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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HARDWARE RETAILING | February 2018 70 The Social Connection Tratensek says retailers who are finding success with technology have already developed their brands for social media, and it's easy to connect the social media experience with the in-store experience because independent retailers already know their audience. "Social media dovetails so well with the in-store experience and the individualized brand building within a market," he says. "Independent retailers can have a leg up because they know their communities and what resonates with their immediate markets." The event culminated with a look at the future of retailing and a panel of the next generation of independent retailers. The panelists expressed similar concerns about the industry, including employee training and retention and competing as small businesses in today's retail climate. As young retailers, however, they are optimistic about future opportunities in the industry. The panelists agree that while the definition of customer service is changing, it's important to remember your roots as a small business. "As much as we preach that customer service is the most important thing out there, for small businesses, it's different, because a bad experience can change a customer's opinion for a long time," says panelist Adam Barden, owner of two Vassar True Value Hardware locations in Michigan. "There's something about that customer experience, that if Celebrating Partnerships The State of Independents Conference offers retailers, vendors and manufacturers a place to come together to share feedback and celebrate the successful relationships that exist in the market. One way those relationships are honored is through the Channel Partnership Awards. Retailers shared the companies that continue to show their support for independents, and the three companies shared most often received the award at the conference. The three manufacturers honored at this year's event are repeat winners, which shows their strong commitment to the channel. Benjamin Moore & Co., Weber Grills and STIHL Inc. all received Channel Partnership Awards for their dedication to the success of independent retailers. "The relationship between independents and manufacturers is really vital to this channel," says Jennifer Stone, sales training supervisor for STIHL. "The feedback I've heard at this event has been helpful, and I'm going to take notes back to headquarters on how we can help you in the future." one of our most popular splitters – 26 ton force & ready to withstand rental use www.ironandoak.com/HRM | (866) 281-4509 OAK & IRON ® BHVH2616GXT FREE SHIPPING IN CONTIGUOUS 48 states BOOTH #1645 torsion axle FEATURING

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