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 66 4 5 6 Celebrate seasons. Festive window decorations have become one of the traditions at Jeben's Hardware in Blue Island, Illinois. Sometimes, they make the difference between someone stopping to come in or just walking by. Employee Judy Tuma blends the old and the new to create her seasonal displays, drawing on props such as an adult-sized rocking horse or an antique motorcycle. "Whatever we might have that is part of our window display, it's likely to bring people into the store," she says. "People love seeing the antiques in the window. It's a way to get people to notice our store even during those hours we're not open. They often come back just to learn more about us." Get kids excited. In addition to a brontosaurus, Beisswenger's is also home to a raptor prowling among the birdbaths and prairie grass. Children visiting the store love to see the dinosaurs, along with a Bigfoot, giraffe and lion. In the meantime, parents are free to browse the store's extensive offering of lawn and garden goods. According to Neumann, the store's purchase of the dinosaurs four years ago coincided with the release of one of the "Jurassic Park" movies. "Our local Dairy Queen borrowed the raptor for a promotion they were doing in conjunction with the movie," he says. "It's been worth the investment just for the advertising we got from that." Set the mood. It's easy for Malinda Milam, owner of M Kay Supply in Benton, Missouri, to give directions to her store. "We tell them to just look for the 1953 Ford truck with the big sign in the back," she says. When she and her husband were designing the store, she wanted to make the outside of the business something people would remember. She also wanted to make customers feel welcome as soon as they pulled into the parking lot. "If you feel comfortable, you'll want to come back," she says. "We wanted the store to be warm and inviting, inside and out. The experience you create on the outside has to carry through the entire store."

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