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 53 Bobby Heuser Co-Owner Heuser Ace Hardware Bluffton, South Carolina Over $2 Million in Annual Sales B obby Heuser was searching for a more fulfilling career when he decided to open Heuser Ace Hardware with his parents, Bob and Renee, in 2015. Heuser had a vision, and he hit the ground running. Heuser and his parents searched from the tip of Florida to the coast of Maine before choosing Bluffton, South Carolina, as the perfect location for the store. Heuser designed the store around the customer experience, incorporating high ceilings and glossy floors and splashing bright colors on the walls that evoke a sense of "Main Street America" and nostalgia. In only two years, he has built an award-winning business with more to offer than the average hardware store. Heuser has transformed his business into the top spot to buy grills in his town by creating a well-stocked department with high-end brands. Heuser also opened "The Bike Shop" inside his store, offering a full line of bikes, service and repairs, attracting families, tourists and retirees alike. To ensure he is efficiently providing the products his customers want, Heuser created a custom reporting program to track revenue and profitability per linear foot, organized by department. This system has allowed him to grow over-performing categories like birding and lawn and garden chemicals. Additionally, he's built a strong rapport with his town through strategic branding and marketing. People in the area can rely on him to help with community service work and give generously to local causes. When Hurricane Matthew hit, Heuser Ace Hardware was the last store in town to close. Heuser and his staff worked day and night to make sure the city of Bluffton would be stocked in preparation for the hurricane. His store is considered a designated disaster command center by the local police department. Heuser also stays close to the community by sponsoring and participating in fundraisers and other events. "When Hurricane Matthew hit, we were the last to close. We want customers to know that when times get rough, we're here for them."

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