Pots

Pots Merchandising and sales job description

The way the pots and related products are displayed and maintained is critical to the development of Bulleen Art & Garden’s image and general style. If products are not themed and displayed professionally, sales potential will not be achieved.
Poor handling and pricing can result in the section being unprofitable.

Pricing and processing product as it is unpacked.

Nothing is ever put into stock unless it is priced very clearly in advance of being placed on the shelf.

Pricing procedures
· Stock must always be priced before it is put on the bench and prices must be large and clear. Significant time can be wasted for all staff and sales lost if a product is unpriced.
· Normal pots must have a price sticker on the outside, plus a pencil written price on the inside of the pot. With ornaments pencil the price at the base of the ornament plus use a pricing sticker. Put the price sticker at a logical position and at a consistent height.
· When a product is placed in its retail selling position the price must face the customer. This reduces unnecessary questions for sales staff and enables the customer to be easily led into making a buying decision.
· Remove any supplier logos from pots so people don’t go there to buy their pots.

Methods of pricing
· Normally use the pricing gun and pencil on the inside of the pot. (Supplier priced product must also be priced inside with a pencil)
 Apply stickers straight and in a logical position.
 Use stickers with website on. Blank stickers are hell to remove after time.
 Stick specials sticker next to original price sticker.

Ongoing checks of prices
· When working in an area you must continually check that stock already on the shelf is clearly priced. Replace tickets if they are looking tatty or hard to read.
· When repricing pots make sure that old stickers are completely removed and that the pencilled price is also altered.
· Note any price inconsistencies, and check with the pots manager as to how to adjust prices for consistency. Generally, the policy is that when a supplier’s price changes, we reprice existing stock to the most recent price irrespective of whether the price has gone up or down with $A: $US. (Because of significant fluctuations in the dollar this needs to be watched as price variations on the identical product make us look very unprofessional).
 Look in saveyourself.doc for price checks
 Keep POS signs near the pots they are referring to.

General guidelines for calculating price
· Ensure you include GST.

Price pointing
All products should be priced to a 50c or 95c ending. Eg. $69.95 or $69.50.
Products that are under $5.00, which can be priced to 5c ending. Eg. $4.55 or 60c. Prob 25c intervals, eg $4.5 $4.75 $4.95 $5.5 $5.75 $5.95 etc
Products from $5 to $30 and at $1 intervals. To 95 cents.
Products $30 to $60 at $2.5 intervals
Products over $60 at $5 intervals, eg $75 $79.5 $85 $89.5

Pricing guns
· Keep out of the weather and do not leave lying around. (A lot of time can be wasted repairing pricing guns that have got wet, once we tamper with them the life of the gun is reduced). Check that all guns are put away before leaving on breaks or at the end of the day’s work.
· Pots should have two large price guns. One is for normal prices and one for specials. Mark them as Pots pricing guns and keep in the pots tray. (Check with your manager if guns are mislaid and make sure guns are clearly labelled as pots)
· General maintenance of guns. See Paul (Hardware manager) if there is an operating problem with a price gun. He will send it away to be repaired.

Point of sale
At the point of sale make the deal very clear. It is our policy to be completely open with the customer. Do not let anything go into stock unless everything regarding the deal is very clear at the point of sale, eg what product costs, if we are to deliver, what delivery costs, if product deteriorates with water, if it cannot be picked up straight away, what pump goes with it, etc. Differentiate pricing of stands from bowls, should say bowl only very clearly. Take time with pricing as mistakes make us look unprofessional and causes aggro with customers.
If necessary, ask the pot manager to organise a printed sign for a given product or products.
For large stacks of pots particularly specials, organise a laminated A4 size sign to promote the product or a permanent sign if the special will go on for over 10weeks.
If signage in the area needs replacing, see the area manager and inform them, or put the sign which needs redoing into the signage “to do tray” before Thurs lunch time.

Specials
It is important to differentiate clearly between first quality impulse specials and clearance lines.

