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How I Did It: Began Operating a 24/7 Store

Trust PRO Hardware in Indianapolis has an unusual claim to fame in the home improvement industry: 24/7 hours.

Owner Adam Taylor opened the store in 2012 in a 3,200-square-foot space. Early on, he experimented with operating between 5 a.m. and midnight.

He noticed over time that customers were showing up later and later. Many of them were people with late-night plumbing and electrical problems, but others were nurses and firefighters who stopped in after working night shifts.

Some of Taylor’s contractor customers work on projects at coffee shops and large retail stores, where they can’t begin working until the businesses close for the night. They asked Taylor what he thought about keeping the store open 24 hours a day to serve them during their night work shifts.

As an experiment, Taylor began testing later hours without advertising the change. He decided that store traffic and higher transaction sizes made 24/7 operating hours worthwhile.

“Customers love that we’re open 24/7 and love to talk about it. One reason we do it is because it reduces the friction of people wondering if we’re open.”
—Adam Taylor, Trust PRO Hardware

Taylor sees fewer customers at night, but their purchases are often larger. His store’s average daytime ticket is $15, but that bumps up to a $100 average after 9 p.m.

Taylor has two full-time employees. Between the three of them, they are able to keep the store staffed at all hours because the operation is small. Especially at night, the store only needs one employee on duty at a time.

“It’s a little bit easier to do because it’s a small store,” Taylor says.

He started out by telling customers about the around-the-clock hours and news spread. Next, he posted signs in the store and changed the operating hours online so late-night Google searches would display his store in search results.

inside store
Adam Taylor began operating Trust PRO Hardware on a 24/7 schedule in response to increasing night traffic at the store and requests from professional customers.

Now, the 24/7 service hours get people to notice the business, which has gained a reputation for being the hardware store that’s never closed.

“Customers love that we’re open 24/7 and love to talk about it,” he says. “One reason we do it is because it reduces the friction of people wondering if we’re open.”

Taylor puts in most of the night hours, working more than 100 hours a week. His employees occasionally like the change of pace of working a long night shift, but those shifts are Taylor’s specialty.

He’s made a small living area in the back of the store, and his dog lives there full time. He isn’t married and doesn’t have children, which make working the hours he puts in possible.

“I don’t sleep much. I’m young,” Taylor, 36, says. “I have a lot of energy. I don’t want to do it forever. I’m making the sacrifice now to establish the business while I’m still young.”

Taylor plans to add to his staff and expand to multiple locations so he will eventually spend less time at the store.

Trust PRO has a small salesfloor, but it’s crammed with products from top to bottom, Taylor says. His product mix and overnight hours are exactly what many of his pro customers wanted.

The hours also turned out to be what DIY customers need—even if they live 90 minutes away—when they have urgent plumbing or electrical problems at night.

“Sometimes it’s hard to get people to notice a small store. This sets us apart,” Taylor says. “There are advantages to staying so small that you can deal with customers on a very personal level.”

ADAMAdam Taylor
Trust PRO Hardware
Indianapolis

 

Problem Resolved
Customers were buying supplies at Trust PRO Hardware after getting off second-shift jobs or discovering late-night plumbing and electrical problems. Contractors asked for 24/7 hours because they needed supplies for overnight projects at big-box stores. Other customers were confused about what Trust PRO’s hours were because other home improvement stores tended to stay open until 10 p.m. Other independents had a reputation for closing in the early evening.

 

Key Takeaway
“Customers will tell you what they want. They’ll say what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. Keep listening and adapt. We’re part of the community, and they trust us. People know we’re going to be here.”

 

Future Plans
Trust PRO Hardware moved to a new 4,000-square-foot store location in September. Once Taylor’s team and the customers adjust to the change, Taylor wants to consider expansion. He plans to open similar stores in other suburban communities in the area. Taylor believes growth will reduce the need for his constant oversight. 

About Kate Klein

Kate Klein
Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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