Throwback Thursday: Warners experiments with commission

It wasn’t easy for the 1978 hardware store and home center to sell big ticket projects.

Warners Home Care Center in Minneapolis. circa 1978.

The Dec. 11, 1978, issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, looked carefully at the operations of Warners, a Minneapolis-based family of 23 hardware stores and home centers.

Reporters captured some candid remarks from Merchandise Manager Chuck Davis, regarding big-ticket sales: “People are the single biggest problem involved with big ticket sales,” he said, on page 55. “It’s not enough to say, ‘Isn’t she a beauty.’ If you asked one of our guys to do a take-off of a kitchen, his response was to take off.”

Be that as it may, the company turned to a policy of a flat 5% commission on sales, “with all the training and cooperation they needed.” 

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