Merchandising Know-How: Outdoor Retailer offers a small fixturing selection

It's a mystery why more fixture manufacturers don't exhibit at the Outdoor Retailer trade shows. Retail owners and buyers tell us they are always looking for ways to upgrade their stores and their fixturing systems, and Outdoor Retailer would be as good a place as any to find them.
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It's a mystery why more fixture manufacturers don't exhibit at the Outdoor Retailer trade shows. Retail owners and buyers tell us they are always looking for ways to upgrade their stores and their fixturing systems, and Outdoor Retailer would be as good a place as any to find them.

There is one company that recognizes the value of being at the show and that's Ecowood. It produces excellent wood fixturing systems, many of which are used in outdoor stores. New fixtures have been added to the line.

Bins that fit Ecowood's existing Gondola Junior fixture ($395) debuted at the show and are perfect for holding socks, bundled underwear and small packaged products. They cost $50 each. The nice thing about the bins is that they allow the retailer to cross-merchandise accessories with apparel on the same gondola.

The rounder the company introduced a year ago has been upgraded with a steel hang ring (to replace the wood one), is powder coated in black and sells for $595. The new steel hang ring makes the fixture more durable and stable. Ecowood is also offering a new four-sided slatwall tower for $195 (slatwall accessories not included) that will utilize regular slatwall arms and shelving. Check out Ecowood's beautiful bamboo hangers for $1.25 each with a 100 minimum.

When considering an Ecowood fixture, take time to look at the variety of stains offered. There is a 20 percent up-charge for stains, but it's worth it as the trend in wood fixturing is toward darker, richer woods like cherry, dark oak, walnut and mahogany. For more Ecowood fixturing information, visit www.ecowooddisplays.com.

If you grew up in the late 1940s or early 1950s, you might remember going to the Buster Brown shoe store for your back-to-school oxfords and stepping onto a big machine that X-rayed your feet to see how the shoes fit. Whether it was really useful is debatable, but it sure was fun to see your foot bones.

The Aetrex iStep fixture reminds one of that old Buster Brown machine (not that we're saying we're that old -- we've seen pictures). This one differs by using 1024 barometric sensors and patented infrared foot-scanning technology to perform a complete mapping of the foot in less than 30 seconds. The software instantly identifies an individual's foot type, pressure points and shoe size, and then recommends the ideal orthotics and footwear based on his or her feet and your inventory options.

The company offers its iStep technology in five different kiosk designs, which include the monitor, computer, software, speakers, mouse and keyboard. Prices range from $2,995 to buy and $100/ month to lease, to $995 to buy and $34/month to lease. The iStep plate and scanner are not included in the packages. They are sold and leased separately and cost $1,500 and $2,000 and lease for $50/month and $67/month.

The kiosks have small footprints and would fit nicely in a footwear department. If you are interested, go to the Aetrex website at www.aetrex.com. The website does a good job of explaining the technology and showing the different kiosk models.

Sharon Leicham is the creator of The MerchandisingHUB, the author of "Merchandising Your Way to Success" and "How to Sell to Women" and is a regular columnist for SNEWS® writing on merchandising and marketing topics. You can access all of her columns by going to www.snewsnet.com/merchandising, where you will find tons of information targeted at the needs of the independent specialty retailer. You can email us with questions and comments at merchandising@snewsnet.com.

For more retail training support and know-how, be sure to check out the SNEWS® Business 101 tools and stories, including our 10-part Retail Merchandising Training series produced by SNEWS®, including a useful online calculator for performing the most common retail merchandising calculations -- free to All Access Subscribers.

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