Hardware Retailing

JAN 2019

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 | January 2019 34 PROMOTIONS A Snowy New Year T here's a time in everyone's life they've hoped for a big snowstorm. As a child, it gets you out of school. Another reason is if you bought a snowblower that season at Beisswenger's Hardware and Power Equipment in New Brighton, Minnesota. Because if a winter storm hits on New Year's Day, you may get your money back. The promotion, which starts during the summer and ends in early December, states that anyone who bought a snowblower at Beisswenger's that winter season will receive a full refund (minus taxes) if snowfall on New Year's Day reaches 6 inches, according to measurements at the local airport. The promotion receives a lot of attention as the end of the year approaches, says sales manager Ray Pomerleau. The promotion backs up the commitment Beisswenger's has made to outdoor power equipment like snowblowers. The business, which is nearing its 100th anniversary, services a full range of outdoor power equipment. "We've come close one year, with around 4 inches falling once it was all counted. We actually really hope it happens; it'd be a great day for our customers. For them, it would be like winning the lottery. When you wake up on New Year's Day, it just might be your lucky day," Pomerleau says. Checkouts Snowblowers at Beisswenger's Hardware and Power Equipment come with a special promotion tied to snowfall on New Year's Day. The winning rag-box display was a dog house with Rags the dog sitting outside to greet customers. MERCHANDISING The House That Rags Built W hen Whitmore Ace Hardware got a surplus buy on boxes of disposable rags, director of marketing Laurie Becker saw an opportunity to get creative. Instead of just stacking the boxes on a regular pallet display, she challenged managers at each of the company's 6 locations in northern Illinois to a contest: Use the boxes of rags to build something unique that could be displayed in each store's main aisle. "The power aisle can be a challenge for retailers," she says. "It's easy to let that area become a junk collector, so we try to put something unique there to catch the shoppers' interest." While creating the displays may have helped staff have a little fun, they also drew attention to the store's promotional prices on the rags. "We actually discovered that for that particular product, our promotional price was $2 cheaper than our local big-box store," Becker says. "As an independent business, we often get hit with the perception that we're high-priced. This helped show customers we actually have great prices." Becker says the exercise was valuable in how it engaged the employees. "All of our employees got involved in creating the displays," she says. "When the team is on board with something like this, they also have the buy in to selling it."

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