Duck Duck Sales! How to Boost Sales a Dollar at a Time

When your #SparkGoals are increasing sales, thinking outside the box—and outside your store’s usual assortment—can get the job done.

 

Sometimes you see yellow plastic, and sometimes you see opportunity. That’s how it was for Reed R. Back when he was a department manager, leadership issued a challenge to add a dollar to every customer’s cart. Reed’s solution was rubber ducks. (You know, for the tub.)

 

“It’s a dollar item, so parents can easily get one for their kids,” he says. He set a feature and increased sales to 300 a week. Since then, Reed has sold rubber ducks at every Walmart store he’s worked at. “I’ve probably sold 15,000 or 20,000 rubber ducks in my 12 years.”

Today, Reed is manager of Neighborhood Market 3178 in Gresham, Ore. One of his goals is to bring his flair for outside-the-box merchandising into the smaller store format.

 

“We always did big WOW displays in Supercenters, but I don’t think Neighborhood Markets have a lot of experience with that,” he says. 

 

“So I come in and I’ll suggest crazy stuff. Don’t be scared to go after something that’s completely unexpected for a grocery store to have. I sell furniture like crazy! And hangers, or fluffy decorative pillows. Those fly out of here, too.

There is a method to his madness. “I always listen to what I’m asked for the most,” Reed says. “I was asked at least three or four times a week for a trash can or a toaster.

 

There are apartments in our parking lot, but we had no furnishings. So I brought that stuff in.”

 

Bringing GM items into a Neighborhood Market was just a matter of submitting tickets to the Home Office. “They’ll help you fix your assortment or even get new items in.”

 

“We’ve been able to add 15 new categories to the store for our customers,” Reed says. “We’re seeing amazing sales results. In November 2018, for all of those home areas, we didn’t even do $20,000. By October 2019, we were at $30,000. It’s definitely been very beneficial.”

 

His sales goals met, Reed now tries to encourage others to take merchandising chances, too. “I try to encourage my market—if you haven’t tried it, how do you know? Just because it seems a little odd doesn’t mean that they’re not going to go after it.”

For more stories, advice, and inspiration, download your copy of the Spring issue of Walmart World here!

 
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