Hardware Retailing

AUG 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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Page 76 of 114

HARDWARE RETAILING | August 2017 70 In order to have a good turnout, the store spreads the word by partnering with a local TV and radio station, sending emails to their customers and sharing on social media. Word of mouth and passersby who see the action in the parking lot and stop in are also big contributors to the turnout. "Last year, we had 1,200 people in and out of the parking lot throughout the day," he says. "We have had people come from all over. Last year, someone even flew in from Hawaii to attend." On top of the tasty treats in the parking lot, attendees can also pop in the store and get a good deal on merchandise, he says. During the day, the store has a blue bucket sale. Customers can donate $5 or more for a bucket to receive 20 percent off items that fit in the bucket. At last year's event, the store was able to raise $66,000 for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, plus donations from other local companies helped the store to raise those funds to total more than $100,000. Children's Miracle Network Hospitals is a nonprofit organization that raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. With this major event, and the grilling demos, cooking classes and customized service, customers turn to the store for much more than products on the shelves. Grill Center Takes Category to Next Level When a customer stops by Cypress Ace Hardware & Feed for the first time, they may be surprised at what they find. A few years ago, co-owner Bill Murff says he and his wife decided to implement a 12,000-square-foot expansion to the store, and with that space they wanted to focus on four categories: gifts, animal health care, a homemade fudge bar (with fresh fudge made and sold daily) and a grill center (pictured at right). A Place for Food Enthusiasts to Gather The grill center is very unique, with a restaurant-grade vent to make grilling indoors easy and safe. To allow more people to engage with the grilling demos without crowding, the store has two flat-screen TVs that show the chef in action. The department also features a display of a wide range of grills from various brands. Also in this section is a wall of seasonings, salts and rubs that customers can browse as they walk through or up to the grill station. Education, Entertainment and Mouth-Watering Food During Cypress Ace Hardware's 2016 Grill Your Ace Off competition, three teams walked away with bragging rights and new grills. " Last year, we had 1,200 people in and out of the parking lot throughout the day. We have had people come from all over. Last year, someone even flew in from Hawaii to attend. " —Bill Murff, Cypress Ace Hardware & Feed

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