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
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.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - February 2013
VMSD - February 2013
From the Editor
VMSD Editorial Advisory Board
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VMSD - February 2013