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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HARDWARE RETAILING | November 2018 64 1 2 3 Turn heads. Passers-by are sure to see something unique in the window at Hillsboro Hardware in Nashville, Tennessee. Store manager Jason Mathias likes to dig up relics from the past along with unusual items. Arrangements in the windows might include old hand and power tools that give people a glimpse of hardware past. It could be something unusual, such as a 3-foot-long wrench or a large bulb used in theater lighting. "We try to have fun with it," he says. "Many of the items are real eye-catchers that people aren't used to seeing. I'm not using the windows for selling or promotions as much as using them to get people's attention. Then they're more likely to come inside." Use your wit. Customers might be surprised when they learn that 95 percent of the items making up the window displays at Cole Hardware are actually for sale in the store. Noelle Nicks has a gift for taking ordinary hardware items and turning them into unique and eclectic works of art. The displays get people's attention, and often get them in the door. "The window display should be an experience, not a store behind glass," she says. And while her ideas are witty and creative, she says creating an effective display also requires meticulous attention to detail. "Pay attention to every detail of the display, including the backdrop, flooring, lighting and levels. Every item has to look like a museum piece." Bulk up. At Whitmore Ace, outdoor signage and stacks of soil and fertilizer let customers know right away: This is a lawn and garden destination. Stacking bagged goods outside a store sends the message that it's the place where customers can get as much as they need and that prices will be competitive. Becker is strategic with the layout of the pallets, too. "We lay out the parking lot with the best soil toward the greenhouse, putting them closer to the plants," she says. "The premium product is out front so customers are sure to see it." When merchandising bulk goods, it's important to watch for torn bags and remove them so the area stays clean and free of debris.

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