Making your work wear work harder for you
Walk into a builders’ merchant 10 years ago and you would rarely see any work wear or PPE.
But that’s all changed. In the last decade, the big chains and a lot of independents started selling work wear when they realised the potential it held.
This is hardly surprising. Frequent inhabitants of builders’ merchants are masters of the considered purchase. They know what they need for the job they’re on and that is what they buy; nothing more and nothing less.
Work wear, on the other hand, brought merchants something they had hitherto lacked – the impulse purchase; the chance to get their customers to buy more than they came in for.
Prior to this, jobbing builders, plumbers, joiners and brickies had to go to specialist suppliers to pick up their work wear and PPE.
Now, all of a sudden, they could grab that much needed new jacket, pair of boots, gloves or hard hat while picking up their building materials. It was a win-win for both merchants and the trade.
So, with work wear and PPE a permanent fixture at merchants, how can they make the best of it from a display and storage point of view?
Maximising returns from these products is all about in-shop positioning, because unless they are obvious and in easy reach, you can kiss goodbye to those precious impulse purchases.
Manufacturers, understandably, will be happy to supply you with branded displays for their products as it helps drive brand awareness.
Whereas this can be helpful, it can reduce the opportunities for you to highlight your own brand.
So, to make the biggest impact with your workwear displays, our advice is to create an area for clothing between your most popular products and the trade counter, or as near to it as possible, so customers have to pass it to order and pay for materials, and keep it under your own brand.
Doing this will increase your chances of securing impulse purchases and will help secure your brand in the minds of your customers.
Use space effectively
The key to securing impulse purchases is to display the clothes in a way that grabs the customer’s interest. Okay, so you’re not selling high fashion, but seeing new products will get your customers thinking about how worn out their jacket or boots are, or the gloves with the hole in the thumb.
Mannequins are a great way to display work wear in situ and can contribute to the effective use of space. Mannequins are yet not widely seen in builders’ merchants, so using them can help your clothing line stand out.
They are particularly useful with new lines that have a unique or innovative feature because they enable that feature to be effectively displayed. If it is a premium product that has just come out, so much the better.
When it comes to smaller items or those wrapped in cellophane, plastic-covered wire baskets make the perfecting solution. Fil started life supplying these baskets to the trade 25 years ago and we still sell a lot, such is their versatility.
The plastic coating means clothing cannot be snagged, marked or damaged by the basket, and, more importantly, staff and customers cannot cut themselves when reaching for an item.
They make the perfect solution for companies that change the layout of their shop frequently, as they can be hooked on to existing shop shelving, and they are stackable, so if you need to store them, they don’t take up a lot of space.
Best foot forward
No work wear or PPE range is complete without protective boots, and display is important here too. Boots need more space than other clothing lines so customers can try them on, but that’s no excuse for putting them out of sight.
Protective footwear is as much a part of PPE as high-viz jackets and hard hats, so unless your footwear section adjoins the rest of the clothing area, customers may think you don’t stock them.
So, make sure it is visible and there’s enough space for customers to try out different products, or else you’ll be left footing the bill for unsold stock.
Slat wall shelves
Slat wall shelves are a versatile and flexible way to creates footwear displays. They are common in a lot of retailers. Walk into any sports store and you’ll see dozens of training and running shoes adorning the walls. The difference is though, sports shops tend to do it well. Trade outlets? Not so much!
That’s a little unfair actually; some builders’ merchants do it well. But not all. So, if you think your footwear section needs a kickstart and you’re looking for inspiration, visit a big, high street sports store and see how it’s done.
Work wear that works for you
Work wear has lots of potential for builders’ merchants and is one of the few product ranges that can lead to impulse buys.
But to maximise this potential, make sure your clothing and footwear displays are in the right place and organised in the right way. This will ensure your work wear range works hard for you, and your footwear walks out of the shop.