DISPLAYS SHOW PULLING POWER

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In an age when consumers are spending less time thumbing through the Sunday circulars, Kmart Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co. found point-of-purchase displays to be an alternative to promote products and increase sales.

A recently released study by the Point-of-Purchase Advertising Institute, Kmart and P&G shows in-store displays can increase sales by more than 773%.

"The study further confirms what POPAI has always known, two-thirds of the buying decisions are made in the store," said Dick Blatt, executive director of the institute.

Based on the results, POPAI has formed a Partners in Retail Research Program, designed to encourage members of the association to become more involved in primary research projects together.

"To exhibit an increase in sales of several hundred percent without using pricing incentives was a big surprise," said Ron Gellish, general manager of strategic market planning at Kmart.

The study was conducted Sept. 20 to Oct. 10, 1992, in 75 high-volume, remodeled Kmart stores nationwide. The test involved P&G brands in paper towels, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, coffee and fabric softeners.

A third of the stores didn't change the way the brands were positioned on shelves, a third used in-store displays and the rest used either a different display type or location to exhibit brands.

In all instances, POP display advertising yielded an increase in sales, especially with high-volume merchandise such as paper towels.

For paper towels, sales in the first set of stores using in-store displays increased by 447.1% over stores that didn't change the way they displayed brands. In the second set using in-store displays, sales soared 773.5%. In both instances, the same type of display was used in the same location. The difference was because more competitors had items on display in the first set of stores using in-store displays than in the second set of stores.

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