Spring 2018 Hardlines Strategies



SPRING 2018, VOL. 18, 1

Staying at the Top of Taos

Historic New Mexico Retailer Completes First-Ever Expansion Page 6

Also in this Issue: SpringMarket Preview Page16 ScholarshipOpportunity Page28 Learning From Retail Automation Page 34

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Take Time to Listen to Your Customers

Contents Ask the Expert .4 Customer Feature .6 Randall Lumber & Hardware Customer Feature 10 Palace Hardware Spring Market Preview 16 New Products 26 NRHA Scholarship Program 28 Employee Punctuality 30 E-commerce 34 Creating a Facebook Ad 36 Outdoor Cooking Trends 38 Hardware House 40 How Do You Go To Market?. 42 On the Cover: Hilario Serrano, director of retail operations and marketing for Randall Lumber and Hardware, and Rose Santistevan, store manager for the company’s newest location.

T o remain successful, it’s important for any business to always be thinking ahead, modifying various business strategies and asking customers for their feedback. We think it’s especially important for us to do this at Blish-Mize. In fact, in response to our most recent Buying Market feedback, we’re adding hours to our upcoming Spring Market, March 22-24 at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kansas.

As part of our new schedule, we’re kicking off the Market Thursday evening, with an MVP (Most Valuable Profits) Event. We will be offering one-time-only spiffs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., along with special deals and food, drinks and music until 8 p.m. We hope you can join us for what’s sure to be a fantastic time, and will offer you the chance to capture special pricing. In the two days following MVP Night, you’ll have time to hit the Market floor, network with other retailers and attend educational seminars. We hope to see each and every one of our customers at the Market! Big-box retailers and the online marketplace will always present a challenge, but working beyond them to get to your customer is at the heart of our business, and yours. Dan Tratensek, executive vice president with the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA), will talk about the retail landscape and provide some suggestions of how brick-and-mortar businesses can compete in today’s changing marketplace. Even with those changes, there’s one constant: the importance of using the proper forms of advertising to best reach your customers. Jody Maude, advertising and communications manager with Distribution America, will talk about advertising services that can help your business. In the following pages, you’ll find profiles of two of our valued customers: Randall Lumber and Hardware, and Palace Hardware. Randall Lumber and Hardware recently opened a second location to increase market share and provide service to a broader audience in their community. Learn the “how” and “why” behind their decision on Page 6. Palace Hardware is receiving a warm welcome from their community after the new store opened in early 2017. Find out more about the new venture on Page 10. And read about their helpful prize win from the Fall Buying Market! Blish-Mize assisted both customers in taking their businesses to the next level, and we’re always happy to help anyone who is interested in a similar project. Don’t miss the story on Page 34, where we address retail automation and what’s to come in the future of the business. Knowledge is key to making the most of what technology will offer and finding ways to use it to our advantage. Once again, the team at Blish-Mize would like to thank you for your continued business. We, like you, are in the service business, and strive to offer all our customers the highest levels of service they expect and deserve. If there’s anything we can do for you, please feel free to reach out to me at any time at jonathan@blishmize.com.

Advertising Information Hardlines Strategies is published twice every year by Blish-Mize. Copyright 2018. 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 CEO and President

Blish-Mize isamember-owner ofDistributionAmerica

Hardlines Strategies • Spring 2018 3


Ready to Answer the Call The Importance of Good Customer Service A sk any Blish-Mize customer what they enjoy about

“When I call in, they know me by name,” a customer might say. Or, perhaps they’ll tell you, “They can always answer my question or help me resolve an issue—and if they can’t, they’ll tell me who can.” To learn more about the superior customer service Blish-Mize is known for, we spoke with Don Miller, customer service director for Blish-Mize. the top reasons they’ll give you is the good customer service. working with Blish-Mize, and odds are that one of

The customer service team is ready to assist Blish-Mize customers in any way they can. Back row: DonMiller, Gary Simpson, Barry Simpson. Front row: Stephanie Piper, Vicki Jones, Judy Black.

extension as well. We are also available by email at customerservice@blishmize.com.

We are also able to check the inventory amount and any superseded items that have replaced a discontinued item, and we can offer suggestions when asked about products that are good substitutes for those that are now obsolete. We can also help customers place small package orders that usually ship out the same day. DM : At Blish-Mize, we are here to serve our customers. We work to help them be successful in their businesses. Being able to tend to their needs, resolve any challenges or answer questions quickly is some of the most important work we can do. What’s your favorite part of your job? DM : It’s always rewarding when I can answer a question or resolve an issue. But I also really enjoy just talking with our customers. When they call, we often end up chatting about their families and what’s going on not only in their stores, but in their lives. It’s always nice to catch up. It’s like talking with an old friend. Why is good customer service so important?

