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Astounding retail finding: messy is sexy

A surprising finding has emerged from recent shopper research conducted in America: messy sells.
Astounding retail finding: messy is sexy
Yes, you heard correctly. An over-cluttered, chaotic store reminiscent of a bazaar screams "bargain" and has, in fact, been proven to increase product sales within that store.

It has been found that when merchandise is piled up and thrown all over the store, shoppers tend to buy more. A case in point was when US retail giant Walmart attempted to upscale its image a few years back by revamping the look of its stores. It trimmed the number of items displayed, improved the appearance of its outlets and upped its prices - all of which proved to be disastrous for sales. This is why Walmart is now at the forefront of a pack of retailers that are restocking their shelves and cramming in as much merchandise into, within and between aisles as possible.

"It all boils down to perceived value," says Timothy Beattie, General Manager of Pyrotec PackMedia. "Research has shown that the more cluttered and randomly packed a store is, the more people believe that the items on display will be less expensive. South African retailers are already beginning to catch on and this is something we can expect to see more of locally."

But for brand owners, surely this trend may get in the way of their products actually being seen?

Astounding retail finding: messy is sexy
"Although this trend is generally a good thing for sales, it is important for brand owners to ensure that their products are prominently displayed so that they still get noticed amongst all the clutter," says Beattie.

Pyrotec PackMedia's Do-It Hang Tabs, Display Strips and other POP products are an ideal way to display products at eye level where they are visible to shoppers. The Do-It range allows you to boost impulse sales by placing related products together and take advantage of empty space by displaying merchandise anywhere within the store. An item that is normally shelved can be hung anywhere for easy accessibility, which also improves its chances of being noticed. Impulse buys can also be conveniently placed in high-traffic areas using Do-It Display Strips and Hang Tabs.

Beattie admits that this tactic won't necessarily work for everyone. "An upmarket furniture retailer selling investment pieces, for example, would lose the perception that his goods are valuable if the store were too cluttered. But for FMCG retailers clutter most definitely boosts sales," says Beattie. "The key is to ensure that your brand is still being recognised amidst all the chaos, and Do-It's range enables you to display your products effectively for maximum visibility."

10 Sep 2012 10:42