COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Educational Foundation of the General Merchandise Distributors Council here is in the process of developing a Seasonal Best Practices project for strengthening merchandising in the seasonal aisle.
The Allen Levis Organization, Northfield, Ill., is working on the project, resulting in a report to be presented at GMDC's general merchandise marketing conference, Sept. 6 to 11 in Palm Desert, Calif.
The report will offer a plan of action for operators with various sized stores and formats.
A special how-to manual will be prepared for retailers and wholesalers. It will include marketing and long-term planning guides, promotion calendars with major product categories, in-store training methods and merchandise flow charts.
The manual will contain input based on the best seasonal merchandising techniques among GMDC member firms, according to Ellen Gussin, vice president at Levis, who is working on developing the seasonal best practices handbook.
Areas covered will include seasonal business in each category, selling patterns of different seasonal products, and current best practices used by competitive trade channels in macroplanning and markdowns in seasonal goods.
Other areas will deal with seasonal nonfood shows and the role of catalog order guides in sourcing seasonal merchandise.
Manufacturer input will range across major seasonal promotions from cough and cold, toys, back to school and others.
Devoting a dedicated area for seasonal general merchandise promotions that creates an impression for shoppers for future store visits will be recommended as a main part of the study, according to Gussin.
Although "this isn't the only way to do it, it certainly trains customers to feel that the seasonal opportunities are there and to look at a changing mix of seasonal offerings throughout the year."
The study also will examine cross-merchandising general merchandise with food in themed holiday or seasonal aisle displays, and in health and beauty care by integrating new products with related segments such as new conditioners with shampoo.