Can the customer service team help with placing orders? DM: Yes, of course! We accept orders on the phone, by email or by fax at 913-367-4581. The Blish-Mize website is very user-friendly and is available 24/7. However, if you are ordering online and need someone to help walk you through it, we are here to assist you! Once customers have logged in to their accounts online, they can place orders, view and order monthly promotions, access any of their orders, open or closed, and much more. We can also help customers if they have questions about the ordering process with their direct order entry device (DOE) or their own point-of-sale systems.

Tell us a little about the Customer Service Department.

Don Miller (DM) : Our customer service team of six has, in total, more than 150 years of experience in the hardware industry.

About 110 years of that experience is as Blish-Mize employees, so we’re very knowledgeable about our company and the different products and services we offer. Every team member has gone through testing and training through the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA). We feel this helps our customer service employees stand out from those of other hardlines distributors. How can a retailer reach you? DM : Our phone number is 800-995-0525, and our department extension is 195. Each customer service representative has their own phone

What other services does the department offer?

DM : We can help with a variety of services. Of course, we can help with most aspects of placing an order.

4 Spring 2018 • Hardlines Strategies

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Heading North New Mexico Retailer Adds Second Location

And, you’d be hard-pressed to miss another view along New Mexico State Road 68: Randall Lumber and Hardware. The business is easy to find with its location in the historical district of Taos and on the town’s main street. Longevity plays an even larger role in the community. When you’ve been helping build a town since before that town was incorporated, people tend to know who you are. Now, nearly a century after its opening in 1921, the company has expanded to a second location on the north side of Taos. The move has helped Randall Lumber and Hardware, which knows the importance of preserving history, to continue to look to the future. “We have a lot of old characteristics in our store that are important to us. Our old wooden floors in the front, our archive of vintage tools on the walls—we are old in that sense. But our business philosophies, they’re not old at all,” says Hilario Serrano, director of retail operations and marketing. Stepping Out Randall Lumber and Hardware was founded by Elisha and Erna Randall, who began the company as a logging business New Mexico, sees plenty of beautiful scenery along the way. It’s hard to miss the colors and landscape of the Southwest as the road climbs higher and higher. A nyone driving into the mountain town of Taos,

Hilario Serrano, left, director of retail operations and marketing for Randall Lumber and Hardware, stands with co-owner Paula Randall-Ervin, right.

before adding hardware, paint and building supplies in the subsequent decades. Today, the business stands out as the oldest lumberyard in northern New Mexico, with the third generation of the family now running the company. Paula Randall-Ervin, her brother David Randall and her brother- in-law Britt Bland bought the business from Paula and David’s father, Charles Randall, and his brothers, John and Merlin Randall, in 1997. Randall Lumber and Hardware wasn’t in a hurry to step into a new location. But when a site became available, there was really no reason not to expand, Serrano says. With that kind of history and reputation in the community,

The second location, situated on the north side of Taos at the foot of the mountains containing the Taos Ski Valley resort, isn’t meant to take the place of the first. Instead, its purpose is to help reach the new homes and farming communities north of Taos. “The north side is definitely where the growth is coming in. We have new homes being built in that direction, as well as established communities,” Serrano says. “And you have the Taos Ski Valley. There’s a lot of demand on the north side

that we need to be involved in.” The new Randall Lumber and

Hardware store is in a building that used to house a feed and agriculture retailer, so it’s well-suited for its new business.

6 Spring 2018 • Hardlines Strategies

Still the Original While the new north side location is drawing plenty of attention for its new inventory and increased accessibility, Randall Lumber and Hardware won’t be neglecting its original store. One look at the artifacts displayed in that first location in downtown Taos show how closely its existence is intertwined with the city’s history. Along the walls of the store hang newspaper clippings from the business’s past, old receipts and ordering forms preserved in frames, as well as the ongoing timeline of the store’s existence. The timeline tracks Randall Lumber and Hardware from its founding, through the Great Depression and World War II into the modern age with plenty of room left to grow.

Not only does it offer a convenient location for residents north of town, but the company is featuring new categories that have never been stocked in the flagship store. Along the walls of the store hang newspaper clippings from the business’s past, old receipts and ordering forms preserved in frames, as well as the ongoing timeline of the store’s existence.

For example, with a more rural clientele to serve, the business stocks feed, straw and alfalfa, as well as fencing. These are products that all cater to the ranching community, which makes up a large portion of the new location’s customer base. “The farm and ranch category will be a new niche for us, but it’s one we’ve been wanting to get into for a while. Those customers aren’t going to come into town to get those supplies, so having that second location makes it easier for them to find what they need,” Serrano says. The salesfloor covers 1,600 square feet, and the site also includes a 2,600-square- foot storage building. It all sits on 2.5 acres, offering plenty of room for future expansion or other needs.

Old order forms and receipts decorate the walls of Randall Lumber and Hardware. The business was founded in 1921 and remains in its original location.

