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 83 Reimagine Retail Winner Explores Tech Opportunities M att Woods, president and CEO of family business Woods Hardware, says his favorite part of being an independent retailer is being able to decide what's best for his company. "I like having the freedom to do what's most important for the business," he says. "I feel like I'm in control of my own destiny, and I get to see the direct impact of my business decisions." Woods decided to roll the dice and enter last year's Reimagine Retail program. The National Hardware Show ® presents the annual program, which has awarded independent home improvement operators with $100,000 to make a business improvement plan a reality for their company. (In the March issue of Hardware Retailing, we will explore how the Reimagine Retail program has been updated in 2019.) As he stood on stage at the 2018 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Woods says that even after his name was called, it took a moment before he realized his business had won. Reality sunk in, and Woods began sorting through what his business would have to do to make his idea of a virtual e-commerce walk-through a viable addition to his business. His goal was to bring customers within his Cincinnati service area an entirely new way to shop. 'This Is How We Beat Amazon' In February 2017, one of Woods' friends showed him a demo of a project his company had been working on. It was a virtual touring program, which allowed real estate agents and homeowners to virtually map homes for sale to provide a lifelike walk-through of properties on the market to prospective buyers. Virtual Vision By Todd Taber, ttaber@nrha.org

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