Hardware Retailing

SEP 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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U pon arriving in a new place, I could always count on discovering a retail quirk unique to that specific city or country. The longer I stayed in each location, the more I understood how retail practices unfamiliar to me were so well suited for their communities, and how certain lessons from these businesses could be applied to North American stores. Small Stores, Big Business "Oh, that bag of chips looks good. I think I'm in the mood for something salty. Maybe I should grab a water bottle, too." If you're doing impulse right, these are the same thoughts running through your customers' minds while they're waiting in line at the checkout counter of your store. In Sofia, Bulgaria, there are businesses that thrive on consumer impulses. These types of shops sell snacks, soda, alcohol, water and cigarettes, and exist at busy intersections and on popular streets throughout the city as freestanding booths, among a row of retail establishments or underground with a small, drive-thru-like window facing the street. During my five-week stay in Sofia, I found myself at these little shops on more than one occasion. Once, I stopped to buy a snack on my way to a walking tour to hold me over until lunch because I thought I might get hungry. Another time, I was walking home from dinner with a friend who wanted a pack of cigarettes. And on yet another visit, I saw an interesting looking candy bar in the window and had to try it for myself. As a consumer, these stores annoyed me because I'm not the kind of person who stops at a store for a candy bar. But as a professional in the independent retail industry, I was intrigued by the way these retailers had mastered the art of running a successful small business in a city hub and tapping into impulse buying habits. Learning From Each Other, Regardless of Where We're From S A F E & E F F E C T I V E S A F E & E F F E C T I V E NEW! NEW! • VOC Compliant Graffiti Removers • Great for Municipalities and Schools • Made with 100% American Grown Soybeans • Virtually No Odor • Environmentally Friendly Made in the USA Available through: Call us today! 800.538.5069 Or visit us online: www.franmar.com HARDWARE RETAILING | September 2017 96

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