HARDWARE STORES

Seattle hardware store offers same-day delivery for yuletide cheer

BY HBSDealer Staff

Seattle-based seven-store family chain McLendon Hardware is offering a same-day delivery option for Christmas trees this year.

To make this possible, McLendon is teaming up with Fleetzen, a same-day delivery service for oversized items.

Customers will be able to receive their 6-8 ft. Douglas trees the same day they order them from one of McLendon's seven locations — all for under $50 — if purchased by 5 p.m.

“We sell thousands and thousands of  top quality locally cut, fresh trees every year at very attractive prices," said McLendon president Gail McLendon. "It’s our way of saying Merry Christmas and thank you to all our loyal customers. With our same day delivery partnership with Fleetzen we’re taking some of the hassle out of the Christmas rush and making it incredibly easy for everyone to get their tree from our store to their door.”

McLendon first began offering same-day delivery for oversized items (like grills) last month in its flagship Renton store. The service is now available in all of its locations.

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Was 2015 the year of the happy hardware store?

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Could it be that working in hardware stores and home centers is just good for one's overall mood?

CareerBliss recently released their Happiest Retail Employers for 2015, and four out of 10 recognized companies hailed from the home industry.

Though Starbucks took the number one spot, Ace Hardware was in second place, with IKEA in third, Lowe's in sixth and Home Depot in ninth.

Additionally, IKEA and Lowe's were on the list at least two years in a row.

The Happiest Retail Employers list analyzes where retail employees feel the happiest, measuring key factors such as relations with management, compensation, workplace environment, growth opportunities, satisfaction with job role, and the overall setting.

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A big-box retailer shows digital ‘genius’

BY Dan Berthiaume

Of all the major big-box retailers, only one has a digital IQ ranking in the “genius” range.

According to the new Big Box Digital IQ Index from business intelligence firm L2 Inc., Home Depot stands along among big-box chains with a genius-level digital IQ score of 144. IQ scores measure performance in four key areas of site and e-commerce, digital marketing, social media, and mobile and tablet.

Home Depot is recognized for a robust and branded email marketing campaign, numerous promotions, in-store pickup, and links to tutorials from its homepage. In addition, L2 terms Home Depot’s mobile site “best in class” with features like immediate directions to the nearest store, filtering by store availability, in-store pickup of online purchases and store mapping. The retailer is also credited for strong search engine optimization.

The genius score means digital competence as a point of competitive differentiation and creative messaging reaches customers across many devices and channels.

A number of big-box retailers received the second-best ranking of “gifted,” meaning they experiment and innovate across site, social and mobile platforms with a consistent digital presence. Walmart comes in a close second with a gifted score of 137, just below the 140 cutoff for genius.

Among the areas L2 credits Walmart are “unmatched” SEO and search engine marketing (SEM) efforts. Walmart was ranked in the genius category in 2014 but slipped due to a lack of incremental investment.

The rest of the top 10 big-box retailers, who are all in the gifted range, are Best Buy, Office Depot, Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Staples, Toys “R” Us, Sears and Lowe’s.

Other notable findings include:

• Strong email marketing, combined with incremental investments in omnichannel and mobile apps buoyed the brands in hardware/appliances and sporting goods.

• Sears and Kmart were the only brands to offer the full suite of delivery/pickup features examined, including reserve online, pickup in store, schedule delivery/pickup, and check earliest delivery date.

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