NEW SMALL-APPLIANCE SET IS ROLLED OUT AT SPARTAN STORES

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Spartan Stores is targeting approximately 150 of the 400 stores it supplies with a new 8-foot small kitchen and personal-care appliance program.The appliance mix was assembled with items that usually account for 80% of small-appliance sales, said Marty Rodgers, manager of purchasing and sales.The offering consists of coffeemakers, toasters, irons, blenders, mixers, vaporizers,

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Spartan Stores is targeting approximately 150 of the 400 stores it supplies with a new 8-foot small kitchen and personal-care appliance program.

The appliance mix was assembled with items that usually account for 80% of small-appliance sales, said Marty Rodgers, manager of purchasing and sales.

The offering consists of coffeemakers, toasters, irons, blenders, mixers, vaporizers, Crock-Pots, water filters, electric knives, clock radios, blow dryers and curling irons.

Items will retail at popular price points to compete with mass merchandisers. Coffee carafes will retail for $6.99; alarm clocks, $7.99; and Bunn coffeemakers, $89.99. Most items in the department will top out at $29.99.

The 8-foot schematic started going out to stores this month. A scaled-down 4-foot planogram also was developed for stores with shelf-space constraints "with the best of the best [products]," said Rodgers.

Key to the success of the program is price, said Rodgers, who added that competitive retails that are in the ballpark with Kmart and Wal-Mart are crucial for a grocery store environment.

Spartan retailers will take a low price position on a handful of small-appliance items in the mix in order to make a competitive price statement. By doing so, retailers can trade off the margins offered on each of the items.

According to Rodgers, overall category margins fall in the 17% to 20% range.

To assure that appliance sets are competitive, Spartan will run price checks against mass merchants and discounters.