Progressive Grocer Independent

JUN 2016

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Business Nontraditional Sales alone Ace Hardware units as part of Te Myers Group, which operates seven supermarkets, three conve- nience stores and two hardware stores in the Pacifc Northwest and Alaska. Since Myers also operates two stand-alone hardware stores, the hardware and grocery categories are operated as two separate businesses. He runs both Ace Hardware and the grocery ads. "Our go-to-market strategy is to run those businesses as full-bore Ace Hardware stores," he says. "When we go into it, we're going into it as though we've opened a new business. Two businesses, not just one." For the store-within-a-store Ace locations, the hardware section has a completely separate staf that works only within the hardware depart- ment and has a separate checkout so hardware customers don't have to go through the supermarket checkouts. However, if customers need to shop both hardware and gro- cery, both checkouts can handle items from either section. Tat way, customers can easily pick up a gallon of milk as they run into the hardware store to get a hammer, or they can grab some nails while they're doing their weekly grocery shopping. Te hardware sections have their own operating hours that are separate from the supermarkets, opening later and closing earlier. However, some items, like batteries, are stocked in both sections of the stores so that they're still available to shoppers even when the hardware sections aren't open. Substantial Benefits One of the benefts of a dual concept is impulse sales, according to Myers. Grocery customers coming in often remember items like a hose or a screwdriver that they also need, and Myers gets both sales. Another beneft is that hardware has a higher gross proft than grocery, due to the fact that it isn't perish- able and there's more inven- tory per square foot. Going with a branded concept allows you to take advantage of an es- tablished brand. "It brings a panache," Myers explains. "When somebody sees an Ace Hardware sign, they know exactly what they're walking into. It brings all the benefts that you get with the Ace brand," such as market- ing with TV commercials and interior décor support with merchandisers. For retailers looking to expand sales with general merchandise and "If you're going to get into hardware, make sure you get into it all the way." — Tyler Myers, The Myers Group

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