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 71 S ince Andreas Stihl founded STIHL in 1926, it has remained a family-owned business that supports and values other independent businesses. That's why, for the past 90 years, STIHL has continued to support the local markets it serves. From choosing to sell its products through a network of servicing STIHL dealers to founding Independent We Stand, a national movement of independent businesses dedicated to educating their communities about the benefits and importance of "buying local," STIHL continues to grow year after year. To learn more about STIHL and the opportunities it provides for independent retailers, Hardware Retailing spoke with STIHL Inc.'s Business Development Manager Chris Long. In this Q&A, he highlights the benefits of being a STIHL dealer, the programs available and more. Why should hardware retailers offer STIHL products in their businesses? Chris Long (CL): STIHL has a proven track record with products and service that creates an unparalleled niche for your business—one that big-box stores cannot duplicate. You will also find that the STIHL brand name adds value unmatched by many competitors and can also outperform other items not typically sold in the lawn and garden category. Additionally, by adding STIHL, you can expand your portfolio of premium products and customer service to become a destination instead of a convenience location. Not only will you appeal to new customers, but you'll be equipped to provide knowledgeable service and expert advice to deliver customized lawn care solutions to all your customers as well. This service advantage provides an added value to your customers right at the point of sale and allows your operation the opportunity for repeat customer business. STIHL also offers great opportunities for an increase in profits. A profit margin on STIHL products can equate to up to $633 gross profit per linear foot. For many dealers, this is up to two to three times the gross profit return on other brands—as well as other product categories sold in-store. What support programs does STIHL provide? CL: As a STIHL dealer, you and your team will receive first-class online and classroom training through exclusive STIHL programs, like STIHL iCademy ® and STIHL MasterWrench Service ® , which train and educate employees and technicians on products, merchandising, customer service, troubleshooting and repairs and more. STIHL dealers also receive in-store and external marketing support. These programs include the Marketing Advantage Program (MAP), which delivers sales-driven advertising campaigns at the regional and local levels, and in-store marketing to ensure STIHL merchandising displays remain consistent and complement your professional, comfortable retail environment. What are the most popular STIHL products for retailers to offer? CL: STIHL is the number one selling brand of chain saws worldwide, however we sell far more than our legendary chain saws. From dependable trimmers, powerful blowers and industry-leading construction tools to the new STIHL Lightning Battery System ™ , hand tools, product accessories, and protective apparel, STIHL dealers are able to offer a full range of products, allowing customers to "pick their power" for the task at hand. To learn more about becoming an authorized servicing STIHL dealer, visit STIHLusa.com/dealers or contact your regional branch or distributor. STIHL Gives Independent Retailers a Competitive Advantage Sponsored by STIHL Inc. | STIHLusa.com Category Q&A Jarrett and Malinda Milam, owners of M Kay Supply located in Benton, Missouri.

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