Hardware Retailing

JUN 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 | June 2018 64 F or years, Amazon has been racing to compete with and beat brick-and-mortar retailers in selling nearly every product category, while setting a breathtaking pace for sales growth. The company has also cemented itself in consumers' minds as convenient and inexpensive. For many shoppers, Amazon is the ideal in-your-pocket price checker, product search engine and ordering tool, available on the devices they use every day. In a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos reports that the company has surpassed 100 million paying Amazon Prime users worldwide, who subscribe to a service that includes free two-day shipping on many products and discounts at brick-and-mortar Whole Foods stores. The growth of online retail has changed customers' expectations for in-stock position, prices, convenience and experiences within brick-and-mortar stores. What has not changed is that independent home improvement retailers offer expertise; immediate help for homeowner emergencies; high-quality, specialized products; competitive pricing in many areas; and a contribution to local communities that has always outstripped Amazon. The North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA), shop-local organization Independent We Stand and the Paint and Decorating Retailers Association (PDRA) commissioned the study, which quantifies the difference between what Amazon can offer a community compared to independents. The study, Home Sweet Home: Locals vs. Amazon, reveals that sales from locally owned home improvement businesses contribute a local economic impact that is nearly seven times more than Amazon's contributions. The following pages detail the study findings and how retailers can use them to highlight the significance of what their independent businesses offer communities. By Kate Klein, kklein@nrha.org Study Showcases Dramatic Local Economic Impact of Independents vs. Amazon Up Against Amazon

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