Ben Salmon, owner of South Orange, NJ-based Kitchen a la Mode, has a merchandising strategy that has become a staple to his independent gourmet housewares store. Salmon creates his own merchandising fixtures, one that fits the style and aesthetic of his store.
“I am my own brand, not just an accumulation of other brands,” Salmon said. “I want fixtures that speak to my brand and who my store is. A fixture can communicate a lot about your store and who you are. They can also imply what the merchandise within is most likely going to be or give clues to what the story within that fixture is. When you let someone else supply your fixtures, you lose a big tool in visual merchandising and display.”
While he does use some vendor fixtures in his store, creating his own fixtures has allowed him to cross-merchandise product to continue to develop storylines from multiple brands.
“A vendor’s goal is to sell their product. My goal is to sell my product from multiple brands,” said Salmon. “Cross-merchandising product can be a really powerful sales tool and a vendor fixture won’t always allow me to do that.”
Creating his own fixtures has also helped with financial and environmental issues as well, Salmon said. He explained that some fixtures are made for specific product that, once sold, can’t be used other places and results in being thrown away. In addition, he said that some of those displays require payment for – or at least the shipping on – and if they aren’t able to be re-used, then it becomes financial issue.
“I would rather have a more versatile display that I can change and adapt to new product instead of constantly filling dumpsters with single-use fixtures. And, it can be a money saver to have multi-use fixtures that are adaptable to different vendors and products,” he said.