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Retailers Explore German Home Improvement Stores

Retailers representing countries including Sweden, Australia, the U.S. and more added store tours to their agendas for the International Hardware Fair today, the last day of the show.

In hopes of seeing the trends and products they were seeing on the Fair’s show floor in real-world settings, nearly 20 retailers set out across Cologne, Germany, to visit an independent B2B store, Hulden, and two larger big-box format stores: Bauhaus and Obi Baumarkt.

“I’ve honestly never seen attention to detail in merchandising like this ever before [referring to Bauhaus],” says Tim Buchheit of Buchheit Enterprises based in Perryville, Mo.

Theissen Kellerwessel, who owns Hulden with her husband Paul, showed the group around the couple’s three-story store. Kellerwessel and the retailers shared similar challenges they face as independent home improvement retailers in their home countries.german hardware store2 2014

Similar Challenges, Different Countries

Two areas the group discussed at length included continual challenges the Internet places on retailers and the challenges of educating consumers on pricing.

“It’s very common to have customers come in wanting a product and showing us lower prices at our competitors, but what the customer usually doesn’t understand is that while the product may look the same, they are often not; we work hard to explain the added features so they understand our pricing.”

To read more about Hulden and the International Hardware Fair, be sure to check out the May issue of Hardware Retailing.

About Jaime Koch

Jaime Koch was the managing editor of Hardware Retailing Magazine. Jaime regularly traveled around the country and internationally to visit with retailers and share their stories. Jaime was honored by the American Society of Business Publishers for Editorial Excellence.

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