Hardware Retailing

MAY 2017

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | May 2017 176 "What are we communicating to them about the brand? How are we showing that we have broader and deeper assortments than perhaps they thought?" They can do that through merchandising, pricing and service. A strength of independents is that they are typically viewed as having more knowledgeable employees than big-box stores have. HR: What are some problems you often see in stores and what do you recommend for improving those locations' in-store experiences for customers? JR: When we ask customers what they like and don't like about a store, we find that stores are often less than easily self-shopped. Some stores are lax, I guess, at what I call house cleaning. The store is still important because it gives the independent a theater for showing the movie of why they're great and why they're better than competitors. You can compete better if you pay more attention to the store. HR: What are retailers doing instead of focusing on improving in-store experiences? JR: There are operators who are so obsessed with Amazon. They want to know how they are going to compete in e-commerce. They can never battle Home Improvement Shoppers' Expectations Source: The Farnsworth Group, 2016 Necessities: • Product in stock • Knowledgeable staff • Easy to get questions answered • Friendly employees • Easy returns • Quick checkouts • Easy to find merchandise Differentiators: • Signage that helps select products • High level of personal service • Provides special services • Easy to special order • Provides delivery • Signage that lists products for projects • Offers installation service

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