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 58 "Brand is very important in outdoor power equipment compared to other departments," Morelli says. "The recognition different brands have is a major attraction point. However, the sales associates can then decipher the customer's needs to offer the best suggestion for the project at hand." In outdoor power equipment, seasonality makes a big difference in the inventory selection. Depending on the region and climate, many retailers have four seasons to plan. For example, in the winter, a focus on snow blowers and generators is more relevant, while the spring and summer calls for chainsaws, lawn mowers and string trimmers. Merchandise to Make the Showroom Shine Having the right products and brands available to a customer is important, but merchandising techniques throughout the department ensure the large variety of equipment and products that are available stand out and impress customers. Since Memphis experiences longer stretches of milder temperatures than other areas of the country, McMaster says Colonial Hardware promotes its products by lining large outdoor power equipment by the entrance. A row of red riding lawn mowers makes a statement that the category is covered. Having an open showroom is an easy way to display the breadth of offerings in the category, too. Merchandising inside the store is as simple as assembling various products, like lawn mowers, power washers, generators and trimmers and displaying them for customers to touch and handle for reference. Rather than staring at a photo online or a picture on a box, the customer gets a clear idea about the equipment they're thinking about buying. The manufacturers a retailer works with are great resources. Many provide display racks and POP signage to highlight their brands. When it comes to merchandising, creativity makes a difference. At Colonial Hardware, one merchandising element has remained a staple over the years. The display is eye-catching and helps spark conversations with customers. "We have an old tree we uprooted from my grandfather's property years ago that displays our chainsaws," she says. "It has been a focal point in our outdoor power equipment showfloor for years. The chainsaw models and technology may change, but this tree is still here." The manufacturers a retailer works with are great resources. Many provide display racks and POP signage to highlight their brands. Left: Al Morelli of Beisswenger's Hardware has years of knowledge and experience with outdoor power equipment. Right: Colonial Hardware chose a creative take on merchandising, displaying chainsaws in an old tree from the family property.

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