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 53 By Renee Changnon, rchangnon@nrha.org Cleaning Up in Housewares A Closer Look at Retailers Focused on Household Staples W hether it's a New Year's resolution or a spring overhaul, consumers are constantly looking for ways to keep their homes spotless. Do you have the products, advice and tools needed to help them stick to their cleaning goals? From basic hardware to an expansive garden department, you should always aim to cover the categories that matter in your market in order to become a one-stop shop. One niche within the housewares category that could offer opportunities for growth and allow you to establish a unique offering within your market is cleaning supplies. While some hardware retailers may shy away from cleaning supplies because there is so much competition, other retailers have embraced the opportunity head-on and have found ways to turn it into a lucrative niche. Cleaning goods make for easy add-on sales, and can attract a wide audience of customers, from the DIYer to the industrial pro. Hardware Retailing interviewed two retailers who have carved out space in their businesses to showcase cleaning products, test out new items and get their customers the supplies they need. Keep reading to discover how these retailers have made their cleaning departments stand out and the products they stock to keep customers happy. For more insight, we spoke to Melissa Maker, an entrepreneur, author and cleaning expert who films how-to videos on her YouTube channel, Clean My Space. She shares ways independent retailers can become leaders in the cleaning category. Sweeping the Competition The Bunge family's hardware store operation opened in Indiana in the 1940s, and has since grown to three locations and involves three generations. In 2016, the third and most recent location opened in a vacant pharmacy in Crown Point, Indiana. Led by Jake Bunge, son of Al Bunge Jr., who oversees all three stores, Crown Point True Value has used its new location as a way to expand on the cleaning category and attract repeat customers, Jake Bunge says. "When we moved into this new location, we had a much bigger floorplan than our other two stores," he says. "Before we opened up for business, we went through our co-op's store layout program, and we decided we wanted to feature the cleaning category in this new location." While all three of the Bunge's retail operations include cleaning goods, the new store is home to the widest selection and has the most shelf space. Continued on Page 56

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