Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market
The run-up to Christmas is the peak season for battery sales, as households stock up on power to keep toys, lights and gadgets on the go throughout the festive period. As destination stores for many of the lights and decorations that consumers use in their homes, hardware and garden retailers have a clear opportunity to maximise battery sales throughout December. This can be achieved through stocking the right combination of products and following some simple guidelines for effective merchandising.

Getting the product right

Alkaline is the most widely used battery technology, offering unbeatable value for money and great performance. The main five cell sizes - AA, AAA, C, D and 9V - will satisfy around 80% of consumer requirements, so as a minimum you should make sure you offer these types. Sizes C, D and 9V are more important in the DIY and hardware trade than in other retail channels, as they are widely used in torches and smoke alarms.

Most brands offer tiers of power to suit the needs of different devices. This is likely to include a long-life range for low-drain devices, such as clocks and remote controls, a high energy option for power-hungry toys or torches, and a premium selection for high-tech devices.

When considering the main fixture, remember that many consumers' knowledge of batteries is limited to AA and AAA and the key focus is buying the right battery for their device and getting value for money. A main display of batteries should be organised by battery size and performance, so that consumers can easily find the
battery they need.

As devices shrink in size, the market for small button cells is growing and, in addition to the five main battery sizes, DIY and garden centre retailers should also consider
a small selection of these specialist cells that can complement the devices they sell that use them. Five types would cover most consumer needs and be a profitable addition to the display.

While consumers may be confused about battery type, they are savvy when it comes to value for money and this is a key consideration when making a purchase. Demonstrating value for money through point of sale and making sure promotional offers are clear is, therefore, very important.

Get visual

Understandably, the battery category can sometimes be overlooked by retailers who believe consumers will seek out batteries on the main display if they need them. Yet two-thirds of all consumer battery purchases are impulse driven, so shoppers are drawn in by promotional displays or strategic placements next to related products.

It is therefore vital that batteries are easily visible and accessible for consumers. Ensuring that there are a few small secondary displays is often more effective that one main display. Using simple placement options, such as clip strips, will allow these to be spread throughout the store, without taking up additional shelf space. In addition, front of store display units at impulse locations are very effective. Here shoppers can physically pick up a pack of batteries and they are then more likely to
make the purchase.

To truly maximise sales over the Christmas period, both hardware and garden centres should have strong promotional offers in stock, such as bulk packs and multipacks. As value for money is key to consumers, a product that offers top
performance and is on promotion will be a real winner.

Any retailers looking to improve their merchandising of batteries should speak to the manufacturer, who will be able to offer expert insight and advice on the consumer shopping experience and simple measures that can be taken to improve sales.
View User Profile for Anthony Stewart Varta Consumer Batteries UK sales director Anthony Stewart discusses the opportunities for DIY and garden retailers in batteries over the Christmas period.

Posted by Anthony Stewart | 20 August 2015 | 10:36 | More from: Charge Your Sales


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