True Value holds court in D.C.

The Chicago-based co-op brings plans and programs to the nation's capital.

Washington, D.C. -- True Value Company spent the weekend in Washington D.C., spreading the word about the power of the independent retailer, and promoting programs designed to succeed in a changing, challenging retail environment.

During the co-op’s Saturday night general session, digital marketing took center stage. The company emphasized its transformational approach “targeting profit and growth back to your business,” in the words of David Elliott, senior VP of marketing. The marketing strategy favors digital over print, and a targeted-approach over mass marketing.

The 60-minute session covered a wide swath, from web site strategy to inspirational stories of dealers. Highlights from the general session presentation in Washington, D.C. included:

• The new TrueValue.com was promoted with the idea of driving more customers into the store. To that end, 1,200 warehouse items are being designated as “in-store only items.” The new site also plans to deliver local-store pricing, an announcement that generated spontaneous applause from the crowd of dealers. The website is expected to go live April 1.

• The need to transform the marketing approach was backed up by stats on the changing nature of media. For instance: more than 22 million people have canceled cable, and more than 70 million are expected to cancel cable. Plus, shopping on websites has jumped from 26% to 45% of the population.

• A partnership with HomeAdvisor, an online service that connects home owners to contractors. HomeAdvisor purchased Angie’s List in late 2017. One of the benefits for True Value members is an enhanced ability to offer home installation services without liability.

• COO Abhinav Shukla predicted improved operational efficiencies through the deployment of a JDA demand-planning and forecasting system.

• Keys to success revealed. Senior Vice President of Growth Tim Mills pointed to common denominators of high-performing members. These include a “Deep commitment to relevance and customer service,” and a “strong relationship with their True Value rep.”

The session also included inspirational videos of Bailey’s in Florida, and Village True Value and Montecito True Value of California. These stores suffered through natural disasters in 2017, and remained open to serve their communities above and beyond any normal business requirement.  

The True Value Reunion in Washington, D.C., which included a Saturday night concert from rock legend Pat Benatar, runs through Feb. 12.

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