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 80 of 114

HARDWARE RETAILING | August 2017 74 "The popularity of our garden show snowballed, and our manager in the grill department, Steve Kras, suggested we do a similar grilling show," Wannemaker says. "Hundreds of people have been in attendance in the past two years." In June, Wannemaker's Home and Garden welcomed community members to attend its second annual Grill Extravaganza. The store invited 14 different vendors, including grill manufacturers, as well those offering grilling accessories, like sauces and rubs. The vendor booths were set up in the parking lot, with the smells of sizzling food wafting to browsing customers. Not only could attendees taste test the food being prepared, but they could also learn and see products in action to get a better idea of what they might want when grilling in their own backyards. Planning with vendors was a fairly simple task, Wannemaker says. "Since we've done our garden show for so many years, our vendors have a good understanding of how these types of events work. We give them the date and the setup they'll need." To generate even more attention for the event, Kras suggested inviting Lou Manfredini of WGN Radio's Mr. Fix-It to host Wannemaker's had 14 grill and barbecue vendors on hand to showcase new products at booths in their parking lot. Customers could learn from vendors and taste-test products. " We also raffled off five different grills and grill gift basket sets. In total, we raised about $5,000 for the organization. " —Joe Wannemaker, Wannemaker's Home and Garden Photo Courtesy of WGN Radio Step into summer with stepping stone kits www.milestonesproducts.com

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