Hardware Retailing

MAR 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 | March 2018 66 DIYers often find projects online on websites like Pinterest, Dojack says, but they come into the store expecting to be able to just point out a color or technique, walk out with a bucket and be ready to go. "Our customers know what they want, but websites that are offering this information are only taking the customer halfway. They're not helping the customer wrap up the entire project from start to finish," Dojack says. "That's where we have to translate for the customer. 'How will this paint look when it's in your home, with the light the way you want it? It won't look in person like it does on your computer screen.'" In the paint category, knowledge and training is highly important for retail employees. Bring in professionals to educate interested DIYers and employees through in-store demonstrations. Partnering with paint professionals to educate staff and customers can boost your business and theirs. At Tim's Ace Hardware and Interiors Roecker's, manager DesCarpentrie uses his paint expertise in a number of ways. Not only can he be an in-store resource for customers and a sounding board for pros, but he has established a service for Tim's Ace in which he makes in-home visits to help customers with design decisions. The home visits allow DesCarpentrie to display the color palette where it will live, Doehrmann says. "The paint color is, of course, affected by what's around it, and it's not just DesCarpentrie bringing the colors out," Doehrmann says. "He has an eye for design that many don't have and he can offer expert opinions on floor coverings and countertops that will play off of color choices. Customers from all over ask him for in-home visits." The service also works as a connection to contractors. Tim's Ace can provide the paint a customer needs, but the entire design might require a contractor to finish. "When I end up helping with things like countertop design selection, that may not help us increase sales," DesCarpentrie says. "But it sets up a long-term relationship with a customer. Customers who are painting a room might install a new light fixture or upgrade their molding. There's add-on potential with paint." The paint and sundries department at Tim's Ace Hardware and Interiors Roecker's is designed to offer customers a comfortable area to look over different brands and colors of paint as well as wallcoverings, which are rising in favor among consumers. Bring in professionals to educate interested DIYers and employees through in-store demonstrations. Partnering with paint professionals to educate staff and customers can boost your business and theirs.

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