Maximising workwear displays can be a challenge for merchants, which is why Dickies aims to provide a high level of support in helping stores to get the most out of their selection. PBM talks to Martin & Partners, where the workwear supplier’s ‘shop within a shop’ concept is proving popular with customers and staff alike.
Reputedly the largest independent builders’ and plumbers’ merchant in Northampton, Martin & Partners has supplied customers from the local area and beyond for over 80 years. Owner and Managing Director David Dickens joined the company more than 50 years ago and runs the business with his wife, daughter and son-in-law. David also serves on a national basis for NMBS and it was through the buying group that the merchant was introduced to Dickies Workwear.
“We started off with quite a small area for our Dickies selection, but after visiting its factory outlet we took some ideas and decided we needed to dedicate more space to it,” explained Rebecca Dickens, David’s daughter and Senior Director at the store. “That went down really well with our customers and then Dickies offered to provide all the racking and take over the area so that it became a ‘shop within a shop’.”
Now measuring 9 x 2.5m, the Dickies concession includes footwear, hi vis items and clothing from across its ranges including the Eisenhower Extreme trousers, the Medway and Graton boots, and the Redhawk Pro range.
Dickies has found that the nature of workwear shopping has meant the ‘shop within a shop’ concept tends to work well for merchants. UK Sales Director Rob Haines said: “The decision making process involved in buying workwear is highly personal. Tradespeople are investing in something that’s far more than just a material or tool they need to get the job done — they’re buying something they’re going to wear. It’s got to fit with the image they’re trying to create, so how clothing looks on display is really important.
“This means well positioned, tidy displays similar to those you would expect in a typical clothing shop. By offering a ‘shop within a shop’, we can make sure the concession looks as appealing as possible, while taking care of the practicalities involved in maintaining the display. Our expert sales team is also on hand to advise on the product ranges that will generate quick sell-through.”
While the space available at Martin and Partners is relatively generous, Dickies states that it is able to provide fixtures that fit within any store size so that merchants can maximise the space they have available.
For Rebecca and her team, the ongoing support they receive from the supplier has meant this ‘shop within a shop’ practically manages itself. She said: “We get regular visits from the Dickies sales support team, including all the latest deals for us to offer in addition to support on trade days where the Dickies mobile showroom comes down. The staff love it — it sells itself and it is a win-win situation.”