Hardware Retailing

JAN 2018

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 | January 2018 54 Call In the Professionals There are times when no matter what advice or help you try to give a customer, the project may be best handled by a professional. For those customers lacking the time, skills or desire to complete home improvement projects, offering installed sales and handyman services can make your business stand out from the crowd. At Briggs Hardware in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, customers frequently ask for help to get their jobs done, says Stuart Davis, the store's handyman and co-owner of the business with his wife, Evelyn Murray. "When Evelyn decided to reopen the store founded by her family, I was there to help," he says. "It is now located downtown in a smaller space, but the name kept our customers and solid reputation." After business took off, Davis says he was frequently explaining to their customers how to complete a variety of projects. "I have been a handyman for much of my life, so that often came up in my conversations with customers who were struggling or confused about a project," he says. "Once they learned about my background, many would ask if I could fix their problem for them. Evelyn and I decided adding handyman services to Briggs Hardware made sense." Both homeowners and businesses request handyman services through Briggs Hardware. The jobs Davis goes on range from quick visits hanging a flat-screen TV or repairing drywall, to a longer job finishing up a contractor's project checklist when they run out of time. In Washington state, McLendon Hardware also offers a variety of handyman and installed sales services to customers across its seven locations. McLendon Home Services, which is under the hardware chain's umbrella, was created out of a need for those skilled in projects around the home, says Judd. In 2008, Judd approached leaders at McLendon Hardware to pitch the idea of a home services startup within their business. Rather than find someone else to help a customer complete their projects, Judd pitched a way for McLendon's to streamline the experience and keep the quote and sales experience in the store, he says. "This idea was something that resonated because McLendon Hardware customers want to be helped with project quotes and other information in the store, not always have someone come to their home for a quote," Judd says. "The main focus of our home services is to be as cost-effective, professional and convenient for the homeowner as possible." McLendon Home Services serves single-family residential homeowners. The business focuses on assisting in the repair and replacement market. Customers of McLendon Hardware stores in Washington have the opportunity to hire trained service professionals to install a wide variety of products in their homes. The business assists "do-it-for-me" customers looking for convenience and a reliable company.

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