Hardware Retailing

AUG 2013

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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Bring it to your store Can't afford to send an employee to regular off-site consultations? Try offering one-on-ones at the store instead. "I've had so many in-store customers who say, 'I wish I could take you home,' so I occasionally schedule backto-back in-store consultations on a weekend," Carpenter says. "We charge $25 for the service, but we give customers additional $25 gift certificates to use in the store that day to encourage them to get started on their projects." Looking for design inspiration? You can also link to design-oriented social media sites like Houzz.com or Pinterest.com on your store's website to encourage your customers to get creative with landscaping and to help your employees generate ideas to have on hand for customers coming to your store for landscape design advice. To generate sales through this type of service, it's also all about how you present your department, Carpenter says. "Surprise your customers by creating a beautifullooking place in an ordinary area of your store. Creativity goes a long way: display merchandise on and sell attractive benching and high-quality shelving. You can create an area in the parking lot or side of a building with some potted plants, mulching and retaining wall blocks." www.nrha.org "Surprise your customers by creating a beautiful-looking place in an ordinary area of your store." —Sara Carpenter, Steve's Ace August 2013 | HARDWARE RETAILING 61

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