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Custom Displays Clean Up Housewares

When Len Hunt found an antique refrigerator for sale on eBay, he knew it was an offer he couldn’t pass up. “We removed the doors, painted them with some specialty craft paint and then attached the door to the wall as a way to display refrigerator magnets,” he says. “It grabs people’s attention, and they usually try to open the door.” The collection of magnets is just a part of the extensive housewares department at Eastman’s Home & Hardware in Falmouth, Massachusetts, where Hunt is general manager.

In fact, customers walking into the store’s houseware’s department could easily be overwhelmed with choices. Hunt and his staff have filled the department with everything from the ordinary to the unusual.

Products range from cocktail napkins to high-end cutlery to unusual, regionally themed items, such as a pair of salt and pepper shakers shaped like lighthouses. The merchandising techniques Hunt and store manager

Jackie Kozens use in the department are as unique as some of the products they carry.

In one area of the store, a ceiling-mounted rack constructed of black iron pipe holds hanging pots and pans. In another area, Kozens created a towel display using wooden spoons mounted into a wooden frame attached to the wall. Kitchen towels have been one of the department’s best-sellers.

About Jesse Carleton

Jesse Carleton has visited independent hardware retailers, conducted original research on the industry and written extensively about the business of hardware retailing. Jesse has written for more than a dozen of NHPA’s contract publishing titles, all related to the hardware retailing industry. He also was instrumental in developing the Basic Training in Hardware Retailing courses now used by thousands of retailers across the country.

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