Holiday Merchandising Tip #15:  Hard Goods and Gift Giving in the Outdoor Industry

The outdoor industry retailer has shelf upon shelf of cool gizmos for the gear head but that also appeals to the less adventurous or non-typical user.  How do you call attention to neat products that are in boxes or with packaging that doesn’t invite exploration?  This is one area where display can empty your shelves if you pay attention to price point and the universality of use, and not just your typical end user.

For example, when I worked at REI, I had lots of fun creating tables with Sea to Summit’s delta plates and x-mugs.  Why did I chose them?  The colors were bright and playful, the price point invited the non-camper to consider purchasing them, and I knew Mom’s might find them useful in school lunches, or on the road.  The table emptied on a regular basis. 

Be playful with your product, and take a sample out of the box or package whenever possible to show in a display.  If it is a tiny tote, stuff it out and then put your inventory in a basket right next to the display.  Duffel with all kinds of unique and innovative details?  Stuff it out and group it with a mannequin or put it on a shelf that spotlights its cleverness.  Use your colorful gear to draw the eye in—for example climbing rope is typically colorful and if displayed neatly invites exploration.  Outdoor retailers have aisle upon aisle of such merchandise to take advantage of.

Have fun, take a few creative risks, and expand your customer base!

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