Hardware Retailing

DEC 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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December 2017 | HARDWARE RETAILING 21 F or its third annual Ladies' Night, JL's Home Hardware Building Centre in Guelph, Ontario, decided to put on a real show. The event, designed to raise funds for a worthy charity each year, is also one the community looks forward to for a night of fun and entertainment. In previous years, Ladies' Night has donated funds to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, says marketing manager Rick Lackovic. For the 2017 event, Lackovic and JL's Home Hardware decided to look more local, with funds going to the Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis, a community-based organization that provides services to women and children suffering from abuse and violence. "We were really excited to go more local for this year's event, and it's really nice that everyone involved, from the attendees to the vendors, know where the money is going and who it is helping," Lackovic says. The fashion focus was inspired by the honored guest at the event, Montreal-based fashion designer and Beauti-Tone Paint's creative director Simon Chang. While Chang was eager to be involved in the event, he didn't want it to be a fashion show. So Lackovic came up with another idea. "It's called Helping Handbags, and we borrowed that theme for what we called, 'It's in the Bag,'" Lackovic says. "We set up a catwalk in the store, and some of our staffers served as models to show off 21 designer purses that we had filled with gift cards, certificates for local restaurants, cosmetics and other items. We auctioned off the purses and raised about $7,000." The night also included samples from area restaurants as well as a local brewery, something that Lackovic says is a big part of the community feel for the event. He rotates the restaurant selection each year in hopes of making sure everyone has a chance to be represented. "Ladies are very influential in design decisions. We want these attendees to feel comfortable and know we're a trusted location for the products they need," he says. C an't remember why you came into the hardware store? Edele & Mertz Hardware in the Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis can help. "For customers who come into the store and can't remember what they came in for, we tell them, 'Go sit in the Thinking Chair and see if you can remember,'" says owner Steve Edele. Whatever it is you finally decide you need, the store likely has it. Edele is a fourth-generation owner of the business that has served the community's hardware needs since 1912, and they've collected a little bit of everything. The antique chair sits alongside matching nail bins and a service counter, which are all likely at least as old as the store itself. If sitting in a comfortable chair can't help you conjure up the list of items you intended to buy, Edele and his staff don't mind if you just stay and chat for a while. From left, JL's Home Hardware Building Centre marketing manager Rick Lackovic, owner J.L. Belisle, owner Deborah Belisle, owner Andre Belisle and Montreal-based fashion designer Simon Chang pose during the 2017 Ladies' Night at the Guelph, Ontario, hardware store. EVENTS Funds Are 'In the Bag' in Ontario CUSTOMER RELATIONS Forget Your List? Have a Seat The Thinking Chair is a relic from the past that adds personality and a bit of humor to Edele & Mertz Hardware.

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