Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: A Fantasy Garage of 1999

Twenty years ago, a Home Fix-Up Fair linked a dealer to its community.

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Aug. 9, 1999 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, covered the Dixieline Lumber Home Fix-Up Fair in San Diego.

Here’s how our reported explained “The Fantasy Garage,” the event’s most exciting feature:

“The Fantasy Garage, which workers erected near the entrance to the fair, displayed $15,000 worth of vendor-donated products including hand and power tools, garden equipment, patio furniture, storage cabinets, a Shop Vac and a barecue. The Planet [a local radio station] provided sporing goods and the piece de resistance, a Harley Davidson XLH Sportster motorcycle. … Each qualifier is given a remote control for the garage door — only one remote has the correctly programmed combination. When the lucky person clicks the remote, bells ring, lights flash, the garage door opens and the winner goes bananas.”

The winner of the 1999 Fantasy Garage contest. We captured his reaction, but not his name.

Bill Shaddon, the company’s director of merchandising and advertising described the garage giveaway this way: “The radio station came up with the idea, and we took to to another level.”

The fair, held in Kearny Mesa, Calif., and promoted through direct mail, newspaper ads, television commercials and radio spots, drew gig crowds and many customers. Some 150 manufacturers paid $1,000 each for a booth.

HBSDealer’s Throwback Thursday is sponsored by Schaffer Associates, a national management consulting firm specializing in executive search and organizational strategies for the hardware, home improvement, building materials, and consumer products industries. As the premier management consulting firm serving the industry, we help build organizations and leadership teams that foster corporate growth and success well into the future. Contact us at



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