15325 Thu, 10/02/2008 - 9:54am
By Mike Duff
Lamps have been in transition at both Target and Wal-Mart, changing locations and adjacencies recently, but that’s where their similarities end.
Perhaps the biggest opportunities for the chains come from the range of attractive styling each is able to provide at value price points.
The two programs differ greatly in scale. In a comparison of two Long Island, N.Y., stores, Target wielded a much larger assortment. The Minneapolis-based chain balanced style and price for its middle-class core customer.
In a recent store renovation effort—centering primarily on pantry expansion but also targeting other select departments—Target moved lamps from a back corner to a position near the center of the store on an aisle adjoining women’s apparel.
In terms of brand, nearly the entire lamp assortment came under Target’s Home banner. Styling ranged from traditional to modern with many examples of the intermediary casual modern or transitional look that has become increasingly popular in the mass market. Price points in floor lamps, which had a 36-foot run in an aisle perpendicular to table lamps and a feature display piece for each SKU, ranged from $27.99 to $69.99. Metal fabrications dominated the display, but some wood finish floor lamps made the assortment.
Target devoted another 240 linear feet in a 64-foot run to table lamps, with 16 feet solely for novelty and licensed products.
The table lamp assortment also covered the traditional/transitional/modern styling gamut. Again, metal predominated. However, Target also offered wood finishes, resin and clear fabrications with glass and acrylic constructions particularly well represented. Price points ranged from $19.99 to $45.99.
The only endcap with lamps at either store was at Target and offered back-to-school College 08 branded boxed sets—including a table and floor lamp—at a $55.98 price point.
Signage was limited to price stickers on table lamp shelves, but included informational price cards in table lamps.
The Wal-Mart store has recently reconfigured home furnishings sections to centralize home around departmental signage and lower gondolas to enhance category coherence and permit easier shopping. It has also introduced new in-store brands, the licensed Better Homes and Gardens and private Canopy, and their role in lamps appears to be evolving.
Wal-Mart included both floor and table lamps in a 40-foot run, which, as was the case at Target, consisted of standard gondolas. The retailer skewed the traditional/transitional/modern arrangement a bit toward the traditional. While some table lamps were merchandised without packaging, all the floor lamps were boxed and no assembled feature display lamps were provided.
At the head of the run, 12 feet of the section were dedicated to table lamps and shades under Wal-Mart’s HomeTrends private label. Lamps were priced from $10 to $25.
The next 4-foot section and four linear feet in the one previous were dedicated to Better Homes and Gardens lamps, which were packed with shades and all in attractively colored boxes. Price points in table lamps, which covered about 12 linear feet, ranged from $9.97 for an accent lamp to $15.97 for a bronze finish full-sized table lamp. Floor lamp price points ranged from $29.97 to $54.97. Three floor and table lamp sets ranged in price from $34.97 to $63.99. Floor lamps in the final four linear feet included items from Wal-Mart’s HomeTrends and Mainstays private labels.
The following 12-foot run was a mix of small table, accent and desk lamps, including a pharmacy work lamp under Wal-Mart’s new Canopy private label. Price tags went as high as $49.97 for a bronze table lamp and as low as $7.44 for a small desk lamp. A small selection of novelty lamps finished off the table lamp segment.