Christian Retailing

8 ways to enhance your DVD department Print Email
Written by Randy Ross   
Tuesday, 05 May 2015 03:03 PM America/New_York

RandyRossHow to refresh this category as Christian films gain ground

There was a time not too long ago when DVDs were the “class favorite” at Christian retail. The category was getting all the attention, with initiatives from Fox Faith and the success of the movie Fireproof. Years later, there are still regular hits with best-sellers like Pure Flix Entertainment’s God’s Not Dead, but the in-store attention has shifted to other categories with higher margin. Media products are still huge traffic-drivers, however, and deserve attention with in-store merchandising, so here are a few reminders and refreshers that can help you spruce up your store’s DVD selection and keep films top-of-mind with your customers.

1. Play a DVD in an effort to sell a DVD. OK, this is probably obvious, but it deserves a mention. A flat-screen TV and a DVD player are essential. But keep in mind, the DVDs you play in-store are not for the entertainment of the employees; they are commercials for the products you sell. Best-selling and recently released DVDs are fundamental go-to’s for the consumer experience.

2. Highlight the featured DVD. When you play a DVD, don’t make your customers guess what is playing on the TV. Let them know what has captured their attention. This can be done with a standee by the cash wrap or something more eye-catching such as a movie-marquee-type “Now Playing” sign.

3. Carry the right DVDs. Monitor the best-seller lists to assure you have the DVDs that consumers are looking for. Also, mark down or return the titles that do not sell for you. There is a reason Target and Walmart do not carry Ishtar and Waterworld.

4. Utilize movie posters and point of purchase (POP). New releases and best-sellers can be highlighted with the POP supplied by your vendors, directing consumer attention to the key titles on the shelf or in theaters.

You may not have space for some of the large-size movie posters, but you can certainly find wall space for one or two 17-by-11-inch posters. Perhaps have “Also Playing” or “Coming Soon” frames that complement the marquee appeal of the “Now Playing” sign. An “In Theaters” sign further engages the DVD buyer and gives the category an air of relevancy. This summer, make sure your customers know about the upcoming theatrical releases like War Room from the Kendrick Brothers, creators of Fireproof and Courageous.

5. Keep popular DVDs in front of customers. It may be an inventory nightmare a couple days a year, but cross-merchandise DVDs the other 360-plus days. In the DVD department, place the DVD God’s Not Dead with the Thomas Nelson book of the same title by Rice Broocks, and put the DVD next to the books where the book normally resides. Do the same with the soundtrack and T-shirts. For kids, the latest VeggieTales DVD should be seen with the Veggie books and vice-versa. Make it convenient for your customers to discover the popular DVDs wherever they are shopping in your store.

6. Call out “family-friendly” films. Mom should have an easy time finding entertainment for her kids when she visits the store, so pull together a selection of “films for the whole family” and display them on an endcap. You’re the gatekeeper on exactly what “family-friendly” means in your store, but let parents know that these DVDs are going to be safe for their family to view together. Group them by age appropriateness as well.

7. Utilize DVD categories. Consumers are drawn to what they like and what they are in the mood for at the time. Grouping DVDs into categories is a great way to focus your customers’ buying decisions. At the very least, have a section for new releases, and pull your Blu-ray options into one area. Some additional suggested categories are: Action, Biblical Dramas, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Fitness, Kids, Music, Teaching and “As Seen on TV.”

8. Create shelftalkers for each category. It does no good to have categories if you and your staff are the only ones that know about them. Categories are meaningless unless you call them out. Don’t merely grab Sharpies and some cardstock for a few moments of craft time; make the effort in front of the computer to create professional-looking custom-category signage for your store, complementing your other in-store category signage.

Keeping your store looking fresh is vital, and a little attention within specific categories can go a long way. Perhaps you’re already following a couple of these practices for your DVD category, but a little time and creativity can reposition this department, making it the place customers go to stock up on DVDs for those long road trips or summer nights of wholesome entertainment.

Randy Ross has served in Christian retail for nearly two decades and is currently a marketing specialist for The Parable Group, where he connects faith-based product to Christian consumers.