Last week, I was given the chance to join Independent We Stand on the Great American River Road Trip as a representative for the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA). We visited independent businesses along the Mississippi River to see how business owners across industries and communities are giving customers memorable experiences.
Over the course of five days, we traveled more than 1,200 miles, starting in Minneapolis on Monday and completing our trip in New Orleans on Friday. Along the way, we stayed in independent hotels, ate at local restaurants and spoke with independent business owners from a variety of backgrounds, including hardware and home improvement retailers.
The experience I had on the Great American River Road Trip, my third road trip with the Independent We Stand team, solidified my understanding that while every community is unique, customers across the country want creative, memorable shopping experiences.
The business owners I met are all passionate about offering these experiences. They know small businesses are critical to enriching each and every community. These business owners find ways to differentiate their businesses, attract customers, give back to those facing hardships and much more.
For independent hardware and home improvement store owners, encouraging your customers to shop local is more important than ever. Spread knowledge, give back to your community and continue to support the place you call home. With help from NRHA and Independent We Stand, you can show your customers why supporting a local business like yours is critical.
If you would like to read more about the retailers I met along the Mississippi River, be sure to read the daily summaries of my trip.