Spring 2013 Hardlines Strategies


Time for a Checkup

W e all know the wisdom of going to the few simple observations if we’re healthy or if there are some problems that need to be addressed. The sooner we get those problems fixed, the longer we’ll stay healthy and happy. Your business isn’t much different. When was the last time you gave your store a checkup? doctor, even if we don’t go as often as we should. Doctors know how to tell just by a

Contents Hosting the Big Event pg. 4 Read ideas for special events that can build excitement around your store. pg. 10 Do you know how Blish-Mize can help you get started in the rental business? pg. 16 Find new opportunities and big savings at the Blish-Mize 2013 Spring Buying Market, coming on March 22-23. pg. 22 Ask yourself these questions as you review your assortments andmerchandising. PartScription pg. 26 Learn how a niche in parts and supplies can boost your sales. pg. 30 Read how four manufacturers have led the industry. On the Cover: Mike and Lisa Unterreiner of Hartman Hardware in Shawnee, Kan. Cash in on Rental Market Preview Merchandise Review Industry Leaders

There are a lot of vital signs you shouldn’t ignore. For example, low average transaction sizes may indicate customers aren’t finding the whole project and maybe it’s time to revisit your assortments or your merchandising. Products that haven’t sold in a while may indicate you need to do a line review and dump outdated merchandise. Let me suggest that, no matter how healthy you think your business might be, you take some time this year to take your store to the retail doctor. Blish-Mize has some tools to help. Think of our Retail Profit Management system (our RPM) as the doctor’s toolkit where you’ll find everything you need to give your store an honest, head-to-toe evaluation. For example, when was the last time you evaluated your market to see if there were product categories you were missing? What about pricing: are you priced competitively while still getting the maximum margin? Are you missing sales because of poor merchandising? Are your assortments outdated? To stay competitive in today’s marketplace, you need to be asking yourself these, and more, questions continually. The RPM program covers all the vital parts of your business, including product assortment, pricing strategy, advertising, inventory management, store design and employee training. At the upcoming Spring Buying Market we want you to see for yourself how you can use some of these tools, so we’re bringing back the “mini-store.” At the last Market, we introduced the mini-store and filled it with our best assortments in the Lawn and Garden and Paint categories. This spring, we’re highlighting key assortments from the Plumbing and Electrical categories. I also encourage you to think about products or services you’re not offering, but could be. In this issue of Hardlines Strategies , we highlight two important programs. The first is Rental. Rental fits naturally into your store because your customers likely need to rent tools, so why send them somewhere else? Our program is completely customizable to fit your needs. The second is PartScription. With PartScription, you have access to millions of repair parts. You already specialize in helping customers fix their homes; it’s a natural fit to help them fix other items around the home, like appliances, lawn and garden equipment, and HVAC systems. These programs are all part of the way we’re helping you diversify and grow your business. Start checking the vital signs of your business. Take advantage of all the opportunities Blish-Mize has to offer. Start planning now for a healthy and pros- perous year. See you at the Market!

Advertising Information Hardlines Strategies is published twice every year by Blish-Mize. Copyright 2013. For advertising rates and deadlines, please contact:

Blish Connor Blish-Mize

223 S. Fifth St., Box 249 Atchison, Kansas 66002 Toll free: (800) 995-0525 (913) 367-1250

(913) 375-2505 (cell) (913) 367-0667 (fax) e-mail: blish.connor@blishmize.com

Jonathan D. Mize President and COO

Blish-Mize isamember-owner ofDistributionAmerica

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