MOHAWK TESTS DIY MERCHANDISING CONCEPT FOR BIG BOX RETAILERS
Mohawk's new shop within a shop concept focuses on DIY decorating with color stories that are resonating at retail, such as the updated red, white and blue in the company's Harbor palette.
NEW YORK -- Mohawk Home has introduced "Discover the DIY: Designer in You," a sophisticated new shop-within-a-shop concept for merchandising its programmed, accent and scatter rugs at big box retailers.
Components of the program, which were presented at the recent New York Home Fashions Market, include fixtures for curated P.O.S. displays, product packaging, and an in-store kiosk introducing Mohawk's first "Discover the Designer in You" video. The new kiosk also houses a custom technology component designed for future use at retail to help shoppers with purchase decisions.
"The DIY trend was a big push for us at market," Jeff Seagle, Mohawk Home's director of marketing and product merchandising, told RugNews.com in an exclusive interview. "We came up with the message 'Discover the Designer in You' because everybody can relate to DIY," he explained.
Mohawk introduces a new merchandising concept called "Discover the DIY: Designer in You" at its NY showroom, reconfiguring 1,600 square feet for fixtures and displays illustrating on-trend retail color stories.
Indeed, do-it-yourself decorating is growing in tandem with consumer interest in HGTV, Pinterest, and social media influencers, particularly among Millennials
. In its own research, Seagle said, "One of the ideas we kept coming back to was that it really didn't matter [to consumers] how advanced a DIY project is: Even if it's as simple as matching a shower curtain to towels and a bath mat, it's still seen as a DIY project. It is up to the individual how advanced a project they want to tackle." Forbes Communications Council confirms the Mohawk findings, suggesting to retail readers that products would benefit by positioning as part of the DIY movement.
Although 'Discover the Designer in You' is directed to consumers, a dual objective is to give big box buyers inspiration for putting together their own cross-coordinated displays. "This is all about cross-merchandising our rugs in trends currently resonating with consumers," Seagle continued. "But it's also about showing that we understand the retail model of the future, and the curated collections you will have to put together for retailers."
To that point, Mohawk Home reworked its sprawling 295 Fifth Ave. showroom to create a dedicated 1,600-square-foot space for its inaugural DIY trend vignettes -- each showcasing Mohawk products curated with decorative accents and accessories.
The new DIY Designer in You program offers retailers inspiration for cross-coordinated displays featuring Mohawk Home's pre-tested color stories, along with packaging and point of sale signage .
The vignettes focused on four color palettes - Cargo, Harbor, Solstice and Sunwashed - all chosen because of their popularity at retail. Each display illustrated one of the trending color stories, and featured Mohawk area rugs, accent and scatter rugs with coordinating home accents such as candles, pillows, throws and lamps. "We wanted to anchor the DIY trend to something that every do-it-yourselfer can get their head around, which is color," Seagle explained.
"We're showing our retail buyers how easy it would be for them to create something similar," he continued. "This is our first step into a store within a store boutique: We curated our collection to show buyers how boutique shopping is going to be increasing in the future. It's the reason we put the collections together the way we have, and created the new fixtures." Initial response was very positive, he said, nothing that the visual as well as the product layout resonated with customers.
PRESENTING A TECH PROTOTYPE
Mohawk's Neil Hegwood, VP design and product development, and Robyn Kaechele, associate creative director, introduce a kiosk with point of sale DIY Designer in You video as well as a new technology component that's being tested in stores.
Also at the fall market, Mohawk Home's Neil Hegwood, VP design and product development, and Robyn Kaechele, associate creative director, spoke with RugNews.com about the company's new point of sale kiosk.
Currently in test market, the digital kiosk was formally presented for the first time at the New York show. "We have about 20 units scattered around the country, with the majority in mom and pop stores as opposed to mass market. But we wanted to show it to sales reps and customers here because we know it is eventually going to the mass channel," Hegwood explained.
"It's designed to improve the shopping experience, and has been received very well," he continued, noting that a one-minute video played on the kiosk explains the "DIY: Designer in You" program and presents ideas for flooring, paint, accessories and lighting as well as rugs. "It tells consumers's its a snap to find the right rugs, and that we're there to help them pull it all together with inspiring combinations -- that we're there to take the frustration out of doing it yourself, whether it's your forever home or your first."
The video presented at market featured Mohawk's curated color stories, and down the road, the company anticipates that the prototype kiosk will offer an online purchase feature.
Below are the featured color trends in Mohawk Home's debuting DIY: Designer in You program.
The Cargo trend showcased by Mohawk Home features cross-category products in Boho-inspired, bright, cheery global looks.
Bohemian and global looks, including Moroccan, get a bright and cheery makeover in Mohawk Home's Cargo color trend story. Cargo features bold Mediterranean colors, such as pumpkin, terracotta and powder blue.
The Harbor palette trend from Mohawk Home reworks classic red, white and blue for contemporary DIY decorators.
Mohawk Home showcased an updated red, white and blue palette designed for seaside and coastal shoppers. The look featured medallion and global designs with a coordinating stripe.
Mohawk's Solstice color palette brings icy grays and cool blues into focus.
Mohawk Home's new Designer in You program for accents and scatters and rugs includes a cool blue and icy gray palette, an ongoing consumer favorite.
"All the colorways we featured in our DIY section are are resonating in stores," said Robyn Kaechele, associate creative director: "We did a lot of comp shopping to put these trends together." But the most popular with many New York Home Fashions shoppers was Solstice for its mixing of cool gray and blues, she added.
The Sunwashed trend in Mohawk Home's DIY program features soft dusty brights like delicate blush and cool powder blue.
Mohawk's Sunwashed color trend includes soft, sun-washed colors and dusty and delicate tones that are feminine and vintage-inspired. The effect is easy, playful and understated.