Pot end cap specials
These lines should be standard first quality pots for which you know there is strong demand at a good price.
A minimum number of special stacks all year round giving genuine value to the customer, gives a good impression of Bulleen Art and Garden.
Guidelines: 5 end cap specials at a minimum. – marked up?%
End caps should display the cheapest pots at the front with the more expensive at the rear to emphasise that we are good value.

Clearance specials
This section should be used to clear damaged stock, stock, which has been deleted from our standard range, and overstocks only when we will not clear them in say a six month period.
Badly damaged stock should be tossed, but if it is damaged make sure that an appealing price is put on the product so that it clears quickly. As a guideline for undamaged stock going through the clearance specials, drop the price by 25% initially and if they have not cleared in approximately 6 weeks drop the price to 50% of the retail price.
The area should have a clear overhead sign saying pot section – 25 to 50% off.
The pot clearance section should be merchandised to the same degree as any other section of BAAG. By clearing stock quickly we can have a better per square metre return than selling new stock.
All signs should be at a consistent height and up to date at all times.

General
 Policy/price drilling holes in pots for customers?
 System for getting ordered stock out of deliveries before goes into stock?
All customer orders should be recorded and put on a clip near pot/gallery invoice tray. Staff to check clip before unpacking product.

Merchandising and display
Generally with displays of pots we err on the side of simplicity, the same pot in the same pile using standard merchandising rules. The same style of pots should all be in the same area. Get the basics right before doing anything else. When we have created appealing stacks of a wide variety of pots, breakages have got out of hand and sales have been hindered.
You, other staff, and the customer will understand the pot product range if it is logically laid out. The labour that goes into the area in maintenance and customer enquires will be considerably reduced if staff and customers can easily work out where to locate a particular style of pot. Logical positioning of product allows the pot buyer to have some control over range and quantity when ordering and will minimise overstocks.
Discipline with displays will ensure that we know what stock we have and that we do not duplicate orders.

Basic rules
· With your displays in a particular area you should give a clear product range message. Put all of same style pot into one location and when possible, facing one aisle only. e.g. rustic pots with rustic, and Italian or fine terracotta with fine terra cotta.
· Consolidating themes/styles. When you have consistency in style in one area, try to put together a range of sizes, colours and shapes that is visually easily understood by staff and the customer. Keep like with like. Pots with pots, blue pots with blue pots. Use vertical blocking of similar style and colour of product to ensure that the maximum of your product range is seen by the customer at eye height or just below.
· Further more, block styles as well as colours together. Eg keep all the blue square pots of different sizes in one block, round in another etc. Possibly have a pallet of blue squares with another pallet of blue round next to it rather than intermingled.
· Continually sort and work your displays. Pot displays need continual attention. You have to be scanning all of your product range and displays and working them back into order throughout every day. Thoroughly check the whole area at least once a day.
 If a pot or related product cannot be well displayed on a bench, it should be removed from stock and put in storage.
· The end the display closest to the main customer traffic paths give the strongest message as to the product that will be displayed further along the aisle so make sure you get this message right.
· Display stock so it remains clean. Keep all product up off the ground.
· Control what goes into your displays and do not confuse the message. A lot of plants mixed in with pot displays will result in a complete loss of sales of pots.
· Do not clutter displays excessively. Make the effort to work the stock in the area so it is displayed appealingly. If there is not enough space on a bench, do not put the pot out.
· Expensive stock should be displayed to appear attractive and unique.
· Block product ranges so face one side of aisle where possible and block vertically when possible, this exposes the maximum product range to the customer at a glance.
· Position product groups in a way which ensures products are not clashing. Product positioning and grouping attracts customers to an area and makes a statement, not a mish-mash (eg red glazed and purple glazed are not best located together)

General points
· The pot displays throughout the nursery need to be looked at every week. All products need to be clearly priced and any damaged products removed and specialled off.
· Rotate wine barrels so that customers have to take older stock. Do not put new barrels out until the old ones are sold. This is important as we get stock losses as older stock deteriorates quickly.
· In some instances showing customers an example of how a pot will look once planted out is an advantage. Planting up a number of strawberry pots. Particularly with display range of herb/strawberry pots around xmas. Listing a number of herbs that work well with the pots also help to encourage the customer to visualise the effect and will result in add on sales.

