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6 Unique Retail Ideas From Colorado Stores

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

Mile High Ace Hardware uses hand-written signage.

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.

In this photo, NRHA's Tom Marcum poses next to a cut out image of the character Kevin from the movie Home Alone.
In this photo, NRHA’s Tom Marcum poses next to a cutout image of the character Kevin from the movie “Home Alone.”

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 added their model home to the business during a remodel a few years ago. Customers can see an example of a complete project.
Budget Home Supply added a model home to the business during a remodel a few years ago.

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

This Colorado-themed display features a wide array of gifts that both locals and out-of-owners would enjoy.

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

Home brewing is a growing trend in Colorado and many other areas.

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

This toilet display, known as the “toilet tower” attracts many customers to stop and browse.

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.

About Renee Changnon

Renee Changnon is the retail outreach coordinator for NRHA. She meets with retailers in their stores and at industry events and introduces them to the services NRHA provides. Renee previously worked as a member of the NRHA communications team. She earned a degree in visual journalism from Illinois State University, where she served as the features editor for the school newspaper. After college, she implemented marketing and promotions initiatives at Jimmy John’s franchise locations across the country. She enjoys exploring books with her book club, Netflix marathons and hosting goat yoga at her apartment complex. Renee Changnon 317-275-9442 rchangnon@nrha.org

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