VMSD - February 2013 - (Page 44)

PROBLEM / SOLUTION By Steve Kaufman, Editor at Large Flipping the Light Switch Problem } More lighting options to solve household problems, address needs and meet local energy codes end up leaving shoppers in the dark. Solution } Lowe’s Canada shines light on the confusing task of bulb selection with a redesigned product aisle and dedicated Education Center. JUST AS IN THE U.S., legislation in Canada is mandating that consumers swap their incandescent bulbs for more energy-efficient options like LEDs and compact fluorescents (CFLs). Most consumers don’t understand why they need to make the switch and they struggle with what to switch to – which bulb for which base for which function. “Lowe’s stores in Canada stock more than 440 light bulb options, taking up 10 bays – an entire aisle of the store,” says Jeff Hastings, director of the retail studio at Pratt Visual Solutions (Indianapolis). “Con44 FEBRUARY 2013 | vmsd.com sumers felt confused and overwhelmed, inundated by a sea of light bulbs.” Without enough information on the new bulb styles, shoppers were generally not buying the preferred LEDs and CFLs, which are also higher-ticket items. When Lowe’s category merchants got together in 2011 to create a department planogram for the following year, they decided to address these issues. Pratt, which supplies signage for Lowe’s both in the U.S. and Canada, was commissioned to do some problem-solving and strategizing. “As the category grew and became more complex, detailed information would no longer fit on typical store signage,” says Hastings. “Kelvin, for example, is a concept that cannot be explained in 10 words or less.” Pratt also did some in-store analysis, observing how long it took customers to shop the category. “It was apparent that they lacked the information needed to make an educated decision,” says Amy Mainer, Pratt’s design supervisor. Pratt recommended distilling all the information into an interactive Education Center at the head of the aisle. The unit features a 32-in. monitor, which displays eye-catching promotional or product information, and an attached iPad with a custom app so shoppers can indicate their needs and, by answering a series of questions, be directed to the right lamp choices. The risk for Lowe’s was taking all merchandise out of the very first bay in the aisle. After all, says Rob Rizzi, Lowe’s category manager for light bulbs, NI N O G . COCCH I A RE LLA , BLOOM I N GTON, I N D. PS http://www.vmsd.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - February 2013

VMSD - February 2013
Contents
From the Editor
VMSD Editorial Advisory Board
The Goods
Design Detail
Next Store
The Sole Story
Urban Highlights
Here Comes...Tradition
Alpine Lakes of Soho
Problem/Solution
Showroom
Ad Index
Checking Out

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