RALEY'S RETOOLS GADGETS SECTION INTO A HIGHER IMPULSE 'DESTINATION'

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Remerchandised and expanded in-line kitchen gadgets sections at Raley's Supermarkets are expected to boost department sales by 15%. In a major revamping of the section last month, 81 Raley's and Bel Air Markets now offer two major lines -- Hoan and Farberware. The mix features 250 Hoan and about 50 upscale Farberware kitchen gadgets. Previously, the same number of items

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Remerchandised and expanded in-line kitchen gadgets sections at Raley's Supermarkets are expected to boost department sales by 15%. In a major revamping of the section last month, 81 Raley's and Bel Air Markets now offer two major lines -- Hoan and Farberware. The mix features 250 Hoan and about 50 upscale Farberware kitchen gadgets. Previously, the same number of items was offered in eight to 12 different product lines. "The new brands have improved the overall department presentation, with greater impact to stimulate impulse sales," said Pete Berez, buyer merchandiser for Raley's. "They've also created promotion opportunities across the chain." Using manufacturer-supplied shelf planograms from Lifetime Hoan Corp., Westbury, N.Y., Raley's, based here, remerchandised its 8- to 20-foot kitchen gadgets sets into 12- to 24-foot sections according to six different configurations. The assortment, which also includes a total of 30 products from Rubbermaid and Ekco, is priced from $1.19 to $14.99. To date, leading sellers have been hand-twist can openers, basters, stainless steel peelers and an all-purpose shear. Although Raley's "never had a formal planogram or schematic for gadgets, we identified housewares as one of our core categories. We felt that kitchen gadgets certainly were a main part of that," Berez said. Raley's launched the program in an effort to establish itself as a destination point for kitchen gadgets. It is expected to increase gadget sales by 15%, Berez said.

"Raley's wanted to come up with a program that would be an enhancement to our core category concept -- an anchor to the department," Berez added.

The retailer made room for the mix by reducing space for disposable aluminum foil bakeware, which is now merchandised in 4 rather than 8 feet.

Raley's efforts to create destination centers for kitchen gadgets began last spring with a category review. The program was launched in September, and completely rolled out in November, according to Berez.

Most of the products are J-hooked, except for boxed gadgets, which are merchandised on an upper-shelf tier. Boxed items include Hoan diet scales, which retail at $8.29, and five-piece kitchen tool sets, $14.99.