In the June 2016 issue of Hardware Retailing magazine, we shared stories from five retailers about how they serve their communities. The retailers provided so much information and countless examples of how they are involved in their communities that we could not fit it all in the magazine, so we have provided the extra content below. To read more about retailers that partner with other local businesses, click here.
Community Service and Support
In order to help its community thrive, Orillia Home Hardware Building Centre in Ontario, Canada, is starting a service that will bring more people to the community and the business.
The store is located two blocks from Main Street and near the waterfront. During the summer, boaters come and dock at the waterfront but don’t have a way to get into town.
“This year, I will get a taxi company to bring those boaters up to the Main Street so they can shop,” says store owner John Locke. “They won’t have to walk or stay in their boats, and it’ll only be $300-$400 in taxi fare for the summer. If we can get the community to grow and everyone is doing well, then people will come to my store to shop.”
He also tries to promote the community any way he can.
“If we advertise on the radio, we mention that we had a great dinner at a local restaurant the night before,” he says. “We try to promote our community and be community-minded.”
Similarly, Jerry’s Paint and Hardware in Narragansett, Rhode Island, supports customers who own local businesses.
“If an area business is having an event we try to endorse that,” says Rob Ferraro, co-owner of Jerry’s Paint and Hardware. “Or when restaurants open for the summer, since many are not open year round, we put that on our Facebook page saying, ‘Stop by and see our friends at ABC restaurant.’ We try to promote the people that support us.”
HomCo Lumber and Hardware in Flagstaff, Arizona, supports other locally owned companies by choosing to purchase supplies from them.
“If we want people in the community to shop and support local and shop with us, that means we have to shop local as well,” says Christina Russo, marketing coordinator at HomCo. “You get what you give.”
Cleaning products, office supplies and other business services purchased by HomCo are all bought from local suppliers.
Getting Involved Locally
If you’re interested in getting involved with “shop local” initiatives in your area, you can start by doing some research and talking to other business owners.
“Talk to people who’ve been around the longest,” says Russo. “Talk to people who know the local business scene in your community. Finding out who’s involved in your town’s local initiatives is the first step.”
Once you get a feel for what’s going on in your community, you can gauge where you and your business might fit in. And if there’s not a group, starting one may be a great opportunity for you and your store to emerge as community leaders.
In addition, to help you promote shopping local, the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and Independent We Stand created marketing materials that show the impact local home improvement businesses have on their communities. The signage uses data from the recent Home Sweet Home Study that found that a purchase made at a local home improvement store keeps twice as much money in the community compared to the same purchase made at a big box.
To share these findings with your customers, download a free marketing material toolkit that includes shelf talkers, posters, bag stuffers, social media posts, press releases and more.