Don’t Be Like Lowe’s!

by Nick Nichols, Strategic Marketing Expert

Yesterday I went to my local Lowe’s store to buy some specialty hardware for a home repair project. As it turned out, I needed some large wood drill bits and a 7/16" socket wrench to complete the project. Usually at this particular Lowe’s store there are at least 2-3 sales associates milling around the hardware area. I asked one of them for help in finding the items I needed and they directed me to their tool department, known as "Tool World."

But – and this is a major profit-killing blunder – there has NEVER been anyone in the "Tool World" area when I needed help! Why does this matter? Well, first, if there was someone in the tool department it would make finding tools easier for customers. But even more important, this area has the highest potential sales-per-square-foot ratio in the entire store. What this means is, because tools are expensive relative to their size compared to just about all the other items they sell, there’s more money tied up in inventory in the tool department per square foot than any other department.

If they had a sales associate in the tool area they would help customers find what they want quickly, thereby increasing customer satisfaction and boosting sales and profits at the same time!

I mean, it’s not like they don’t have the staff. As I said, there are usually 2-3 people in the hardware area. Why not make one of them a tool specialist?

What areas of your business can you improve to make it easier for people to buy from you?