Throwback Thursday: DIY Home Warehouse digs in
D.I.Y. Home Warehouse knew it was in for a fight in 1998. The page-five article of the Jan. 26, 1998 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, featured the headline: “As Depots encroach on its turf, DIY Home Warehouse gears up.”
According to the article, the 16-store DIY Home Warehouse changed its logo and shifted its inventory “as Home Depot stomps into northeastern Ohio.”
Unfortunately, the tactics didn’t work. DIY Home Warehouse closed its last store in August 2001.
But the Valley View, Ohio-based company didn’t go down without a fight. In addition to changing its color scheme from orange and black to turquoise and yellow, it expanded its FrugalBees closeout concept as it de-emphasized flooring and power tools – two categories dominated by Home Depot.
According to Dennis Hoff, VP and general merchandise manager, the typical 84,000 sq. ft. Home Warehouse had to pick its spots when competing against the larger home improvement warehouse competitors. One spot was plumbing and paint, described as company strengths. And DIY Home Warehouse also boosted its furniture selection as a differentiator.
DIY Home Warehouse also had high hopes for Frugal Bees business. According to Hoff, a closeout annex and its constantly changing merchandise mix draws people into the store even when they are not involved in home projects. While the focus remained on its core business, the FrugalBees featured a wide range of products that included toys, books, towels, cookware and sporting goods. “We’re going for a broader appeal than just the traditional mix,” Hoff said.
Do you remember DIY Home Warehouse? Let us know at [email protected]
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 SchafferAssociates.com.
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