CARR GOTTSTEIN UPGRADING ITS HOUSEWARES, ADDING ITEMS

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Carr Gottstein Foods is making room for greater variety and an upgraded product assortment through a chainwide remerchandising of its housewares that is expected to be complete by April 30.The chain's remerchandising effort began in January with small electric appliances, priced up to $39.99. Items such as bagel toasters, can openers and slow cookers were displayed openly on glass

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Carr Gottstein Foods is making room for greater variety and an upgraded product assortment through a chainwide remerchandising of its housewares that is expected to be complete by April 30.

The chain's remerchandising effort began in January with small electric appliances, priced up to $39.99. Items such as bagel toasters, can openers and slow cookers were displayed openly on glass shelving against a slatwall, similar to a department-store presentation. They are now boxed and displayed on gondolas.

The resetting provided the space for 30% more variety, said Gary Schloss, vice president of general merchandise. He projects a 15% to 20% increase in housewares sales once the remerchandising effort is completed.

The previous merchandising approach "limited our space by about one third, and it also limited our variety," he said.

The chain now carries about 35 appliances. There were 20 to 25 items sold in the smaller sets.

Schloss said improved graphics on packaging clearly illustrating the product made it feasible to move away from an open display.

The retailer also used the remerchandising as an opportunity to modify the mix. "We added new products like wide toasters for bagels in ultra-bright colors and new styles."

Carr is now in the process of resetting its kitchen gadgets, tools and small implements in 12 to 24 feet of space. Products are being pegged on the top of the gondola section, with cookware and bakeware on lower shelves.