When customers wheel their carts through Wal-Mart, checking their lists and making sure they have everything they need, the average customer is probably not aware of display design or neatness.
However, anecdotal marketing research indicates that visually appealing marketing displays help increase sales for the brand and the store overall. The inverse is also true in that shoddy or boring displays can damage sales because it leaves a negative impression of the brand in the customer’s mind.
For Imperial Graphics & Displays, solving problems for the Wal-Mart supplier community and other retail clients is their business. Based in Illinois, IGD opened a sales office in Bentonville about two years ago with Mark Kreymborg, senior sales executive, working from a home office and a second employee also working in the area.
Using various solutions, the company is able to solve brands’ problems, Kreymborg said. This includes digital inventory management, better campaigns that provide a consistent message, more creative signs and promotional items or simply taking a relatively mundane display and making it more attractive.
The company created a patented product called the SnappDown Merchandising System, which is the only pallet cover used in Wal-Mart stores. This system covers wooden pallets safely to create a more visually appealing display.
“It’s a significant product from a vendor perspective because if you cover the wooden pallet on the display, you’re likely to have your display on longer. The wooden ones are usually taken off first.”
Approved by Wal-Mart last December, the SnappDown Merchandising System is already showing early promising results. There is one in Walmart Supercenter in Bentonville that has been on the sales floor for 18 weeks, the normal time on the floor for any corrugate is two to four weeks, Kreymborg said.
Determining if there is a cost savings for suppliers compared to when they use other corrugate systems is tricky because so many factors are involved.
“Most corrugate displays are custom, one of a kind. In order to determine cost savings, you must have an existing display, then do a new one utilizing the Snapp Down Merchandising system,” Kreymborg said. “And it will not apply to 100% of corrugate displays, some products are just not appropriate.”
Kreymborg said the main advantage to suppliers is that SnappDown will hide a pallet for the time the display is on the floor.
“It works, it has worked in Wal-Mart tests, and it is working today. The advantage to the supplier is that your display will stay on the floor longer, meaning you will likely sell more of the item you are featuring. The advantage for a retailer is that the ugly and sometimes dangerous wood pallet becomes invisible and much safer,” Kreymborg said.
He adds there is also a marketing advantage to using SnappDown when corner wraps are added as they allow for marketing messages to be seen by the consumer.
Analysts with Kantar Retail said earlier this year that as retailers like Wal-Mart continue to shrink their in-store labor counts, floor modulars such as the SnappDown will likely become more prevalent in the stores because the items do not have to be moved off the pallet.
Kantar also said using these types of floor modulars allow Wal-Mart to merchandise various products together as problem solutions, like they do in the holiday baking products or spring cleaning supply displays.
Pallet displays have always been a staple in warehouse clubs like Sam’s and Costco, but they are now being used more in traditional retail space, the analysts said.
GROWTH & ANALYSIS
IDG is fairly new to Bentonville and Kreymborg said, that he is growing the business year-over-year at a decent rate. He declined sharing specific revenue information.
He said the company decided to open the Bentonville office because they believed there was a market for a different level of creativity within the Wal-Mart community.
“It’s not just about putting something on a wooden pallet,” he said. But the company felt like there was room in Bentonville for their product and their creative solutions relating to merchandise displays.
Kreymborg said the biggest challenge he’s faced in growing IGD locally is marketing awareness for their products.
“We’re just not known here yet,” he said. “We’re gaining on it, but that is our biggest weakness. Getting companies that have done something at one cost for years to change is the challenge we have taken on.”
He said IGD is tackling those challenges the old-fashion way, earning an audience and having the products and services speak for themselves. This includes promoting the SnappDown Merchandising system and another new product that is coming online soon.