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Employees Get Creative in Friendly Competition

Want to find a way to add some excitement to your store during a slower season? That’s what the staff at Woods Lumber in Independence, Kansas, did when, at the end of the summer, they came up with the idea for a contest between teams of employees to see who could create the best store display.

The Fire and Ice Challenge pitted Team Traeger and Team Yeti against each other.

“We sell both brands in our store, and these are novelty or specialty products that customers get excited about and that are heavily associated with summer activities,” says Shelly Stichter, an employee who was captain of Team Yeti.

“We thought we could take those products that had been used in the summer and find ways to carry them through into fall activities, like tailgating,” she says.

Each team got a budget of $50 for their displays. Once the displays were set up, customers had a month to vote for their favorites. All customers who voted and gave their names and phone numbers were entered into a raffle, and those whose names were drawn won small prizes, such as Yeti T-shirts or Traeger barbecue sauces.

The Traeger team’s display had a luau theme, with lanterns, leis and a stuffed pig on a spit. “They even had (the spit) plugged in so it rotated throughout the day,” Stichter says.

The Yeti team put together three different scenes showing activities associated with Yeti products—hunting, fishing and tailgating. The props included a tailgate scene, a campfire scene with fishing poles and a pond and a deer blind. “Yeti products were dispersed throughout the whole area,” Stichter says.

The teams’ displays were set up in the power aisle, where customers could easily see them.

Team Yeti won the competition. The agreed-upon prize was for the losing team to buy lunch for the winning team.

Which team won wasn’t really all that important, though, according to Stichter. “It was a friendly competition. We had fun bantering back and forth, and I think the display raised awareness about the Yeti and Traeger products we offer.”

About Liz Lichtenberger

Liz Lichtenberger
Liz is the special projects editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and trends, visits retailers, and attends industry events. She graduated from Xavier University, where she earned a degree in English and Spanish and was a member of the swim team. Liz is a Louisville, Kentucky, native who lives in Indianapolis with her husband and two children. She enjoys swimming, reading, doing home improvement projects around her house and cheering on her two favorite basketball teams, the Kentucky Wildcats and the Xavier Musketeers.

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