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 67 7 8 9 Make it a quick take. Items from both the garden center and gift shop are on display at the Ace Hardware in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Stephen Nichols, manager, creates seasonal displays that incorporate products popular in his area. The outdoor display is meant to be only a sample of what's inside the store. "We use these outdoor areas to give customers an idea of what they will find in different areas of the store," he says, adding that it's also important to not overwhelm customers with too much merchandise. "A good display lets them take in quickly what you have to offer and give them a taste for what is inside. It needs to be free of clutter and not too busy." Take the salesfloor outside. With so much to see outside, it may take shoppers a while before they actually step inside Whitmore Ace Hardware. For much of the year, an area in front of the store is set up with live plants, patio furniture, grills and lawn and garden accessories. It is full of merchandise and is attractive so customers want to stop and browse. "We've created an open-air market look," says Laurie Becker, director of marketing, who works with managers at all six of the business's locations in northern Illinois to create outdoor displays. "We put add-on products on display alongside the live goods so customers are not running all over trying to find what they need." Cross-promote. At Howard's Hardware Hank in Arcadia, Wisconsin, manager Seth Howard makes the most of the limited but highly visible space next to his garden center. He made the area more inviting with some help from a landscaping contractor in town. "We don't sell the pavers or bricks, but we can give customers the name of a local contractor who can help if that's something they want for their yard," he says. It's also one more step he can take toward improving the outside of the building. "The more attractive exterior has made it more appealing to people," he says. "They're likely to think, 'If it's nice outside, the store must be nice inside, too.'"

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