Hardware Retailing

FEB 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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February 2019 | HARDWARE RETAILING 77 Crest Hardware now has a 900-square-foot greenhouse that sells live plants year-round, in addition to the outdoor garden space. The garden department attracts customers who want houseplants, outdoor garden products, pottery and other products. Plus, the space is so beautiful, community members use it to host events, including weddings, parties, fundraisers and small concerts. Expanding the department has attracted new customers who are now loyal shoppers. "Test your ideas and take calculated risks," Franquinha recommends. Going Smaller: Hartville Hardware Hartville Hardware in Hartville, Ohio, is known for its 300,000-plus-square-foot store, but the company is growing by scaling down its business model to open smaller locations, starting with Hartville Hardware 2. Zach Coblentz, who is a division manager at Hartville Hardware, helps operate the main hardware store. During his presentation, Coblentz talked about a path to sustainable growth, which, for him, has included growing as a leader within his company and planning for purposeful business expansion. Opening a second hardware store that is 10,000 square feet, provides new opportunities, according to Coblentz. Hartville Hardware 2 opened during the third quarter of 2018 and will allow the company to experiment with omnichannel options. "We see it as a research and development store," Coblentz says. Executing a Vision: JC Licht JC Licht, a Chicago paint and decorating company with 38 stores, is on an ambitious growth trajectory. The reason is a person: Elliot Greenberg. In 2015, Greenberg bought the business from paint manufacturer Benjamin Moore and set lofty goals to become the best in the market and grow at a double-digit pace. He hired an executive team, set out to create an energetic company culture that could be duplicated at every store, looked for opportunities to add store locations and diversified the business. Greenberg's vision is to turn JC Licht into a paint-selling powerhouse with the best contractor customer experience in the Chicago area. The plan includes a focus on hiring and making the business's success personal for employees and customers. For example, he has grown his outside sales team from nine to 19 people and sends them to visit every paint contractor in the market. JC Licht has also hosted events that draw up to 200 contractors at a time. Top: Zach Coblentz of Hartville Hardware describes his company's new small store model. Bottom: Elliot Greenberg, owner of JC Licht, explains his vision for making company success personal for employees and customers. 77 February 2019 | HARDWARE RETAILING

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