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Inspire Higher Sales with Smart End Caps

Endcaps are a great place to promote hardgoods like this selection of timed-release fertilizers and home irrigation kits.

The space at the end of your aisles is prime real estate. Create effective end cap displays that inspire shoppers and influence impulse buys. 

As a garden retailer, you know that merchandising matters, so you spend hours creating the perfect bench displays. But if you’re neglecting the ends of your aisles, you could be missing out on a tremendous sales-driving opportunity: the end cap.

“End caps are valuable real estate in the garden center,” says Dr. Bridget Behe, Professor of Horticultural Marketing at Michigan State University. “They are highly conspicuous and great for grabbing attention.”

A recent study on consumer shopping habits by Point of Purchase Advertising International (POPAI) found that 82% of mass merchant purchase decisions are made in the store. In-store displays that consumers noticed while shopping drove 16% of those unplanned purchases. These findings show just how effective displays are at driving impulse buys.

End cap displays go even further, selling significantly more product than other store displays. According to the National Retail Hardware Association, end caps have been shown to move product — as much as eight times as fast — as the same display not at the end of an aisle.

Move Traffic Wisely

When designing end caps for the garden center, be sure they’re engaging but also allow plenty of room for customers to move. Y ou don’t want your end caps creating traffic jams. “I like multilevel, round end caps because they give a retailer enough space to make something creative but don’t disrupt traffic,” notes Behe.

Keep in mind that breaking up long lines of benches results in more end cap real estate, and more end cap real estate likely means more impulse buys.

This colorful endcap includes a “Plant of the Week” (Supertunia® Picasso in Pink™) and makes a showy splash at the end of the aisle.  Customers can easily find that popular variety there.

Tips for Creating an Effective End Cap Display

Bridget Behe, Professor of Horticultural Marketing at Michigan State University, shares these tips for creating effective end caps:

  • Make end caps conspicuous and engaging, but make sure they don’t disrupt traffic flow.
  • Create a stacked effect by placing product at knee level, hip level and then waist level with merchandise going up to no higher than eye-level.
  • Create themed end caps that suggest what might be on the benches behind the end cap. These end caps should show combinations and cross-sell items.
  • Mix perennials, annuals, tropicals, herbs and vegetables along with flowering shrubs to make a “garden to go.”
  • Cross-merchandise plants with items such as plant food, soil, containers and related items.


Smart Sign Strategy

While end cap displays don’t generally require lots of explanation, effective signage that draws the shopper in is important. But, make sure the price isn’t the largest font on your sign. “Our eye-tracking research shows when the price is the headline, customers will focus on that,” Behe says. “Make price the byline or a secondary message to the benefits the plants bring to our lives.”


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