Hardware Retailing

FEB 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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February 2018 | HARDWARE RETAILING 65 " Training employees and teaching them about the products is critical because there is no doubt that customers are showrooming. Customers are in the store checking our prices against Amazon. " —Dan Harris, Palos Ace Hardware Retailers Take the Lead on Panels In response to past attendee feedback, NRHA added even more retailer-led panels to the 2017 event. Each research presentation was bolstered by direct input from independent retailers who provided insight into real-life challenges and solutions. They also shared ideas on how channel partners can continue to support the industry and how retailers can support each other. A theme about employee training emerged in each panel's conversation. Retailers agree that having knowledgeable employees is a competitive advantage against online retailers, and vendor support is a big part of providing that advantage. During his panel, Dan Harris, owner of Palos Ace Hardware in Palos Heights, Illinois, said vendors are important to the training process, especially when adding new products and categories. "We've added niches to not only add the products, but to add the expertise," he says. "We ask vendors to step up as we bring those products in and do a lot of training support. Training employees and teaching them about the products is critical because there is no doubt that customers are showrooming. Customers are in the store checking our prices against Amazon." Greg Schlecht (left), owner of Greg's True Value in Wisconsin and Jamie Gentner, chief operating officer of Center Hardware & Supply in San Francisco, participated in a panel about managing challenges to growth.

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