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The most important sales season of the year is upon us.  Last month we examined the economic factors that determine the best approach to product ranging for this year's peak season.  This month we look at merchandising and the "premium product" segment of your specially selected summer range.

Take a moment to check back on last month's article. Click Here!   (Unfortunately, while it was posted on the website on time as usual, there was a problem in distributing the announcement emails.) 

The product strategy has both an emphasis on premium quality products that "offer best value for money", as well as an emphasis on basic products that are competitively priced.  Remember, for this season you're emphasising both ends of the product range.  Keep the emphasis there, but - but don't forget the middle range too.  Just emphasise that stuff less.

Since you have arranged to carry greater than usual stock of premium range items, the task now is to merchandise well.  That means good visual merchandising as well as an offer to spur a buying decision.  We'll consider pricing later.

hero space squashed
Hero Display Spaced out aisles Poor display of good products

Your premium range must also reflect "superior style and design", and that means giving your hero display plenty of space.  Open, free space enhances the aura of superior design and professionalism.  Note the size of the aisles in this bedding store, in the centre.

By way of contrast, look at the aquarium supplies display on the right.  They offer high quality products, but it is hard for the general public to tell in this display!  Make sure your displays tell the quality story you need to tell.

Now the display is right, what about the offer?  This is not a "price off" occasion - the offer needs to reflect the high quality product image.  So it's a premium offer you need.  Add an extended warranty, free installation or first service, cleaning service, or add a small package of an ancillary product.  All these offers show you recognise the higher aspirations of the buyers, and you are taking every step to make buying and ownership a trouble free experience.

The guidelines given last month mean we have to have "the best value for money" in this range.  In other words, you have to be the lowest price on a "like for like" basis, but not massively lower.  An example cited a few months ago discussed a menswear battle, where a shirt price of $79.90 created a value image against a competitor charging $79.95 for precisely the same item.  The amount is trivial - the customer reaction was devastating.  Luckily, if you are offering the right premium in the sale, you will not be compared to other prices in such a direct way.

Summarising on price:
Then advertise your offer to death!

Like to talk some more about this topic?  No obligation, of course.   Talk to us Here!

Next month: How to handle those extra basic products that make up the other half of your product mix for this year's main selling season.

You have gone back to the October Edition.   Return to November.

CORROBORATION!   Last month, the product strategy was based on "two Australia's".  Here's how the Melbourne Age pictured it!

Australian states

Just two days after the release of the September "Management Memos", the Melbourne Age newspaper published an article showing the differences in state by state economic growth.  It is these differences shown on this map that led to the product strategy we recommended.  (Map courtesy of "The Age".)


Any advice, information or comment contained in this document is general in nature, and should not be relied on as the basis for any specific commercial, business, employment, or financial decision. Specific advice should always be obtained for each individual circumstance. Accordingly any advice, information or comment contained herein is for general guidance only.