Hardware Retailing

OCT 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 | October 2017 38 Checkouts COMMUNITY RELATIONS Visitors Gush Over This Oklahoma Waterfall MERCHANDISING Every Place a Storage Space E ighteen years ago when Doug Witworth decided to create a waterfall outside his store in Vinita, Oklahoma, to promote his water gardening category, he didn't think he was creating a roadside attraction. "We just thought it would be fun to do. It started out as more of a display," he says. "Now it's a town landmark." There was a rock bluff next to the lot where he built the new Ace Town & Country store. In a stroke of inspiration, he rearranged a few of the rocks, added a fountain pump to create a waterfall over the bluff and dug out a small pond at the base. Before long, it became a favorite spot for taking photos. On prom night, the parking lot is full of cars with couples getting their photos taken in front of the waterfall. It's also not unusual to see a wedding party or family using it as a photo backdrop. The store sits just off Route 66, so in addition to locals, the waterfall attracts visitors looking for unusual sights along that road. Whatever their reason for stopping, Witworth hopes the waterfall puts a smile on their face and sets a calm and relaxing mood when they visit his business. F or many retailers, the few inches of space between the floor and the bottom of a gondola run of shelving mostly collects dust bunnies. But at 10th Street Hardware, a store in Philadelphia with an 1,100-square-foot salesfloor, it offers valuable storage space. Co-owners Steve DeShong and Troy Usnik installed thin drawers in the space where there might normally be a toe kick under the shelf. They use the drawers for storing overstock or items that would take up extra space on the shelf. In some areas, instead of drawers, they use thin plastic storage containers that will easily slide under the shelves. "Troy and some other employees built the drawers years ago using cheap lumber with a simple cabinet pull on the front," says DeShong. "We can use them for miscellaneous loose hardware and some backstock items." For example, DeShong stores handles for toilet plungers in one of the drawers, stacking only the rubber plunger on the shelf. He says it's also a great place for store supplies such as security tags or overstock of items with multiple sizes, such as foam brushes in the paint department. "We don't have space for multiple facings, and we don't always want to be running down to the basement for refills of some of the smaller items," he says. "We're a small store with a high volume, so we try to maximize our space." The waterfall at Ace Town & Country is a favorite place for photos, and it's also become a popular roadside attraction. With space at a premium, 10th Street Hardware uses thin drawers under the shelves to store overstock and small items.

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