Discovering product trends, finding merchandising ideas and learning more about the home improvement industry are a few ways retailers can grow their businesses.
Earlier this month, Renee Changnon and Tom Marcum with the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) spent a day exploring Denver and surrounding communities to see how some Colorado businesses are excelling. These are a few retail ideas they found that you can check out and consider implementing at your business.
Make Sure Signage Stands Out
At Mile High Ace Hardware & Garden in Federal Heights, Colorado, a sign and hand-carved wooden bear welcome customers to the store. The sign gives the store a local touch and also encourages shoppers to connect with the business via social media.
Mile High Ace also offers a customer service mailbox for customers to submit notes of appreciation or complaints. More hand-written signage at the back of the store describes the value of signing up for a rewards card.
Add Fun Impulse to Spark Conversation
McGuckin Hardware in Boulder, Colorado, is a store that is always finding ways to differentiate itself.
For about a month, the business has been printing photos of celebrities on foam board and merchandising products next to them. The photos are fun signs that many University of Colorado students have been buying to take to football games and campus events. In addition, the signs have become fun conversation starters at the store.
The foam boards feature large prints of the heads of famous people, such as current presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, fictional character Willy Wonka, Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, Harambe the gorilla and others. In the short time the business has been making and selling the large cutouts of famous faces, the signs have become big hits, according to store marketing manager Louise Garrels. The signs sell well, but customers often stop to pose for pictures, as well, she says.
Showcase Your Strengths
Budget Home Supply in Longmont, Colorado, heavily emphasizes lumber and building material sales. Nearly 80 percent business comes from contractors, so showcasing products well has been important to Budget Home’s success.
The store went through a remodel a few years ago, and a model home was added to display building materials in an area where customers can browse supplies.
The house catches customers’ eyes and showcases a completed home design. The model home has a wall with siding, double doors, windows, roofing materials, brickwork, lumber and exterior lighting.
Be Proud of Your Roots
To highlight its local roots, Mile High Ace Hardware stocks a display of Colorado-themed items.
The merchandiser contains products such as small state flags, coffee mugs, key chains and stickers. The products aren’t expensive and make good gifts.
Any retailer could take this idea and implement it in stores for some local flair. Consider stocking memorabilia from your home state or local sports teams and locally made goods.
Zero in on Fun Niches
McGuckin Hardware is known for its wide variety of products, including items from the housewares category. One niche the store has jumped on is home brewing.
Since home brewing is a hobby many customers enjoy, the store stocks products they’ll need. These items include beer bottles, brewery kits, books, bottle caps and more.
Retail Ideas That Stand Out
Another way Budget Home Supply causes customers to do double takes is with creative merchandising. For example, the area where the store sells bathroom products has a prominent, unique toilet display.
Budget Home Supply has taken toilets to new heights with a toilet tower. The store sells a variety of toilets, merchandised in a pyramid-like shape.