Hardware Retailing

NOV 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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November 2017 | HARDWARE RETAILING 43 The business partnered with Our Water, Our World, which helps raise awareness of the effects pesticide use has on water quality. Through this program, the organization comes to Marin Ace and adds labels to the shelves and provides educational pamphlets. These labels are easy to read and declare specific products as eco-friendly and less toxic than competing products. Another business that has taken organic gardening to new levels is Crest Hardware and Urban Garden Center in Brooklyn, New York. While customers weren't initially asking for the switch, owner Joe Franquinha says he knew he could convince customers to try green products. "I believe organic gardening is very important as a long-term strategy," Franquinha says. "We have removed about 98 percent of the nonorganic products from our lawn and garden offerings. We don't have an organic section, because our entire garden department is organic." The Brooklyn store even sells specific live bugs, which naturally get rid of garden pests by eating them, Franquinha adds. "We sell ladybugs, mantises, earthworms and beneficial nematodes, which are roundworms that feed on plants," he says. "Kids are usually fascinated by them, seeing it as a cool thing to add to the garden, but what's great is what these bugs do to help the garden thrive. Ladybugs, mantises and nematodes all help rid the garden of unwanted bugs, and the byproduct from earthworms is great for the soil." Although convincing some of his older customers to give bugs as pest control a try in the garden takes a little more effort, Franquinha says it's important to explain the benefits of different options to all generations. Marin Ace Hardware in San Rafael, California, offers a variety of products to attract pollinators to their customers' yards. Owners Michelle and Jeff Leopold (pictured below) have even partnered with a local association that provides shelf signage for eco-friendly products. To see more photos from the store and additional product and merchandising ideas, visit TheRedT.com/marin-ace.

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