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 36 Checkouts PROMOTIONS Light Up Your Valentine's Day COMMUNITY RELATIONS Hygiene for the Holidays T he local lumberyard may not be the place most people do their Valentine's Day shopping. But Woods Lumber in Independence, Kansas, has found ways to offer opportunities to customers they can't get anywhere else. During one promotion, a lucky romantic could get a personalized Valentine's Day message posted on the store's digital road sign. Contestants could submit their name, phone number and message of eight or fewer words to a drawing held at the store. The winner would get their message displayed on the sign for 24 hours on Valentine's Day. "We are a traditional building material store and don't have a gift section or anything similar that might pull in Valentine's Day shoppers," says Woods. "The year we ran the sign contest, our sign was fairly new. It's also on a major highway, so a lot of people saw the winner's message." Last year, Woods put a different twist on the Valentine's Day contest. By liking the store on Facebook and then sharing the post, contestants could enter a drawing for a gift basket containing two tumblers from the store's popular insulated drinkware vendor. S ometimes holiday needs are basic, which means that they can get overlooked. Bavarian Home Hardware in Kimberley, British Columbia, wants to change that. Each year, the business puts out a call for hygiene product donations in an effort to assist the area food bank during the holidays. Toward the end of November, a large donation box is set up across from the checkout area so customers can donate toothpaste, deodorant, sanitary supplies, aspirin and other essentials to those in need. Veronica Harris, an employee for eight years at Bavarian Home Hardware, says the idea came from a group discussion about unfulfilled needs during the holidays. Many people volunteer at soup kitchens and donate meals to food banks, but many other items simply were not being donated. "We wanted something unique. We approached the food bank with the idea, and they said those were the things they struggled to get large numbers of each year," Harris says. "Everybody was on board and thought it was a great idea." The store advertises the donation box in the local newspaper and on social media, spreading the word throughout Kimberley. The business was able to donate four large bags of products this past Christmas, one of its best hauls in the donation program's history. Over the past few years, customers at Woods Lumber found some unique options for Valentine's Day gifts. Bavarian Home Hardware employee Veronica Harris (left) and owner Kim McLean stand with bags of hygiene products ready for donation.

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