Creating partnerships with local vendors and small businesses is easier than you may think. In fact, many retailers featured in Hardware Retailing’s recent Housewares story said the local products they stock were brought to their attention by the vendor.
If you are starting the process of incorporating local goods into your home improvement store, just take an afternoon stroll through your city’s arts district or attend a farmers market. Wooden cutting boards, salt and pepper shakers, barbecue sauce, wooden utensils and coasters are all handmade products that can be found in art districts and farmers markets around the country.
Reach out to these vendors, as they are usually eager to get their products in multiple venues. Selling the goods on consignment is what one store in Indianapolis’ arts district does. The store, Homespun, has handmade goods from the U.S. and Canada with certain products made in the Indianapolis area. Homespun’s owner has contacted certain vendors while other vendors have approached Homespun to be featured in the store.
A majority of small businesses that provide handmade goods from local vendors attend local craft shows and art fairs to see what vendors are in their areas.
Take a page from these small businesses and get involved in your community and arts district. Attend a farmers market to see what housewares are made in your community.
If you are hesitant about supplying local goods, consider small chocolates or candies that are locally made. These products are great impulse items to place at the register.
As the manager at Homespun stated, along with other small businesses Hardware Retailing visited, there is a definitive push to shop local and buy locally sourced products. In fact, Homespun customers favor items that originate in the Indianapolis area. Take advantage of this consumer mentality and find locally made items in your area that would complement the inventory in your store.
Click here to view the video from Hardware Retailing’s trip to downtown Indianapolis.