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 69 very similar in design, and manufacturers would hold the design for five and 10 years at a time," he says. "Now, tool designs are changing nearly every year." Keep in constant contact with vendors about changes to their product lines and communicate that to employees. That will help them feel less intimidated when approaching contractors. "It's intimidating to approach a contractor who uses that tool every day, because they are likely to know more about it than you," says Karch. The best approach is to focus the sales conversation on the tool's new features or what may have changed since the customer last purchased the tool. Tip 9—Offer full-service repair. A tool repair service center can potentially draw customers from big-box stores that don't offer that service. Dracut Hardware features a tool repair center. Customers who need repairs know they won't get any resistance if they need to return an item, and they can get warranty work done faster at Dracut than at a big-box store. Offering tool repair is also an added value you can provide better than online retailers, who cannot offer the personalized, fast service you can. Tip 10—Let customers talk to vendors. Nue's annual tool sale is about communication as much as it is about driving high-volume sales. The sale gives customers a chance to talk directly with the vendor to ask any questions they may have and express feedback. It also offers valuable feedback from customers. Personal one-on-one time with vendor reps is critical because it shows customers that Nue's values their opinions, Karch says. Customers can talk directly with representatives from the manufacturer, so they feel they have an outlet for talking about the products they use every day. He considers the face time he can provide between vendors and customers to be his competitive edge over online tool outlets, which can be difficult to compete with because of their low prices. "This is really one of the added values we have over buying online; we have a salesperson and a vendor representative where customers can direct their questions and concerns," he says. "We want to be really open to what our customers have to say, and continuously take needed actions toward improvement. Without our customers, we don't exist." ULTRA THIN PAINTER'S TAPE TM i tape with 8 8 8 - 8 9 8 -7 8 3 4 w w w.itape.com | info @ itape.com FineLine ™ Tape Leading Competitors Paint Line 100x Zoom LOW PROFILE LOW PAINT BUILDUP Paint Line 100x Zoom FineLine ™ Ultra Thin Painter's Tape is designed to provide precision paint lines while preventing paint bleed and edge build up. Use on walls, windows and trim, hardwood floors, lacquered and laminated surfaces. Provides excellent conformability and clean removal up to 7 days.

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