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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HARDWARE RETAILING | August 2017 76 Cooking Demos on Demand W hen Gerrod Brasseux decided to trade in his hat as an English teacher to become a hardware retailer, he knew he wanted to take his interest in home improvement and his expertise in cooking and share them with the community. Today, Brasseux True Value Hardware and its employees have become known for offering helpful advice and delicious samples of food customers can enjoy when stopping in the store. "Food is such an important family tradition in Louisiana that most events revolve around it," Brasseux says. "Some of my customers get overwhelmed when cooking. I decided I wanted our store to educate them on how to make a variety of recipes and show them how easy it really is." Initially, sales associates would start up the grills outside the front of the store. Then people would come by and ask what they were cooking, he says. This interest from those in the area was a simple way to advertise to customers without requiring anything but a grill. To keep up the momentum, Brasseux decided the next step would be to throw meat on the grill to sample. He partnered with his local grocery store to get deals on chicken and started offering cooking demonstrations for customers to watch and taste. Then after attending one of his co-op's buying shows, he was ready to bring his demos to a wider audience. Brasseux spoke with a friend about how he wanted to spread the word on cool new products the store was getting in stock, and his friend suggested he try Facebook Live videos. "In most of the videos, I'm in front of the camera doing a demo or talking about an item, while the store manager films me," Brasseux says. "Through our Facebook videos, I'm trying Trying Recipes, Educating Customers When Gerrod Brasseux started cooking on the grills he sells at his store, those passing by the business would often stop in their tracks. Community members were drawn to the smell of food cooking, making them a great audience to sell to. After seeing how well this went, Brasseux has shown customers how to make many recipes that can be achieved with everything from the store (minus the meat). He says just like any product in a store, the better a retailer knows the grill and what it can do, the better they can sell it. For Louisiana Natives, Cooking Is an Art Form In Louisiana, food is more than finding time to eat three square meals, but is a way to show love for others, Brasseux says. Whether cooking for their immediate family or for a large family reunion, people want to have the best products on the market. Sampling food is a great way to give back to customers and spark up a conversation, leading to loyal returning customers, Brasseux says. Outdoor Grilling Brings Community Together Brasseux has filmed several grilling demonstrations for his Facebook fans.

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