While there’s plenty of ways to use digital signage and printed signage in a retail setting, there’s still a place for the old-fashioned chalkboard at Fresno Ag Hardware. For Ian Williams, hardware department manager and head of customer relations at the store in Fresno, California, it’s all about adding a personal touch and using a little creativity to catch customers’ attention.
Every few days, Williams puts a new message on a chalkboard near the store’s entrance. The message often revolves around promotions or reminders about seasonally appropriate products. They usually incorporate some illustrations—Williams’ own handiwork.
“It’s like the ‘soup of the day’ signs you might see in a boutique deli shop,” he says. “A hand-written message has that old-school feel to it that’s more personal than a flier.”
While Fresno Ag Hardware has the standard printed signage one would expect to find in any modern store, Williams incorporates smaller chalkboard signs in a few departments to draw attention to different categories, such as a sign advertising the “barbecue sauce of the week” near the grills.
“We often have a lot of success with items we advertise on the chalkboard,” Williams says. “But just as important is that customers appreciate the fact that I spend some time to create a personal message for them. This is something that has really worked well for us.”