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.

Issue link: http://www.hardwareretailingarchive.com/i/1065332

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Page 44 of 86

HARDWARE RETAILING 40 DISTRIBUTOR PROFILE SERIES EXECUTIVE Q&A Hardware Retailing (HR): How has True Value been looking at growth through the strategic plan? Tim Mills (TM): We've had almost 200 new stores join the organization since April, which has set a new record for True Value growth. Most of these are still in the core hardware space, but we're also seeing farm, ranch and lumber retailers, such as Carter Lumber, that are joining, and realizing True Value can add value to their business model. Many of the new stores that have joined have come from major wholesalers. All have called out our value proposition and focus on independence. Many have joined because they see the value of not having to invest. True Value has experienced its best year of conversions, which tells me the market was ready to accept a new model. We see secondary supplier relationships as an additional growth opportunity. In those instances, our field team will work with the retailer to develop a category assortment plan such as paint, lawn and garden or farm, ranch, auto and pet, which are areas True Value leads in the industry. HR: How is True Value helping retailers grow their operations? TM: We came out with the Roadmap to Retail Excellence several years ago, and that is still our primary focus. This tool helps diagnose and guide what actions retailers can take to achieve their goals. The concept here is really all about relevance—we recognize that to compete today, a store must be relevant. Whether it's the physical plan of the store, new marketing techniques or product assortments, we have programs in place today that are focused on ensuring relevance at the retail level. If we do those things well, it always translates to higher sales. HR: What are some of the current challenges retailers are facing? TM: One of the biggest challenges for some retailers is the fear of change. I see many retailers being comfortable with the routines and approach they've taken to run their businesses. Yet society has changed and, therefore, we have to as well. Success in retail is not only about knowing what the customers want and need, but staying one step ahead and adapting to the world around us. It used to be about big beating small, but now I think it's about fast and nimble beating slow and inflexible. HR: What are the specific programs built around growth from True Value? TM: Aside from our leading growth programs, like Destination True Value, and our Customized True Blue assortment program, our retail pricing efforts are important relative to growth. First, they create an appropriate price perception in the store, and second, they maximize profitability. HR: How does True Value help with concepts like e-commerce and store promotions? TM: Our omnichannel strategy is of vital importance. One of the biggest improvements for us is that we're able to display local store inventory and soon, local pricing, on TrueValue.com so consumers can see price points and local inventory availability. Additionally, our field and marketing teams are available to help retailers best utilize True Value Rewards and digital marketing. These programs allow retailers to customize communications to their consumers. The most distinguishing factors of True Value are that we are flexible, respecting the independence of each of our retailers, yet we are always available to help them succeed. We have built strong relationships, and these relationships set us apart. We are looking to grow our team and amp up our engagement even further in the new year. How True Value Plans to Serve More Retailers A Growing Opportunity Tim Mills Senior Vice President, Growth Mills joined True Value in 2013 from industrial distributor HD Supply. He has held executive roles in operations, sales, mergers and acquisitions and was most recently vice president for the company. " We have built strong relationships, and these relationships set us apart. We are looking to grow our team and amp up our engagement even further in the new year. "

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