Hardware Retailing

NOV 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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November 2018 | HARDWARE RETAILING 59 Presenting to the Pros Merchandising has several key tenets, no matter the product group or category. For power tools, the trend toward brand-centric merchandising will likely continue as power tool manufacturers introduce more accessories and battery options designed to work specifically with their own product lines. Some other ways to cater to pros are to make the products easily accessible on the salesfloor and putting the actual tools in their hands as often as possible. Make tools available for demonstration or encourage your sales associates to take the tool out of its packaging for a customer to handle. At PaulB Hardware, outside sales associates often bring the latest power tools out on the road with them to offer demonstrations for prospective customers. The business also moved its stocked tools onto the salesfloor instead of storing them in secured back rooms and bringing them out once a purchase was going to be made. This change was made to facilitate faster service for contractors, Groff says, but it has also exposed some products to greater threats of theft. While the change has been beneficial, it means employees must be more vigilant about observing the power tools department for missing inventory. "We have always had a great training program that includes information about how to prevent theft. This move just means we have to be extra careful in these areas," Groff says. "We have two employees who are checking inventory and doing cycle counts for the entire store. It's about being intentional with how you're stocking items and making it a priority to check our faster-moving inventory." Power tools can also be included in impulse categories if merchandised in the proper way. Most power tools have a variety of accessories and attachments that can be displayed in an engaging way to draw in customers. Groff has often utilized "piles in the aisles" at PaulB Hardware to showcase bundle packages of items like drill bits that can attract a professional. In addition to making these bundles more visible both around power tools and in high-traffic areas, showcasing prices based on bulk purchases can be an advantage in tools and consumables like screws and nails. Highlighting deals around the tools that need these accessories can increase the chance of a larger purchase. Along with merchandising power tools in an accessible way, retailers should consider storage options available through different power tool brands. Similar to having the latest type of tool, these storage options are often flashy items that are attractive to brand-loyal customers and make great add-on sale options. Top: While having power tools out of their boxes and on display for customers can help build interest in these products, it presents a greater risk of theft. To prevent this, extra vigilance is required around these high-ticket items. Bottom: Contractors often look for high-quality power tools that can stand up to the workload of an active job site.

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