Claire Maguire, a regional sales manager for Calabasas Hills, Calif.-based Helmet House, believes she’s visited 300 to 400 dealerships from around the nation. Maguire also has 15 years of experience working in the parts and accessories departments of large south Florida dealerships. With that experience in mind, Powersports Business talked to Maguire about some retail merchandising best practices. Here’s some of her thoughts:
Get the product out of the box. “Merchandise in boxes don’t sell,” Maguire said. “You want to have your product where it’s clearly visible to the consumer. A lot of consumer purchase is psychological. If you walk into a dealership and see a big wall of helmets, you immediately associate in your mind that that dealer has a great selection of helmets. And when you’re ready to buy a helmet, you immediately think to go back to that store. You have a picture in your mind that that’s a helmet store … but if it’s not well displayed, the consumer doesn’t get that picture in their mind.”
Use of space. “A big complaint from dealers is, ‘I don’t have space.’ But I think that their use of space could be redefined. For example, a lot of dealers will have tires in the front of the store,” Maguire said. But tires are a type of product that consumers come to the store to purchase. It’s impulse items, like jackets and helmets, that should be given more prominent placement, Maguire said. She compares it to buying milk and bread in a supermarket. Often these items that compel a consumer to go to a store are found in the back of a supermarket, requiring shoppers to walk past a number of impulse items before reaching the milk or bread.
Strive for a complete selection. “The dealers that stock the heaviest and have the best selection will far outsell the most conservative dealers,” she said. As evidence, she points to a former workplace, Competition Cycle in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She said one of the parts and accessories superstore’s best-selling helmets, while she worked there, was the double extra small. Another best seller? The triple-extra large. The reason for the success behind the odd sizes? None of the competition carried them. psb