Hardware Retailing

JUL 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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July 2017 | HARDWARE RETAILING 51 Joseph Franquinha Owner Crest True Value Hardware and Urban Garden Center Brooklyn, New York Over $2 Million in Annual Sales J oseph Franquinha may be just as well known for the special events he holds at his store as he is for his urban retail environment. With a strong commitment to community and a tireless creative spirit, he has created a store that is as unique and diverse as the Brooklyn community surrounding it. He grew up watching his father, Manny, and uncle, Joe, keep their business relevant and successful, despite the many changes to the city around them. When he decided to return to the store in 2005 after college, Franquinha began to make his own mark on the business. One of his first projects was to fill what he saw as a major void in the local market. Many customers had been requesting lawn and garden supplies, so he decided to renovate a vacant lot behind the store to make a full garden center. Today, the 5,000-square-foot department has a year-round greenhouse and five full-time staff members. He even rents out the space for weddings and small events. During his time at Crest Hardware, Franquinha has also remodeled the building and worked to build a new brand for the business. "I've found that a willingness to truly listen and learn from customers, take calculated risks, instill confidence in employees and encourage creativity, and to do all of that with enthusiasm and humor, are critical to success," he says. Crest Hardware has become a destination for local artists, which has helped propel many of his special events. During the annual Crest Hardware Art Show, more than 150 artists install their artwork throughout the store. Crest Fest is an annual festival that includes live music, performance art, vendors, food and crafts for children. Attendance usually tops 5,000 people. And the list goes on. Whether it's his popular Crest Pumpkin Carving contest, the Quickie Crest Film Fest featuring local filmmakers or a field trip for local schoolchildren, there is always something going on at Crest Hardware. "Hosting events is a marketing tool we use to draw people in while simultaneously connecting with the community."

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