As you gear your store up for this year’s big Halloween push, it’s worth taking a moment to review some merchandising tips that prove particularly successful at this time of year. Along with Valentine’s Day and Easter, there’s no better time to move the healthy snack mixes, dried fruits, packaged candies and bulk candies that we make here at Truly Good Foods. See what a difference these helpful suggestions can make.
1. It Starts with the Checkout Line
According to Nielsen’s recent “C-Store Executive Summary,” a properly stocked checkout display can boost front-end sales by nearly 25 percent. Happily, the report identifies Halloween-friendly candy and snacks as prime components of “properly stocked” checkout displays. While your store might fill its checkout displays with Truly Good Foods’ packaged snacks, nuts and candies on a year-round basis, Halloween is the perfect time to go big. Create a three-dimensional, Halloween-themed display for every other checkout line and invite customers to try snack and candy items that they might have missed during the other 10 months of the year.
2. Advertise Obvious Bargains
Come Halloween, candy-hunting parents and kids have one thing on their minds: bulk values. Take advantage of this mindset by setting aside special entryway and front-of-house displays for Truly Good Foods’s bulk candy lineup and prominently advertising per-pound specials on select items. Take this line of reasoning one step further by throwing packaged snack and candy bars into the mix. Your goal shouldn’t simply be to close huge bulk sales at the front of the house. According to a joint report from Videomining and Mars-Wrigley, C-store customers spend an average of $3 for every minute that they linger in-store. By setting up multiple end-cap and choke-point displays that highlight different Truly Good Foods items, you’ll give your customers plenty of choice and increase the time they spend weighing their options.
3. Reinforce the Message
Although candy sales spike during September and October, a surprising amount of pre-Halloween sweets shopping is impulsive. Like any other time of the year, the pre-Halloween run is perfect for suggestive selling. Greet incoming shoppers with a super-sized seasonal display that points them to key Halloween items throughout the store and whets their appetites for packaged and bulk sweets with several shelves of top-selling items. To capitalize on shoppers’ seasonally induced impulsiveness, set up additional displays in high-traffic areas near deli, seafood, meat and prepared-foods counters.
4. Super-Size Your Halloween Displays
Since Halloween is a festive time of year, shoppers won’t penalize you for celebrating. Start by gearing customers up for scary-good bargains with black and orange teaser displays outside your entryway. Inside, ensure that your candy and snack displays are big, clearly visible and easily accessible. While you should never shortchange weekly-special or closeout displays, your Halloween end-caps and standalones should be the “main event” for sweet-toothed shoppers. Eschew “grab bins” in favor of multi-tiered wraparound displays that separate bulk and packaged candies and snacks into colorful, attractive compartments.
5. Surprise Customers with Healthy Snacks
Most of the time, it makes sense to group low-cost “impulse items” like candy and snack bars next to higher-priced “destination items” like adult beverages and lottery tickets. When candy and snacks are main attractions, this logic doesn’t necessarily hold. Surprise shoppers who seek out traditional Halloween items like bulk and packaged candies with adjacent or even co-mingled displays that prominently advertise healthier dried fruits, nuts, snack mixes and fiber-rich candy bars from Truly Good Foods. This will encourage more than a few health-conscious parents to give their kids a new Halloween option.
Even the tastiest Halloween candies and snacks don’t sell themselves. Fortunately, superior products can benefit from subtle pushes that don’t require huge amounts of effort on your end. Juice this year’s Halloween sales by creating colorful, three-dimensional displays, educating shoppers about high-quality products, and surprising regulars with unexpected Truly Good Foods items that work well as treat-bag stuffers. Come November, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start years ago.