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 64 Checkouts EMPLOYEE RELATIONS Incentives Are In MARKETING Retailer Stays Colorful by Design L ater this year, the minimum wage in Alberta, Canada, is expected to rise to $15 per hour, and that poses a dilemma for Josh Beusekom, owner of Next Home and Garden in Fort Macleod, Alberta. That's the wage he's already paying his employees because he wants to set himself apart as a premium employer. So he's come up with a different plan, which may turn out to be even better in the long run. His Team Focused Rewards program offers perks, which he's calling Next Dollars, to employees who meet certain sales goals and contribute to in-store events. Employees can redeem their Next Dollars for rewards ranging from store logo wear to a vacation. While the initial motivation of the program may have been to encourage employee retention, it has become more about team building. "If we can focus on giving our staff value and making them part of something team or growth focused, then being a part of the staff is not just about wage," he says. "It has really brought everyone closer together." Beusekom has seen tangible results, too. For the first three months of 2018, he's already increased his average transaction size by $2. "We're not going for the hard sale with customers just so we can reach our goals," he says. "Rather, we are focused on offering more complete customer service." T he streets of New York City don't often find ways to surprise visitors or New Yorkers with their style. The hustle and bustle of such a metropolis means most people are hurrying to be somewhere or focusing on keeping their path clear on the sidewalk. Wankel's Hardware isn't like most other New York City buildings. Following a design change in the 1970s, Wankel's Hardware has sported a patriotic motif that stands out among the brick and steel buildings in its vicinity. With white and blue paint framing the windows of the upper floors and bright red on the fire escapes and ground-floor storefront, the design certainly draws the eyes of passers-by. "It's a unique color scheme for sure, and we get a lot of interest from people who want to take photos for Instagram," vice president of sales Sean Wankel says. Wankel is the fifth generation of his family to work in the store. The only changes in recent years were to update the color of the doors leading into Wankel's Hardware, which had been red like the rest of the first floor. "We run our business as a community store for people in our neighborhood, and showing our unique nature in our building design is part of that," Wankel says. One way employees at Next Home and Garden can earn incentives is through their contributions to in-store events. Wankel's Hardware in New York City has had its distinctive storefront look since the 1970s.

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