Here at Hardware Retailing, we’re in a thankful kind of mood this time of year. Thankful for all the connections we’ve been able to make this year and looking forward to the ones coming in 2018. Thankful that, year after year, we’re still learning and are able to help the independent home improvement industry grow. Yet, at the end of the day, we’re also thankful for that big meal we wait all year for. In that spirit, we wanted to highlight some aspects of the home improvement retailing industry that most reminds us of our favorite Thanksgiving foods. Just don’t throw a hammer at the table when someone asks to pass the potatoes.
Veggies on the Thanksgiving table, with the diverse options available, can be likened to your product mix. You have to have something for everyone, and each “diner” will have their favorites. Also, kids probably look right past most of them on the way to the stuff they like. Does your store have a spot for sweets? That’s ice cream after dinner’s done.
2. Cranberry Sauce
Is there anything more associated with this time of year than cranberry sauce? It only happens once a year and holds such a key place on the table that you wouldn’t think to not include it. Remind you of another once-a-year event? Your operation’s annual full-store inventory holds just as necessary a spot on the calendar.
For most of us, pie is something you break out a few times a year. They require time and effort, but they pay off. Attending industry shows and buying markets can also be time-intensive for retailers. But the chance to make connections with vendors, co-op and wholesaler representatives as well as other retailers is always something to take advantage of before it’s gone.
4. Crescent Rolls
Rolls, or your bread of choice, have a specific role (pun intended) on Thanksgiving Day and really at any large meal. It’s the opener, the starter, the first thing a diner sees and eats. That’s your entryway and checkout area, the opening stage for customers preparing to enjoy your business. Except in the case of your store, “flaky” might not be what you’re going for.
5. The Bird
The main event. Whether you go old school with a roasted turkey, add some experimentation with a turducken or opt out of meat with Tofurky, this is the centerpiece of the experience. What else can inspire the same attention in your business except customer service? Treat customers well and they’ll keep coming back for seconds.
Stuffing, maybe more than any other Thanksgiving dish, is steeped in tradition. Your community relations and events serve the same purpose in your business. Do you put on an annual event? Children coming to that event in the early years will still talk about it when they bring their own kids. Just like grandma’s stuffing.
7. Mashed Potatoes
The glue that binds the meal together, mashed potatoes represent the employees who make your business thrive. Potatoes serve as the base layer of the meal, supporting the sides and bringing everything together, just like a great workforce. Just make sure to leave the mashing to the spuds.
If potatoes are employees, what’s a necessary addition that makes the whole meal (business) sing? Training, just like gravy, allows the whole dish to stand out among the other priorities on the table. Employee training programs help maintain a business’s balance and elevate the performance of every other part of the business.