ON TARGET: housewares

Target approaches its sizeable housewares assortment in a direct and straightforward way, with aisles of boxed and open stock merchandise presented on shelving with an occasional point-of-purchase informational display. Cross-merchandising of categories is achieved primarily through aisle adjacencies, with the presumption that someone shopping for dinnerware might be equally interested in a new tablecloth offered across the aisle.

Endcaps are the primary means of drawing consumer attention to a category.

In the  new PFresh format, the Target shopper may begin in the food area. After finishing with the groceries--the retailer hopes--the shopper will walk across the race track into the housewares section to look at the products that will help her prepare that food.

Strolling past aisles of tabletop, cookware and bakeware, that shopper will find the small-electrics section, consisting of three two-sided aisles measuring about 30 feet each.

In one aisle, blenders dominate one side while on the other side can be found slow cookers and electrics such as popcorn makers and doughnut makers. On the next aisle are countertop grills on one side and toasters and toaster-ovens on the other side. Big-name brands such as Jarden's Sunbeam and Oster, Panasonic, Emerson KitchenAid and George Foreman Grills are prominent.

Coffee and tea makers are featured on both sides of the third aisle, featuring brands such as Jarden's Mr. Coffee, Keurig and Hamilton Beach.

Each aisle features the same kind of shelving. The top shelf features models of the products on display, along with their prices for comparison's sake. The inventory is along the bottom shelf.

The section is located along the race track, and the view of the merchandise is unobstructed so that the sight of one of the products along one of the top shelves might pull the shopper in.

Perpendicular to the small-electrics aisles is the wall of vacuum cleaners. Across the race track are cleaning products, and on the other side of the vacuum wall are air-treatment products.

Target's cookware and bakeware assortment includes a tiered pricing strategy across a wide variety of brands, with its exclusive Giada De Laurentiis the most prominent.

Cookware and bakeware share roughly two aisles, with cookware brands such as Calphalon, Kitchen Essentials by Calphalon, T-Fal, Farberware, Lodge, KitchenAid and Meyer's Paula Deen line housed in their own sections and presented on shelves or hanging racks. High-piece-count cookware sets ranged in price from $99.99 for Paula Deen's  "inside/outside" nonstick line to $299.99 for a 10-piece Aspire nonstick set from Kitchen Essentials from Calphalon.

Bakeware brands--Chefmate, KitchenAid, NordicWare, Pyrex and Corningware among them--were also presented in a range of prices. Mixed in with cookware and bakeware are categories such as wooden utensils and hanging open-stock knives; surrounding the aisles are kitchen tools and gadgets, wine accessories, kitchenware items such as colanders, food storage and dish drain items.

An endcap cross-merchandises a considerable Giada De Laurentiis assortment of hard goods like kitchen tools and pie plates alongside food items like tomato sauce, coffee and vinaigrette.

Target's personal-care sections can be found in several areas of the store, and reflect a gender orientation in terms of how consumers shop for this category.

Hair dryers and styling tools are found in the beauty section, across one 40-foot-long aisle from hair accessories such as brushes, clips, combs and hair bands. The display on both sides of this aisle clearly have the female shopper in mind, and are positioned for women who are browsing the adjacent beauty aisles, after they have looked through makeup and other beauty items.

The personal-care electrics are featured in three ways on this run. Merchandise such as straighteners and curling irons are on hanging displays along the top of the aisle run. Hair dryers and straighteners are attached as displays along the middle of this run, permitting the shopper to compare prices. The inventory runs all along the bottom. Like most sections of the store, Target provides plenty of bright lighting in this section. Among the national brands are Conair, Revlon, Remington and Andis.

The store also gives a chance for impulse shoppers to consider a hair-care purchase. It has an end cap of Conair and Remington hair dryers and styling products an aisle away from the main run of hair-care products, thus providing a purchase opportunity to a shopper who might be headed along the race track to another department.

Men's shavers and groomers are positioned in a short run around the corner from the pharmacy counter. They are displayed across the aisle from men's-care products such as shampoos, conditioners and after-shave lotion, and on the same side of the aisle as non-electric shaving products and shaving cream.

As in the hair-care aisle, electric-shaver packages are placed on hanging displays along the top of the aisle, and are attached in the middle of the aisle run to allow for price comparisons. Shavers and groomers are shelved on the lower part of this aisle. National brands such as Braun, Norelco, Panasonic, Wahl, Remington and Conair are represented.

Clearly, the purpose behind both sets of displays is to provide the opportunity for consumers (of both genders) to make multiple purchases. Women can fill their carts with both electric and non-electric hair-care merchandise (after, hopefully, selecting other beauty items from the adjacent aisles). Men can walk off with shavers or groomers along with other items to enhance their looks.

Target's presentation of vacuum cleaners is straightforward without any frills. The display consists of two shelves along a wall which, in one store, faces the aisles that present housewares.

The top shelf consists of the different models on offer, and the merchandise is on the lower shelf. Above the top shelf are two signs, one reading, "Pick Up Low Prices," and the other reading, "Toast to Pure Savings." The wall is well lighted. As with other large signage in the home area, the photos depict family-style scenes of happy children and pets playing on clean floors and furniture.

Hoover, Dirt Devil and Shark from Euro-Pro are among the brands that are represented. Oreck and Bissell also have merchandise on display.--David Gill and Andrea Lillo

HFN Staff | News & Commentary

HFN provides detailed information on the key home classifications: Housewares, Tabletop, Floor Covering & Rugs, Furniture, Home Textiles, Lighting, Home Decor, Mattresses & Bedding, Gifts, Major Appliances and Consumer Electronics as well as Business, Finance and Retail.


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