Hardware Retailing

APR 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 | April 2018 34 Checkouts MERCHANDISING Count the Connections W ho wouldn't want X-ray vision? Beyond the Superman comparisons, home repairs and installations would be a snap. Imagine being able to see the inner workings commonly hidden behind drywall or brick throughout a home, showing the links between your electrical system and plumbing lines. Dunn Lumber decided to make that kind of view possible, except without the superpowers. The Seattle-headquartered lumberyard business has nine locations across the state, and two have displays that show off as many electrical and plumbing connections as can be fastened to an endcap. Jake Matheson, product merchandising manager for Dunn Lumber, says the displays were first installed in the Bellevue lumberyard, with the Kirkland location following and more to come. The endcap displays are designed to show each connection needed to wire a house or install plumbing. The electrical board shows how a breaker box can connect to switches, lights and plugs throughout a home, including specific plugs designed for appliances like refrigerators or specialized items like bathroom vents. On the plumbing board, a main stack pipe is shown that connects to commonly seen faucets, shower heads, drains and even the washing machine connection. Along the way are the multiple types of pipe needed for each connection, including traps. A water filter tap and how it can be connected into the system is also shown. On top of assisting customers with projects, the displays are also an aid for employees, says Matheson. "It's all about getting the right information to the customer. It helps our employees interact with the customer, and employees appreciate anything you can do to help that interaction," Matheson says. The concept comes from one of Dunn Lumber's distributors, Burlington Merchandising and Fixtures, Matheson says. The displays are part of a full line of shelving that has the strength to support larger products found in lumberyards like Dunn Lumber locations but have the appearance and usability of retail-ready shelving. These shelves also allow for more vertical storage while hiding overflow products with signage for advertising or directing shoppers. "The companies selling fixtures and gondolas to grocery and clothing stores don't have products that can work in the LBM business. With our fixtures, I can use the first seven feet for products customers can reach, then use the top two feet for back stock," Matheson says. "We've gotten up to 3,000 extra square feet of storage now, which in Seattle is really hard to find." Washington State lumber retailer Dunn Lumber features two cutaway displays at some its stores. These displays show and detail common plumbing and electrical connections. Looking for creative ways to engage customers? Whether it's promotions, merchandising or special events, we cover it here. Have an idea? Contact Melanie Moul at mmoul@nrha.org to have your story considered for publication.

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