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 85 to make some of the initial same-day deliveries himself to see that side of the project firsthand and ensure his business is providing seamless service from its online interface to its on-site delivery. By the end of December, Woods and his team had created a workable demo of the business improvement project for internal testing. By mid-February, Woods will open the program up for a small collection of customers to work out final bugs before the project officially launched to the public in March. Woods thinks DIYers will benefit from the virtual e-commerce and rapid delivery service his company is innovating, but it also provides many advantages to busy pro customers. "With same-day delivery, they don't have to go off-site; they don't have to pay someone $20 an hour to pick up a hammer downtown," he says. "This program gives them the ability to focus on what they do best, and I think it adds a huge convenience factor. Even though we may be more expensive than a big box, we're saving them time and money in the long run." Delivering Value to Customers According to Woods, the journey from winning Reimagine Retail to launching his e-commerce program has been a great benefit for his company. "We're still evaluating how the program is going to do. Does it raise business by 10 percent? Do 20 percent of customers adopt it? We just don't know yet," Woods says. "No matter what, this has been a huge marketing benefit. We got a lot of buzz from local press, so trying to pass that value on to our customers is really important." As the 2019 Reimagine Retail program kicks off, Woods encourages retailers to think big and capture new opportunities. "Be passionate about your idea," Woods says. "Being able to articulate why your vision is going to shake the industry is critical." Woods says he will eventually roll out the e-commerce program to all Woods Hardware locations. But he isn't sitting idle; he is already thinking of other new ways his company can innovate in 2019. "By the end of the year, we'd love to have a few of our stores be 24/7 operations," he says. "Some of our best customers would have a key fob and be able to visit after hours to do self-checkout and get what they need." For now, Woods Hardware is exploring its new e-commerce innovation and examining its impact. "We think this program is going to be a huge value-add for the business," he says. "It's all about seeing how we can pass that value to our customers." Are You Next? This year, the Reimagine Retail program has been reimagined itself. Four independent retailers could win $20,000 to spend at the National Hardware Show ® and benefit from an additional scholarship to fund travel. For more information on this year's program, visit nationalhardwareshow.com and look ahead to the March issue of Hardware Retailing. At Woods Hardware's downtown Cincinnati location, employees have benefited from extra training on new POS systems to facilitate the company's new e-commerce opportunities.

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