ROSAUERS GOING UPSCALE WITH KITCHEN ITEM RESET

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Rosauers Supermarkets here has completely reset and expanded all hanging kitchen gadgets at newly merchandised 16-foot everyday sections at most stores.The chain is adding 4 feet of space for 50 to 60 new upscale gadgets that shoppers "would normally find at kitchen specialty shops at the mall," said Norm Carpenter, director of general merchandise.In resetting its gadgets section,

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Rosauers Supermarkets here has completely reset and expanded all hanging kitchen gadgets at newly merchandised 16-foot everyday sections at most stores.

The chain is adding 4 feet of space for 50 to 60 new upscale gadgets that shoppers "would normally find at kitchen specialty shops at the mall," said Norm Carpenter, director of general merchandise.

In resetting its gadgets section, the chain chose black for the color of a back panel that identifies the higher-end selections, setting them apart from the main mix.

After testing red and dark blue panels, Carpenter said, "we found black pegboard set off the upscale gadgets better." White backing is used to display the everyday mix of gadgets.

Carpenter also pointed out that upscale variety carries substantially higher retails, which reflects the higher quality in the products. Examples of Rosauers' upgraded gadgets are gourmet tools like wooden spoons sold in bulk out of acrylic bins, and heavy-duty stainless steel tools. "It's all a notch above what shoppers see the Frugal Gourmet use in his TV cooking show," said Carpenter.

"Supermarkets still have the ability to drive and capture that housewares category. It contains a lot of impulse business and we have the flexibility to go after it," according to Carpenter.

He also contends that housewares categories need the right presentation to generate the impulse sale.

Rosauers carries about 230 stockkeeping units in basic kitchen gadgets.

In expanding gadgets, Rosauers offers shoppers a broad variety within the different segments. For example, in can openers, the chain carries four different ones -- a standard model, one in steel, another in stainless steel and a model with a plastic handle.

All gadgets are merchandised on 8-inch long pegs, with about four items placed on each peg.