Developing relationships with customers is a high priority for any retailer. For Burney Hardware in Aberdeen, North Carolina, that extends to some of the newest homeowners in its area.
For several years, Burney Hardware has worked closely with Habitat for Humanity, an organization dedicated to helping individuals and families build sustainable, self-reliant lives and shelters. Since many of Habitat’s partners are first-time homeowners, Burney Hardware has dedicated significant time and effort helping these new residents get started on the right foot.
Initially, Burney Hardware donated a full toolkit during the dedication of new Habitat for Humanity homes. Last year, Habitat representatives came to Burney Hardware co-owner Kristy Ransdell and made a request that changed the company’s donations.
“Habitat let us in on a secret. While the toolkits were useful, the real area of need was in yard maintenance. Most of the Habitat families had never had a yard before,
so we switched it up and began donating $100 gift cards to our store so they can buy what they need,” she says.
The card also allows the new homeowners to come into Burney Hardware and request assistance from the knowledgeable staff, something that just a donation of tools or equipment wouldn’t do. Burney Hardware has even taken its donations a step further, with the business stepping in as a sponsor for a new Habitat home.
The program had been designed to build a home sponsored by area churches, Ransdell says. Burney Hardware wanted to take part as well, so Habitat allowed the hardware store to become another sponsor. Employees were given the opportunity to work on the home while being paid.
The donations to these new homeowners has led to some strong relationships, Ransdell says, particularly with one homeowner who reached out to Burney Hardware and made a personal invitation to the dedication of her family’s new home.
“We’re about service and community. We want these new homeowners to be successful,” Ransdell says.