When Mitch and Angie Althoff wanted a better solution for merchandising their large appliances, they tried creative collaboration with another local business.
Appliance sales and repair have traditionally been a strong category at Althoff Hardware Hank in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. This past year, as the Althoffs were working through a complete remodel of the store, they wanted a way to reduce the number of appliances they had on the salesfloor while creating an eye-catching display.
“When we did the store remodel, we looked for a way to spotlight the appliance area, so we set up an area that shows the appliances in the context of a complete kitchen,” Mitch says.
“We don’t have space to stock every model of appliance we can sell, but we can encourage customers to think about what their kitchens might look like with a new appliance, then offer to special order if we don’t have what they want in stock,” he says.
Mitch says he partnered with a local businessman who sells cabinets and countertops to create a model kitchen display at the back of the store. In the display, appliances are from Althoff Hardware, and the rest shows products from the other local business.
A similar display is repeated in a showroom connected with the other business, complete with appliances from the Althoffs. Customers shopping there who ask about appliance sales get a referral to Althoff Hardware. When the Althoffs receive an inquiry from customers looking for new cabinets and countertops, they return the favor.
For both businesses, it’s a great way to improve their displays and get their product in front of more customers.