Display Table is perfect for creating a cross-merchandised impulse display for baked goods, candies, flowers, wine and gifts at checkout areas, vestibules and seasonal areas, while the 4-Tier Round Display creates a focal-point display for poinsettias, according to Newton.

“We provide free store layout and design services, and many of our retail clients contact us to help them repurpose their existing displays and create new store layouts and shifts in available selling space to accommodate almost any type of product or temporary pop-up concept,” he says.

Newton adds that the future of mobile holiday-shopping display equipment will mean having the ability to turn an existing retail space into a new and exciting holiday destination area within a store, or the ability “to capitalize on the onslaught of short-term lease opportunities to open up seasonal pop-up stores,” which can “make shopping fun, exciting and inspiring to an increasingly diverse audience.”

Adding Interest and Flexibility

At Hillphoenix, in Conyers, Ga., Marketing and Design Specialist Marjorie Proctor notes: “Doing the same visual merchandising year after year gets stale and uninteresting. What makes the successful retailers stand out are embracing the opportunity to observe and evaluate the retail landscape, always considering new ways to improve, and striving to find ways to do it better and more effectively next year or the next holiday.”

She says that the most popular holiday merchandisers from Hillphoenix include the HSC and OSIOA single-deck self-service cases, and the CF and O3UMA multideck self-service cases.

“A mobile case with a small footprint provides merchandising flexibility, especially around holidays, that allows a retailer to switch up their typical floor plan to an engaging floor plan with many opportunities to cross-merchandise, [feature] sampling stations and kiosks to promote holiday sales, and educate shoppers about new products that they typically might not try,” observes Proctor. “Mobile merchandisers open up windows of opportunity for shoppers to explore and learn how to pair products.”

Her tip for the holidays: Place a 2- or 3-foot mobile merchandiser near the frozen turkey display case and highlight produce, fresh herbs and seasonings to complement the bird; adding recipe cards and signage can get shoppers to try something new.

“If done right, the refrigerated mobile merchandiser … helps tell the holiday merchandising story and makes the shopper feel immensely captivated in the present by having the opportunity to shop a venue of products,” contends Proctor. “A successful holiday set commands the shopper’s attention. … When a shopper is impressed and completely enveloped in the present, those are the segments in time when a shopper is most likely to buy. That’s why it is so important to take the time to think merchandising through and create a show-stopping display.”

Interactive Future

According to Kendra Sewell, VP of sales at Bowling Green, Ky.-based Pan-Oston, retailers have been incorporating more samples and recipe addons, as well as taking center store merchandise to the perimeter to increase margins, and prepared food offerings are expanded during the holidays, from the deli to the bakery.

“Retailers can use our mobile cooking demo unit, mobile condiment station, custom kiosks, mobile checkout, portable information kiosk, cash security cart, and Pack ‘N Ship Smart Cart for the holidays,” she says.

Sewell notes that Pan-Oston’s custom kiosks can be used to make recommendations, dispense samples, print out recipes, among other functions. “Pan-Oston’s engineering team can design any type of mobile kiosk to fit the specific needs of the store,” she adds.

“The future of mobile merchandisers lies within interactive displays,” predicts Sewell. “With more and more holiday shopping happening online, the in-store experience must be memorable and personal.”

On the Move

Twinsburg, Ohio-based FFR Merchandising offers a variety of mobile display fixtures, including produce racks, bakery tables and merchandisers, floral display carts and cubes, and metal wire merchandisers, notes VP of Marketing Paul Bloom.

“Certain products lend themselves to innovation simply by their versatile nature,” he points out. “Our Mobile Two-Tier Wire Dump Bin is perfect for use throughout the store, [especially] at checkout for last-minute purchases such as stocking stuffers, ribbon and tape.”

Bloom says that the Bunker Case Cross Merchandiser was added to hold complementary products for cross-selling, such as cranberry with turkey and marinades with ham. It fits across meat cooler cases and can be easily and quickly repositioned or removed as needed or as promotions change.

Bloom believes that there’s a growing need to integrate shoppers’ total buying experience from online to in-store, and that kiosks and interactive displays are becoming more prevalent as a result. “However, selling physical product in a store remains a core concern,” he admits. “From operational efficiencies to loss prevention, in-store merchandising is and always has been a very fluid and changing arena.”

Merchandisers for all Seasons

“We sell a variety of mobile displayers that create interest and sales by helping turn passive shoppers into active buyers, including tables, trolleys, carts, baskets, merchandisers, dump bins, stands, merchandising bunks, and even orchard bins with fencing and casters,” says Cathy McCosham, merchandise manager for Hubert Co. LLC, in Harrison, Ohio.

McCosham adds that the Expressly Hubert Surefit Mobile Wood Bins with fencing and casters were developed out of a need to supply more KD (knock-down) fixtures that would save on shipping and freight costs and be eco-friendly as well. “We were also looking for display pieces that could be easily assembled, and the Surefit snaps together without tools,” she notes. “It is available in three different wood finishes, with the weathered wood being very popular and on trend. It presents a minimal amount of product with a massive look.”

Available in chrome and black, the Hubert Round Mobile Dump Bins were developed as an economical product showcase because of their larger size.

In the future, McCosham sees versatile products with interchangeable parts and accessories that can morph into different functionalities, as well as products with urban designs and earthy materials that reflect current fixturing trends and resonate with the growing Millennial market.

“Mobile merchandisers open up windows of opportunity for shoppers to explore and learn how to pair products.”
—Marjorie Proctor, Hillphoenix

“Pop-up retail shops and a store-within-a-store with specialty holiday displays in high-traffic power aisles and temporary areas are great ways to inspire shoppers and generate excitement.”
—Harry Newton, SPC Retail

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