Hardware Retailing

FEB 2017

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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HARDWARE RETAILING | February 2017 60 A walk into the aptly named Brewer's True Value Hardware reveals an experience and some niche products most home improvement stores don't offer. Whether customers are seeking home improvement products or beer-making supplies, they can find both at the store. Located in St. Peters, Missouri, Brewer's True Value sells everything that both a beginner or expert homebrewer could need. A section of the business features shelves carrying ingredients such as grains, hops (a bitter dried plant used to balance the sweetness of malted beers), as well as the glass bottles and bottling buckets for the beer-making process. David Brewer, who opened the store in 2011, decided to try selling homebrewing products after one year in business. The niche has since become an important department for the store. Brewer now has a following of homebrewers who rely on him for the equipment and ingredients they need for their hobby, and they also look to him for expert advice. The hobby isn't new, but it is a growing trend that home improvement stores throughout the U.S. are capitalizing on. Whether it's simply carrying a few homebrew starter kits or bringing in all the products a dedicated hobbyist would need, you can be successful and profitable in this niche if you go above and beyond simply stocking products on the shelf. For this article, Hardware Retailing spoke with two different retailers who have built a following among homebrew hobbyists. On the following pages, you will learn about how these business owners got into selling the niche and what you should consider before expanding or starting your own homebrew department. You'll also learn about products to carry and the knowledge you and your employees will need to serve the growing community of homebrewers. By Renee Changnon, rchangnon@nrha.org How to Be a Destination for the Homebrewing Community Tapping Into a New Niche

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