Merchandising basics — Part two

JenniferRobisonHere we are in July nearing August and I have part two of the merchandising tool basics to deliver. Here are the items I consider VIP to operation of your product showroom. These are some items that should be in every retailer and ready to go. Sadly, this is not the case. Take a quick note and make sure your store is prepared with these basic items.


Basic tool kit:

For any merchandising work, it is necessary to have tools for building and repairing displays and fixtures and for mounting art/graphics. Don’t forget measuring and leveling tools as well. In addition, I suggest a box knife and extra blades, scissors and mechanic’s gloves to protect your skin. Make sure you have a tool kit caddy to keep everything together and organized.

Price tag fastener Gun:



Nothing special here — make sure you get one that is easy to obtain the tag refills for. Include this in your merchandising kit.

Hang Tags:



Strive to use a simple clean hangtag, one that you can attach your labels to if you print upon receipt of goods. Avoid using tags that are preprinted or look like they are from the 1950’s! You do not want your products to look old or cheap even if they are on sale!  


Clear tab and hooks:

cleartab clearhook

Clear tabs and hooks are for products that have no holes for hanging. These come in packs of 500 for around $30 a box. Note: These are a great help with poor packaging or broken packaging.

Slot wall accessories:

boxybar waterfallbar

I prefer rectangular (boxy style) slot wall arms. The box style is a bit heavy duty and looks nicer overall to the narrower box style slot wall arms. Use combos of straight arms and waterfalls. You can choose Black or Chrome but stay consistent and get them all in the same finish. Make sure you order plenty of these and keep them in plastic bins in your back stock area separated and organized so they can be easily retrieved. Always, always keep your hardware sorted and boxed up by style. I hate to say it but there are a lot of powersports stores that do not treat display as important. Time is money and it’s a waste of staff time to have your display goods in a disaster.


Avoid using the drop hook underside style waterfall for apparel products (shown above) these are primarily for luggage, purses, backpacks and other bags. The apparel hangs too low and inconsistently in most cases.

Jennifer Robison’s career began in 1987 when she served as a service writer/parts sales for a high-end import auto dealer before becoming one of the first generation of Harley-Davidson Motorclothes managers at a Northwest dealership (1991-2000). From 2002 on, Jennifer has been with Tucker Rocky Distributing. Jennifer has educated the Tucker Rocky sales force and dealers about the powersports apparel business and powersports retailing. Jennifer’s expertise is in powersports retailing, merchandising and display, promotions and in-store marketing. She has lectured and written about powersports retailing and continues to perform dealer educational workshops and seminars across the United States.


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