General maintenance

Retail is detail.

Maintain the pot/product.
· A pot handled is a pot checked for general condition, damage, cleanliness and clear pricing.
· Keeping pots clean in the first place will save significant time, place stock where it is not going to get splashed from toppings etc. There is a big cost in cleaning and there are no sales at all when pots are dirty.
· Concentrate your washing into particular time sessions so you can work quickly and effectively, but never leave dirty stock on display (Give quick wipe down as restocking). We have a water pressure cleaner in the smoker’s den, use this when cleaning whole area.
· Some pots can be repaired. Check with the pot manager for simple repairs on expensive pots otherwise put them into special section.

Maintain the display areas.
· Because customers continually pull products out to look at them, you must be continually putting things back. Every time you walk through the section, you must keep your eyes peeled for problems, and put things back in their correct spot.
· While you are restocking an area, but also whenever necessary, you have to sweep and clean the areas around and under the pots and their benches.
· Never leave used or mistake price stickers lying around the counter or floor. They stick to the benches and floor areas and are very difficult to remove and clean up.
· Particular attention must be given to gift areas in the shop with shelves and product being wiped down as necessary. Gift areas need to be perfectly displayed to achieve sales.

Maintain the delivery and storage areas.
Ensure that the rubbish and packing from around the pots is binned as you work. Use 2 wheelie bins to separate cardboard from rubbish, dump in hoppers. All pallets must be cleared from the drive and sales areas immediately as they are a safety hazard.

General points.
· A thorough cleanup is essential at end of restocks. Staff must stay until the work is done.
· Particular emphasis should be placed on the gift area and other impulse areas.
· All paved areas that you work with must be regularly and meticulously swept, weeded and washed when necessary. Gravel needs raking and occasional resurfacing.

Efficiency in product handling

Putting thought into how you handle product, and using appropriate equipment and procedures will definitely reduce accidents, reduce breakages and significantly reduce the time we spend restocking.

Breakages
At times losses through careless handling and positioning of product have been so significant as to eliminate the profitability of the section completely.

Damage while being handled by pots staff
Simply, the more expensive the product, the more care that should be taken in handling, one breakage of a $300 pot is equivalent to 60 broken $5 pots. We can afford to spend more time handling the $300 pot.
The more times a product is handled and the further it travels, the more likely it is to be damaged. Think about your handling of product and reduce distance and times handled.
Nothing is to be placed on the wire mesh nursery benches at all unless on a flat and stable base, eg a concrete slab.

Damage by other staff and by customers
Careless positioning of stock and poor merchandising will result in breakages as staff and customers try to get the product that they want.

Processing of damaged stock
Remove damaged stock from the display benches straight away. If a product sits on a bench with a slight but apparent crack, it will block the sale of products which could be on bench and gives an overall poor impression of our produce range. This product should be specialled straight away or tossed.

General processing guidelines
Empty pallets must be sorted into their labelled stacks every time they are taken to the yard, and not more than 15 pallets high. If there are more than 15 pallets, start a new pile in front of the full stack. Any irregular or broken non-return pallets should be crushed and put in the rubbish immediately.

Stock control, paperwork
Suppliers will make frequent mistakes with deliveries; the best time to address these problems is as the product comes off the delivery truck. If it is not possible to check the product of the truck as it is delivered check it as it goes into stock. Meticulously check all products to the invoice, sign all invoices and record all problems clearly on the invoice and notify the supplier straight away if there is a problem. We lose margin if damaged pots are delivered and we pay for them anyway.
· Tick products off on the invoice to confirm that they have been delivered.
· Returns and stock damaged on delivery must be clearly noted on the invoice. Returns should be kept in Siberia for a period of one month or until the rep has checked them before being disposed of.
· Fax a copy of the invoice with problems noted to the supplier straight away and confirm faxed on invoice with date faxed.
· Be very careful with your handling of invoices. There is no excuse for losing or getting them wet. (Significant time is wasted trying to locate invoices.)
 Photocopy original invoice and stamp with Copy when pricing goods in nursery or Siberia, leave copy in pots tray, original in Penny’s invoice tray.

