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.

Issue link: http://hardwareretailing.epubxp.com/i/877991

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Page 58 of 120

HARDWARE RETAILING | October 2017 54 "Customer diversity is a good thing, and the diversity of our neighborhood makes our lives richer," he says. "We can learn something and find out about people from different places." The Next 10 Years While the current plan for 10th Street Hardware's future doesn't have a drastic course shift in the works, there is plenty to develop for the owners' next endeavor: a second location. "The new store is in Old City, which is a totally new neighborhood for us," DeShong says. "The demographics are a little different from this one. It's on a much artsier, more upscale street, and the store is about 50 percent larger than this one. We will be able to spread things out. We're not looking to add SKUs. We're looking to do better displays and carry a different product mix." When DeShong and Usnik were searching for a second location, they wanted to make sure the neighborhood was the right fit for the operation. "We started spending time there in those neighborhoods, going out to dinner, seeing how many people were out and about, going out to lunch to see who was shopping," he says. "We found a location in Old City, and originally we were unsure because a friend had opened a hardware store there and closed it about 10 years ago, and no other hardware store had gone into that area since then." Once DeShong and Usnik saw the space and considered how much the neighborhood had changed in 10 years, they knew they had found the right location. "It has hardwood floors, and it's the right size," DeShong says. "We signed a lease and took occupancy in early September. Now we are working with an architect to develop the general store design. I'm concerned about keeping a nice, clean consistent look with our shelving and displays." DeShong says he sees Amazon and other local retailers, like general stores, as his primary competition. The new store will address that competition through a new service, which they are considering implementing at the 10th Street location once it has been tested at the new store. "We would like to offer some kind of limited delivery service to apartment buildings in the area with a doorman to start," DeShong says. "We just need to establish the systems to handle it." Steve DeShong (second from the right) and Troy Usnik (far right) purchased 10th Street Hardware from its original owners in 2007. They hire team members based on the needs and expectations of their customers. Half the team is pictured here.

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