Hardware Retailing

MAY 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 | May 2018 210 Hardware and Outdoor Goods Business Grows Customer Loyalty G rowing up in Croghan, New York, Jake Buckingham enjoyed spending time outside, especially if it meant he was hunting, fishing or camping. During high school, he worked part time at his cousin Todd Buckingham's hardware and sporting goods business in town, Buckingham Hardware & the Great Outdoors. While working, Jake discovered his other passion—helping people solve problems. While working at the store, Jake had the opportunity to talk with other serious outdoors people, but he also enjoyed helping customers figure out how to tackle their home improvement and repair projects. Through high school and college, Jake continued his part-time position at the store, eventually working full time before starting a job working in forestry for the state. However, his journey with retail was not over yet. After a few years, his cousin approached him with an opportunity he couldn't pass up. "Todd asked me if I would be willing to help him open, operate and manage a second location he was considering purchasing," Jake says. "Even though I had been out of retail for a while, I was ready for the challenge." A New Opportunity On Christmas Eve 2013, the Buckingham cousins closed on the space where they would open up shop in Blossvale, New York. They immediately began renovation projects, yet they remained open for customers through it all. However, coming up with a name for this second location took some time and a little extra creativity, Jake says. "Like the other store, the new location was going to offer a mixture of sporting goods products and hardware," Jake says. "In the community, hunting and fishing are really popular, and our hardware goods are needed all year. Todd, my wife and I wanted to incorporate the hardware and outdoors aspects in the name. After lots of brainstorming, we came up with Bucks & Bolts Hardware & Outfitters." Bucking Tradition By Renee Changnon, rchangnon@nrha.org

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