Selling and customer orders

General selling
When working in the area, considerable sales can be achieved by assisting the customer.
Over time you should develop some knowledge of how/where your product is made and how it is used. This should incorporate a basic understanding of colour, shape and how it will work in with planting and other colours & how much potting mix is needed to fill them.

Customer orders
 Get all customer orders completely up to date. Check the red orders book every Monday first thing and follow up throughout the week.
 Check the invoice tray for customer orders and pick them out before they find there way into stock. They should be placed in the customer order pot reserve near the top gate or where specified to the customer. MAKE NOTE OF PICK-UP LOCATION IN ORDER BOOK.
Our policy for ordering stock in for customers when a pot is not regularly stocked: normally will not do so unless it is a reasonable sale ($60 +) and a 20% deposit is sent in advance or it is for a trade customer.
Mention to customer that special order pots will be four weeks delay, before you go ahead and order it.
Never leave customer pot orders in sales areas. Weekend and other staff will frequently leave particularly heavy sold items in sales areas. Move them as soon as you see them into the pot on hold area and make sure information is up to date.
Set up crates or storage areas which are labelled clearly for:
· customer pickups or holds,
· return to supplier
· pots to be fed back into retail displays, on bench with crack, unsure of price, etc

Everything on hold or for customer pickup must be clearly labelled, keep labels, textas and clear instructions near storage areas.

Policy on giving out info on suppliers
Be careful of giving info on suppliers as customers can normally buy direct. Unless we can get a deal and pass on a phone number to the customer and take a commission, we will lose the sale every time and possibly future sales.

Safety at BAAG is more important than customer service!

Safe displaying
Do not put a product into stock if it is not going to be safe to public and staff. It must have no protruding sharp points. Do not stack pots precariously, there should be no danger of it falling on adults or small children. Access to items should be made readily and if not, display sign, “Ask staff for assistance we’re happy to help”. If an item cannot be put out completely safely, do not put it out at all.

Lifting
Guidelines for lifting:
· Plan your lift before handling a product
· Use the equipment available – forklift, fridge trolley, blue trolley, pallet trolley jack, other staff.
· Use proper lifting techniques – use your legs, straight back, etc. See your manager for correct lifting techniques.
· Do not lift anything that you feel uncomfortable lifting.
· Never hesitate to ask for assistance with lifting
· Always ensure that you make sure that the area you will walk over is clear before you lift
· Large pots must be stored and displayed low down to avoid lifting problems.
· Heavy wall plaques must also be displayed at a low height to allow easy access for staff and customers.
· If you do injure yourself, report it straight away and do not continue lifting.
. Never lift items with a customer. It is dangerous as they do not know about team lifting and can cause injury to staff. Seek assistance from another staff member when you need lifting help.
Deliveries of products over 40kg must be placed on a disposable small pallet, shrink wrapped or steel strapped, and delivered on the crane trailer. This is only done on weekdays and is only ever to the side of the trailer – the product is not manually lifted anywhere.

Importance of continual maintenance and picking up of pots
Pots and product left lying around will definitely result in someone (probably one of our elderly customers) having a nasty fall. Check areas regularly and pick up pots straight away.
The main access aisle in the storeroom must be kept clear at all times to ensure the safety of all workers. Do not leave stock in this aisle and if you find stock in this aisle, move it. Clear any other potential safety hazards when you see them.

Pallets
Never leave pallets lying around, people will trip over them.

Snakes
Be on the lookout for snakes in Siberia & the nursery, in the summer months. Familiarise yourself with procedure following a snakebite. (Ask safety officer)

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