Do it Best hires a manager, promotes another
Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Do it Best Corp. promoted Jason Hipskind to regional sales and business development manager for the southeastern United States and hired Jean Fahy to serve the western United States. Both will focus on building and strengthening member-owner relationships with the co-op.
Hipskind is a 13-year veteran of Do it Best, most recently serving as a RetailPLUS! manager for the past two-plus years. He also brings extensive experience in retail development and member support over the previous decade to his new position.
“I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to lead the southeast team of very talented professionals as we continue to grow and strengthen our member relationships in this important region of the country,” Hipskind said.
While new to Do it Best, Fahy is no stranger to the home improvement and building materials industries, bringing nearly two decades of experience to her new role at the co-op. Previously she was western regional manager at Elkay Manufacturing and a strategic account manager at Masco Buider Cabinet Group, among other positions.
Beyond Hardware True Value opens second store
Beyond Hardware True Value will officially and formally open its second upstate New York store during a two-day event slated to begin June 8.
The store is the second Beyond Hardware True Value. Owners Matt Shapiro and Jim Marsh opened the first in 2009 in Penfield, N.Y.
The new store follows the Destination True Value design and merchandising format. The owners also cultivated a female-friendly environment, including a “Demos for Divas” consumer education program.
Shapiro was also one of a handful of actual True Value owners selected to appear in the Chicago-based co-op’s national advertising campaign. Watch the commercial here.
The June 8 to 9 opening celebration will involve the American Legion, Canandaigua Post 256 and will help support numerous community projects.
“With the opening of our Canandaigua location, we’ve hired 12 staff members, donated $7,000 of hardware product and tools to the Habitat for Humanity of Ontario County, and are pleased to help support the American Legion, Canandaigua Post 256,” Marsh said. “We look forward to getting to know our new customers, as well as an ongoing relationship with many local organizations to help to make a positive impact on the community.”
Naming names, award-winner points to advantages
Knowing the customers name is part of the battle that you can win against larger competition.
That’s an insight from the playbook of McDaniel’s Do-It Center, the 2012 Golden Hammer “Tools of the Trade” Award winner.
Also when battling big boxes, it’s important to use brand names, said Brad McDaniel, owner of the store in Snohomish, Wash.
“When we found out the box stores were coming, one of the things that really helped us fight it was the brand names,” said McDaniel, during the Golden Hammer Retail panel in Las Vegas, held during the National Hardware Show. One of those names is Benjamin Moore, he said — “because people know that name.”
And speaking of names, knowing the customers’ names is a big part of the battle. “The advantage for us independents is we learn people names,” McDaniel said. “We know people’s families. Their dad shopped at the store, their grandfather shopped at the store. I have employees who have been with us a long time and know them; that also helps us in the fight.”
Bird feed and feeders has given the retailer a strong niche. “That’s one department that is totally recession-proof, and it’s something the boxes do a horrible job at,” he said.
“Another niche that does really well for us and is a little off the wall is the glass bottled soda, the old-fashioned soda,” he said. “We just keep expanding that area because it’s an excellent draw for customers for us.
“We’re finding out the niches, learning customers names and also the old adage that 20% of your customers do about 80% of your business. We just really decided we’re going to focus on that 20% extra hard and really smother them. Meet them early at the store or stay later for them — anything we can do to let them know we’re going to take care of them,” he added.