Article

CLINICAL: OPTICAL

MERCHANDISE FOR SUCCESS

CLINICAL

  OPTICAL

MERCHANDISE FOR SUCCESS

THE FINAL INSTALLMENT IN A FOUR-PART SERIES ON FRAME BOARD MANAGEMENT

DAVE ZIEGLER, O.D.

IN THE last three months, we’ve discussed effective optical retailing strategies, including allocating board spaces by vendor and identifying a smart inventory mix that is priced right and sells. We now turn to how to keep the system running smoothly by looking at merchandising strategies to increase sales.

1 USE JUST-IN-TIME ORDERING

Many offices meet with frame reps several times a year and make bulk inventory purchases of reorders and new styles. The staff likely purchases more frames than there are spaces available on the boards. As such, best-selling frames are put on display, sold and their stock exhausted before the staff may re-order because of the back log of other frames from that company.

To avoid this, each Friday reorder only what you sold that week. This ensures the most popular frames are returned to the board “just in time.” The downside of this system is greater shipping costs.

2 DIVIDE AND CONQUER THE FRAME BOARDS

Typical optical displays are often frame boards that can contain up to 100 frames per cabinet. This can easily overwhelm the shopper.

Consumers’ eyes need white space to break up choices and to compartmentalize the frame brands. You create this by removing two rows of pegs, thereby dividing your displays into three horizontal sections. Use foam boards cut into thin strips to cover the holes from the missing pegs (see photo). You can also use a manufacturer’s point-of-purchase material here to draw attention to an adjacent brand.

Consumers need white space among frame boards.

People also tend to scan from left to right when they shop; arrange your collections with that in mind.

3 MERCHANDISE THE DISPLAYS

Shelving displays provide excellent opportunities to get creative with merchandising. Consider some or all of the following:

• Use two adjacent shelves to highlight a brand and show 30 to 40 frames.

• Mix up various types of frame risers, and bring them to the front of the shelf to increase visibility.

• Display the frames with the temples open. This allows the most interesting part of most frames to show their unique style.

• Mix up various heights of the risers to grab the consumer’s attention. When people shop they like to view diagonally as their eyes move from left to right.

• Add one or two POP pieces for each collection, such as branding blocks or pictures.

• Occasionally, add props to break up the selection, but be careful that anything you choose does not distract from the frames.

• Change the lighting to LED to help the products stand out.

CROSS THE FINISH LINE

Congratulations! Your optical area and frame boards are now ready and positioned to succeed. Constantly experiment with different variations of frame vendors, prices and merchandising. Track your revenue per patient after these changes, and I’m sure you’ll see a significant increase in the biggest profit center of your practice. OM

DR. ZIEGLER is a senior partner at Ziegler & Leffingwell Eyecare in Milwaukee, Wisc., and a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. Email him at daveaziegler@gmail.com, or visit tinyurl.com/OMcomment to comment.