Summer 2019 – Inside Outdoor Magazine

Inside Outdoor | SUMMER 2019 22 F or the past few sum- mers, the cooler category has been anything but cold for many outdoor and sporting goods retailers. Any- one who is driving big dollars in the cooler category, however, knows that carrying a healthy assortment means committing a good deal of shelf space. With that in mind, Caterpil- lar, the $54 billion equipment company, teamed up with U.S.- made cooler manufacturer Taiga Coolers to develop a new con- cept in cooler stocking and pur- chasing. Cat’s newly released in-store cooler display and kiosk not only frees up thousands of dollars of shelf space for retail- ers, but it also brings the cus- tomization capabilities and end- less aisles of the digital realm into the physical store. The Cat cooler kiosk pro- vides customers and retailers access to a large selection of Cat coolers in a modest 36-inch by 36-inch footprint, potentially reducing retail cooler inventory by 50 percent to 90 percent, said the company. If a certain model or color of cooler is not available in-store, customers can use the digital kiosk to browse various colors, styles and models of Cat coolers. For those who prefer a more customized retail experience, the kiosk allows customers to create personalized color combinations, choose from a selection of lid graphics or download their own personal images right from the point of sale. The customization library includes multiple cooler size and model options and an as- sortment of base and lid colors to mix and match. Cat plans to add new color options regularly to stay on point with trends. Once the cooler is chosen and customized, the order is submitted to Cat. The cooler is then custom built by Cat and shipped to the customer’s home in seven days or less. The customer pays the retailer for the customized cooler at the point of sale. Retailers simply issue a pur- chase order, and the order will ship, said Cat. According to Cat and Taiga, the display and kiosk or available to retailers for a low up-front cost, and the companies provide support and updates to the software for free. “We think this new con- cept in mass customization in the retail environment is a benefit for both the consumer and the retailer,” said John Hohenshelt, founder of Taiga Coolers. “The user gets a cus- tomized cooler shipped direct to them in under seven days, and the small retailer, that may not have the space for a large display, is able to now add coolers to their store.” m Buyer’s Side Cat’s Cool In-store Display Cooler kiosk frees retail space while enhancing retail experience