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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Page 86 of 102

HARDWARE RETAILING | February 2019 80 Eventually they decided to become business partners. Rory and Johanna bought their share of the business in April 2017. "Before we could make The Den a reality, we knew we had to adjust the hardware store and trim down on areas that weren't as important to make room inside the store," Bobby says. "The four of us evaluated our inventory and what our customers were buying and not buying to decide what needed to stay or go." Serving Local Flavor and Enjoyable Music In the summer of 2017, the owners launched The Den, which is located inside the store near the checkout counter. It features a 12-foot granite bar top and is built of hardwood, evoking a traditional Vermont style. The Den's drink lineup includes Vermont craft beers on tap, as well as wine, and other nonalcoholic beverages, including locally made kombucha on tap. The owners decided to exclusively sell Vermont craft beer in an effort to support other local businesses. "We have had a really good response from community members and visitors," Bobby says. "During the last busy fall foliage season, many visitors stopped by to check out our store, enjoy a beer and listen to music. The bed-and- breakfasts and other local businesses recommend visitors stop by Harry's Hardware & The Den, and that has really helped us widen our reach." "The Den has been a great addition to the business. It's an added income stream, and it has even boosted our hardware business. " —Bobby Searles, Harry's Hardware & The Den Harry's Hardware & The Den in Cabot, Vermont, has been in business since the 1800s as a hardware store. Recently, the operation expanded its offerings with The Den, a space inside the store where customers can enjoy Vermont beers and listen to live music.

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