Home Centers Clean Up With Vacs
By David Gill
The displays of floor-care products at Home Depot and Lowe's may be modest when compared to its core products such as power drills, but both home centers present a range of items to draw at least some attention from passing shoppers.
Recently, HFN visited two Home Depots and two Lowe's in New Jersey to examine how the chains present and merchandise vacuums and the accessories that go with them. The stores are consistent in the appearance of their displays, with both using the typical floor-to-ceiling home-center metal rack shelving stocked with vacuums, steam mops, filters, carpet-cleaning solutions, vacuum belts and vacuum bags.
All except one of the stores had vacuums on the middle shelves in the fixtures, two or three shelves up from the floor. One Lowe's places its vacuums on the bottom shelf. Two of the vacuum sections are devoted to one brand; there is a section for Bissell vacuums and one for Electrolux products.
The primary difference between the four stores is the adjacencies. In one Home Depot, the floor-care section is part of The Design Place, the section that serves as the home design center. Here, carpets, area rugs and flooring products are in sections next to the vacuums--as if to say, "Here are the products to cover your floors, and next to them are the products that clean your floors."
In a second Home Depot, the floor-care area is directly across the aisle from the store's major-appliance offerings. The lower three shelves offer vacuums, accessories and supplies. The upper three shelves hold microwaves, wine coolers and fabric steamers.
One Lowe's store also places its floor-care section across the aisle from major appliances. On the same set of shelves in the next section, the store has air purifiers and humidifiers. This store also presents pet-related products (pet stain- and odor-removing solutions) together on one shelf, and puts together vacuums with features dedicated to cleaning pet hair. The other Lowe's locates its vacuums across an aisle from small electrics, and has coffeemakers and microwaves on the shelves above the vacuums.
The signage at all four locations is limited to product prices. None of the stores has signage to indicate where a shopper can find vacuums and the related products.