As a hardware store owner, you likely spend a lot of time focusing on stocking your shelves and making sure that your community has access to tools and accessories. If customers find your store disorganized or if products are not easily accessible, they'll likely be less inclined to buy and you may be miss out on profits as time goes. Here are three things you can do to optimize your hardware store's organization and make sure that shopping is convenient for your customers:
Incorporate Bulk Bins
A great way to make sure that the loose nails, screws, washers, and other accessories you sell stay organized and easy to access is to store them in bulk bins. Using bulk bins as your sales vessel, you can avoid having to store loose items behind the counter where someone on your staff has to retrieve them any time a customer needs something. You can also avoid having to use large barrels or over-sized display containers to store the items. Simply place your bulk bins on shelves and label them to correspond with whatever can be found in them. Look for bins that are small enough for customers to sift through with ease and that have tops that close to minimize the chance that items get mixed into the wrong bins.
Implement Peg Boards
Instead of displaying your available hammers, saws, and power tools on shelves, consider hanging peg boards along the walls of your hardware store and hanging the items there. Hang a different board for each type of tool that you want to hang and have professional signs made to hang above each board that indicates what can be found on them. This will save you lots of room on your shelves for other stuff, and make it easy for customers to clearly see and handle each item hanging on the boards.
Color Code Your Aisles and Shelves
You can make it easy on customers to find what they need by color coding your store's aisles and shelves. For example, aisles and shelves where household accessories such as cupboard knobs and sink nozzles can be color coded yellow. Just create yellow signs for each aisle and shelf with these types of items on them. You can then have posters and fliers printed that provide a simple legend customers can use to locate items within your store – just list your color options along with the corresponding items that are associated with them. Keep a batch of fliers near the entrance of your store and hang posters at the ends of some of your aisles.
With these methods and techniques put into place, you should find that your customers are able to shop without confusion and you're able to make more money in the long run.