15167 Fri, 09/05/2008 - 1:27pm
Informal visits by HFN to Home Depot, Lowe’s and Sears show all three retailers are merchandising dishwashers in different ways.
HFN conducted these visits at two locations of each retail chain in northern New Jersey during August. All six stores (with the exception of a Home Depot located in East Hanover, N.J., whose kitchen center was under renovation), featured dishwashers in fixtures with built-in surrounds, which allow the store to show what the dishwashers look like when installed in a kitchen.
The Home Depot and Lowe’s dishwashers were located in the stores’ kitchen centers—called the Design Place in Home Depot and the Kitchen Project Center in Lowe’s. The two home centers make an effort to incorporate their dishwasher offerings into these centers, with a view toward urging shoppers to walk away with entire remodeled kitchens.
For example, the adjacencies at the Lowe’s in Butler, N.J., include small electric appliances such as blenders, coffeemakers and food processors; refrigerators; and kitchen cabinets. Microwaves are featured on the endcap of one of the dishwasher fixtures as well. In the Lowe’s in Mount Olive, N.J., the adjacencies included small electrics, oven ranges and oven accessories.
The dishwashers on offer at the Home Depot in Parsippany, N.J., were situated on a one-aisle fixture in which they took up one-half of the run; the other half included oven ranges and induction cooktops.
One focus of Sears’ dishwasher merchandising is to present them as another appliance offering. Another is to present shoppers with plenty of choices at a variety of price points—always, of course, putting most of the emphasis on the retailer’s Kenmore brand with point-of-sale signs, brochures and ring binders with product information; but also presenting other top brands.
The Wayne, N.J., Sears location featured the largest offering in terms of numbers of all of the locations HFN visited. This store had two full fixtures and part of a third fixture with dishwashers; the third fixture shared its space with oven ranges and compactors. In Livingston, N.J., there were two full fixtures of dishwashers.
Other appliances and consumer electronics serve as the adjacencies in the Sears stores. Along with oven ranges and washing machines, the Wayne-store adjacencies include televisions, video products and digital cameras. The Livingston store also had these adjacencies along with consumer-electronics accessories.
None of these stores had a major presentation in portable dishwashers—illustrating how consumers have moved away from the portable versions to those that can be installed in kitchen cabinets.