Industry Articles

The staff at K&B True Value know what keeps their customers coming back: laundry detergent. For the past few years, staff at the Annapolis, Md., store have offered a laundry detergent filling station for their customers, giving them an easy way to reuse bottles, save money and be eco-friendly.

Customers can bring in empty detergent bottles—generally either 50- or 100-ounce bottles—and fill them with Sun & Earth laundry detergent. The cost is $4.99 per 50 ounces. Sun & Earth laundry detergent had previously been sold at the store, but owner Jared Littmann didn't know about the refilling station until the company approached him.

"This service seems to grow each month and year," Littmann says. "In the past 12 months, we've had more than 600 sales. We treat it as a loss leader—our goal is to use the low price to get customers hooked on something they can only get here, and then have them shop while they're here in our store."

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Ladies' Night Event Exceeds Expectations K&B True Value in Annapolis, Md., sure knows how to treat a lady—even 113 of them. The store hosted its first-ever Ladies’ Night event in October, and it was a huge success. K&B’s Vice President and Co-owner Jared Littmann said he was originally expecting 30 to 40 women to RSVP for the event, but he ended up cutting off registration at 140 people because of space. Of those 140, 113 showed up plus 20 others who were unregistered. Littmann attributes the high turnout to his use of an e-mail blast to promote the event. He sent out e-mail invitations to members of the store’s True Value Rewards program. It was his first time using an e-mail blast, and it got a surprisingly good response, he says. “It was sent out at 6 a.m. the Monday before the event,” he says. “By 8 a.m., I had about 20 responses. I was concerned that I would have to cut it off by Wednesday.”

The women who attended the event were treated to gift bags, light refreshments, raffle prizes and a series of presentations demonstrating various home improvement projects.

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Lighting Up the CompetitionJared Littmann, owner of K&B True Value in Annapolis, Md., agrees. He uses in-store training sessions to show his employees how to complete popular DIY projects. “We show them how to rewire a switch so when customers are shopping for outlets, switches and dimmers, the associates know how the process goes,” Littmann says. This training allows sales associates to have the confidence to show customers how things need to be done. “Your employees need to not only know how to do these projects, but they need to understand the importance of selling all of the parts needed to complete the project,” he adds.

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Hardware Employees Turned How-To Experts

Last month, Hardware Retailing focused on helping retailers with project selling. By putting emphasis on selling entire projects versus item sales, retailers have welcomed increased traffic and transaction sizes. A great way to promote your store as a project destination is to become an expert on those projects. From instructions to helpful tips and tools, retailers will want to make sure their staff knows how to perform basic DIY projects.

K&B True Value in Annapolis, Md., does an exceptional job at promoting entire project sales while educating its customers on basic DIY projects. The store hosts how-to presentations in the store, video tapes them and uploads them to its Facebook page, so customers can refer to the instructions again at home. The store promotes the sale of the add-ons during the presentation and posts signage that indicates where in the store customers can pick up their products. Ease is key with this kind of presentation.  Inviting guest experts can help expand topic coverage, but make sure to have your staff present some of the seminars as well so your customers develop trust in your staff and store.  Read the Complete Article