Case Study

Growing Average Spend Per Shopper with a New Product

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How Fudge Became A Top Category In Sales Dollars Per Square Foot

Kittery Trading Post

The Need

Kittery Trading Post, a family-owned retailer, has been outfitting people for the great outdoors since 1938. 

They currently have the most extensive selection of outdoor recreational equipment, clothing and footwear in New England. As one can imagine, this store has evolved significantly from its 360-square-foot humble beginning to its current expanse of over 100,000 square feet.

When the expansion to 100,000+ square feet was completed in 2006, the store was faced with adding to its product line and doing it in the most incremental way possible. Already a large store with diverse merchandise, shoppers would leisurely shop from anywhere between 2 to 2 1/2 hours. The management now needed a way to increase the purchase/transaction amount of each shopper to ensure the store could maintain their sales dollars per square foot.

“We’ve Grown Our Fudge Business To Grossing Approximately $250,000 A Year At An Over 60% Profit Margin, Which Is Outstanding…The rest Of Our Building Typically Generates Far Less Profit.”

Vice President, Kittery Trading Post
Fudge display counter at Kittery Trading Post

The Solution

A newly hired Vice President was focused on ensuring the store met their financial goals. 

Based on his previous work experience with Calico, he had suggested to the ownership that they explore the addition of a fudge counter. His logic was that the fudge wouldn’t compete with the other items they were selling and since shoppers spent significant time in the store, it would create a diversion during their visit. The idea was rejected two times. The third time, ownership was willing to test the concept before they committed to adding the product line.
 

500 lbs Sold In One Day
The Calico Cottage team offered to conduct an in-store validation, sending several staff members to set up a fudge counter in the store and test the product. Calico brought in the counter, supplies, packaging, custom signage and 600 pounds of fudge (retail value now is approximately $6,300). Much to the surprise and delight of the owner, the store sold 500 pounds of fudge in one day. Now he was convinced.

After that experience, the ownership was ready to move forward. Since the team at Kittery had no expertise or skills in making or selling fudge, Calico was an instrumental partner in getting Kittery started.

Calico Provided

  • Consulting on ideal location in the store for the fudge counter
  • Training for the staff on manufacturing, how to sell, offering free samples and upselling
  • Information for the team about how to adjust their flavors and novelties to offer something relevant for each season and holiday
  • Full preparation for the team, prior to launch, so they were ready and excited to run the fudge business

The Results:

10+ TONS
OF FUDGE
PER YEAR

65%+
DOLLAR
MARGIN

FUDGE IS
TOP SELLING
CATEGORY*

Fudge quickly became an important contributor to the store’s dollar sales and profitability. Kittery sells over 10 tons of fudge per year. “Fudge is one of our highest producing dollars per square foot categories in our building. We’ve grown our fudge business to grossing approximately $250,000 a year at an over 60% profit margin, which is outstanding when you consider the rest of our building typically generates far less gross profit,” states the Vice President.

“When you think about what our core business is, you think, how does the fudge counter fit? Will selling fudge really add to an outdoor store? I can tell you absolutely it will. We’ve done great sales, it offers full service to our customers and has been a great addition to our family of products,” he continues.

Consumers Love It, Too

  • Something for everyone! This trading post is HUGE. It offers so many local crafts and outdoor items, everyone will leave with something. Great fudge too!…  - Justin D.
  • Huge building, great for the sportsman, shopper or window shopper. 2 moose and many other animals to see. Great fudge shop. Vast fishing area! -Brandi R.
  • Best Fudge Ever! Great place to visit. With all the driving visiting family. We stopped at the Kittery Trading Post. Met a few locals. They have great gifts to take home and very high-end winter gear for the whole family. Clothing, shoes, boots, fishing and hunting gear, home goods and they have a couple that makes homemade fudge. They will even ship it home for you. -Linda C.

Source: Trip Advisor
*Per Square Foot