Posted by: Diane Capuano
The power of the add-on! It’s conventional wisdom that retailers need to promote add-on sales in order to be successful. That’s why fast-food restaurants also ask customers if they “want fries with that” or if they can super-size their combo.
In the case of paint and decorating stores, add-ons can consist of a myriad of products. If a customer buys paint, the sales staff can suggest brushes, rollers, painting trays, painter’s tape and a myriad of other products. But several retailers are getting creative with their add-on sales suggestions that extend beyond what you might ordinarily find in a paint and decorating store.
A few examples of less-than-ordinary add-on ideas:
James Wolcott, Sioux City Paint & Decorating, Sioux City, Iowa, has done really well with soybean wax candles. Customers are especially receptive to buying this product if they had to use a stain-blocking primer to get rid of soot on and around their ceilings from burning regular candles. “Rather than going through that again, customers are receptive to the suggestion of these soybean wax candles, which won’t leave a residue,” Wolcott said.
The candles are made by Dakota Candles (www.thedakotacandlecompany.com) and are cleaner-burning than regular candles. The first year the store carried them, they sold $25,000. “It turned into a great add-on for contractors,” Wolcott said. “If they forget their wife’s birthday or Valentine’s Day, they’ll point to a candle and say ‘Can you put one of those in a nice bag for me?’ ”
Watches & Jewelry
Van Jaarsveld Decorating Center. has come up with a lucrative sideline that has expanded over the years: watches and jewelry. This has gone over well with the store’s primarily female customer base, with sales rising to more than 200 watches per month on occasion. “As the customers are waiting to cash out, they have time to browse at the watches and jewelry,” explained storeowner John Agrusa. “We’ve been so successful with it that we’re contemplating going from a small display to have a whole corner of the store devoted to it.”
Agrusa reported that the jewelry is mostly under $50. “It’s not high-end,” he said. “It’s mostly costume jewelry—just a fun, inexpensive thing. It’s a fun little profit center that attracts customers and builds sales.”
Sample Color Supplies
One lucrative area for the Belcaro Paint & Decorating Center has been selling sample jars of paint. To go along with that, the store also sells three kinds of poster boards and tiny rollers for applying the sample colors.
“We put the poster boards on the end cap,” reported Daniel Felt. Customers use them instead of painting the colors on a wall. That way, they can move the boards around and see how the colors look in different rooms in the house.
The advantages are great, since they allow customers to try out paint colors without investing in a full gallon of paint, especially if it’s a premium-quality product. “It’s something we suggest before they invest in a $60 gallon of paint,” Felt said.
The average number of sample colors sold at any given time are about three or four, but Felt tells of one woman who bought about 120 colors at one time, amounting to a sales transaction of several hundred dollars.
Custom Spray Cans
G&R Paint Co. Inc. has had success with several out-of-the-ordinary products that work well as add-ons. One of the areas that has been most successful is custom-filling spray cans from Seymour of Sycamore. “I’ve got customers coming to me just for these,” reported storeowner Philip Reno. “The spray cans are filled with either latex or oil-based paint. We can fill them with paint that the customer already has or sell them a quart to use as the filler. This is relatively new for us but is quickly becoming popular especially with painters.”
Another unique product that does pretty well at G&R Paint Co. is hand cream for painters. “Lutz, the Gorilla Glue people, offer a great new product called Helping Hands,” Reno explained. “These are marketed well and speak to the working trade.”
Tags: retail sales