Springing into Action
Springtime is home improvement retailers’ equivalent of Christmas, and they pull out all the stops to elevate their seasonal programs to the same level as the holiday efforts that take over the rest of the retail channels. This year, promotional activity exploded in April as The Home Depot and Lowe’s pitted their annual “Spring Black Friday” events against each other, while Ace Hardware played nice with Stanley Black & Decker’s Craftsman.
At Home Depot, Scotts Miracle-Gro Co.’s Roundup, Ortho and Scotts brands garnered special attention, receiving secondary placement on endcaps and multiple account-specific pallet displays. The brands’ logos also were depicted on banners positioned in the upfront seasonal area that employed a “Take on the great outdoors with brands you can trust” message. Pole toppers, outdoor stanchions and pallet signs were among additional P-O-P materials that promised various deals on the brands, including money-off, freebie and BOGO offers.
The rest of Home Depot’s event reprised standard tactics, highlighting hundreds of SKUs from brands including Procter & Gamble’s Swiffer and Tide, private label Ryobi, The Libman Co.’s Libman, Clorox Co.’s Clorox and Kingsford and Weber-Stephen Products’ Weber. Participating items were stocked on account-specific, spring-themed floorstands or pallet displays positioned in the middle of store racetracks or upfront. Standees, stanchion signs, pole toppers and pallet wraps depicting a green grass border helped plug participating SKUs.
Home Depot’s event also encompassed daily in-store-only and online-only deals on products from Philips and private label Behr, among others.
After the Spring Black Friday event, most spring-themed P-O-P materials remained in stores as the retailer continued to highlight various products under the “Fresh Take Spring” campaign it launched earlier this year. Account-specific pallet displays from brands such as United Industries’ Tomcat carried messages that suggested what to “take on” this spring: “take on mice with traps & bait.”
Stores also distributed a “Fresh Take Spring” coupon book containing more than $44 in savings on cleaning products from Clorox; P&G’s Bounty, Gain and Tide; Freudenberg Household Products’ O-Cedar, and RB’s Lysol.
At Lowe’s, Roundup and Ortho also earned prime secondary merchandising space in the upfront seasonal department, though the brands shared the spotlight with SBM Life Science’s Bayer Advanced, Central Garden & Pet Co.’s Pennington and private label Sta-Green. Radio and TV spots kept the focus on the private label, promising a free bag of Sta-Green fertilizer with purchase of Pennington Smart Seed.
In the outdoor lawn and garden department, Miracle-Gro floorstands were outfitted with image-heavy creative while pallets merchandising Scotts product were adorned with seasonal stickers. Deere & Co.’s John Deere riding mowers were outfitted with signs offering shoppers a free John Deere dump cart or spreader with in-store purchases of any D100 series mower. Store-brand Kobalt garden tools and wheelbarrows eligible for a 20% discount also were positioned throughout stores. Lowe’s Black Friday logo additionally was depicted on signs for Newell Brands’ Rubbermaid as well as Kingsford pallet displays.
The retailer highlighted its tool department by staging a “Porter-Cable Brand Days” sale. Pallet displays outfitted with account-specific wraps and positioned in upfront aisles merchandised SKUs from the Stanley Black & Decker brand. The wraps and upfront standees directed shoppers to a Porter-Cable page within Lowes.com.
Both Lowe’s and Home Depot employed TV and radio spots, circular features, display ads, email blasts and social media activity to promote their events.
Ace Hardware took a different approach, giving much of the spring spotlight to lawn mowers from Craftsman, which Stanley Black & Decker purchased from Sears Holdings earlier this year. A local sweeps running throughout April awarded one winner from 1,221 participating stores a Craftsman push lawn mower. Shoppers filled out registration forms at a supporting floorstand display positioned near the store entrance.
Ace also ran a digital version of the sweeps from April 1-17 awarding one winner a limited-edition Craftsman riding mower. Facebook posts from Ace Hardware and Craftsman linked to a promotional site for entry. Vancouver, Washington-based Woobox administered.
Furthermore, an April 5 front-page circular feature used an “outdoor power sale” theme to offer Ace Rewards cardholders $20 in savings on eligible Craftsman products. A carousel ad on AceHardware.com announced “April Craftsman Days” and directed shoppers to an e-commerce page listing six SKUs from the brand.