Hardlines Strategies • Spring 2018 7


“That timeline tells the tale of how much Randall Lumber and Hardware and Taos have meant to each other. During World War II, when most of the men were overseas, this store was a resource for homeowners to get roofs fixed, plumbing issues solved or a baluster repaired. We filled that need, and the Randall family extended credit to make sure those things got done,” Serrano says. He says the same goal of helping others still runs through the company today. “Many of our employees have active roles in the community, whether it’s coaching local teams, serving in church parishes or as members of philanthropic organizations,” he says. Working With Blish-Mize That attitude of service and community was a big factor for the company in 2009, when Randall Lumber and Hardware began looking for a new wholesaler to do business with. Blish-Mize reflected those community-forward ideas, Serrano says, which was just one of the reasons Randall Lumber and Hardware decided in 2010 to become Blish-Mize customers. “We actually looked closely at the co-ops, but we decided that wasn’t what we wanted to do. We’re a true independent, and we feel very strongly about that identity. Blish-Mize is just as dedicated to that independence,” Serrano says. “They offered the hardline items we sought, but they don’t mandate anything. To serve this community, we need that flexibility.” Randall Lumber and Hardware also worked with Blish-Mize to bring in Hardware House products. Now, customers can find Hardware House items among the company’s selection of plumbing fixtures, lighting, cabinets and vanities. “We truly wanted to differentiate from other private labels; we wanted products our customers could trust to bring quality while remaining profitable,” Serrano says. With all that Randall Lumber and Hardware has gained from its partnership with Blish-Mize, Serrano knows it’s well- prepared for the future. “We’re excited to offer a second location, and we look forward to serving our newest customers.”

Top: Antique tools are displayed at Randall Lumber and Hardware. Bottom: From left, Russ Driskell, hardware manager; Hilario Serrano, director of retail operations and marketing; Britt Bland, owner/yard operations manager; and Paula Randall-Ervin, co-owner; stand in front of the original storefront of Randall Lumber and Hardware.

8 Spring 2018 • Hardlines Strategies

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‘Here For The Community’ New Hardware Store Receives Warm Welcome

The Palace Hardware team has been welcomed by the Osawatomie, Kansas, community. Pictured from left are Mike King, owner; Jeana Ledom, store manager; Liz Tohle, clerk; Pam Harkins, clerk; and Jeff Moreland, owner.

But that’s certainly not the case in Osawatomie, Kansas, and for one of its newest businesses, Palace Hardware. In fact, since its opening in early 2017, Palace Hardware has already built a strong customer base in the town of about 5,000 residents. doors due to online or big-box competition. S ome towns are finding it difficult to maintain local businesses. Some companies are consolidating, and others are having to close their

Coming Together For the trio who opened the business, much of it was a matter of timing. After a career of owning and operating fast-food franchises, Moreland had returned to Osawatomie to help his father with two of the family’s local businesses. King owns a contracting company that does work with those family businesses. With that kind of background in the nuts-and-bolts aspects of the hardware industry, he brought in-depth knowledge to the burgeoning ownership group. Ledom, who had made a career as a salon owner and stylist, came on as a temporary hire, and Moreland and King quickly decided she was indispensable. “Never did I think I’d be running a hardware store or helping customers determine if they were looking for

Owners Jeff Moreland and Mike King, along with store manager Jeana Ledom, have built a store designed to cater to the needs of Osawatomie. Palace Hardware is the first hardware store in town since a previous one closed five years before, so it’s received a warm welcome as it’s worked to provide what residents need, and without them having to drive to the next town over to find it. “We felt it was time to bring business back to Osawatomie,” King says. “We were watching all of our citizens go out of town and take their spending money and tax money with them. That was money that could be kept here.” “We wanted to be able to offer anything the town needed, because that’s the only way to earn business and not force people to travel elsewhere for their needs,” Moreland says. “We want to stay local. That’s the whole goal.”

10 Spring 2018 • Hardlines Strategies



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an elbow connection or a slip to slip connector. But I want to help people with their projects,” Ledom says. When it came time to open the store, location was key. Palace Hardware set up shop in a space across the street from the town government offices. Formerly a thrift market that sold items collected from storage units that had been auctioned off, the space offered both ample salesfloor square footage and warehouse space. Now, Palace Hardware has 7,500 square feet of total space, with 5,000 of that devoted to the salesfloor. Finding a Supplier The next step was choosing a wholesaler to partner with. King, Moreland and Ledom looked at several different options. However, Blish-Mize rose to the top of the list due to the flexibility and freedom involved with being a customer, King says.

“Blish-Mize’s customer service is the best,” Ledom says. “I can send a representative a picture of a product on my phone and get a response right away letting me know if we can order it.” The Palace Hardware team attended its first Buying Market in the spring of 2017, before the store was open for business, and went all-in on planograms and deals that would set the store up for success. A New Look As important as that first Market was, it was the Fall 2017 Buying Market that really made an impact on the new store. That was when Palace Hardware was chosen through a raffle drawing to get one week with Bobby Armstrong, Blish-Mize’s store merchandising specialist, to help set the store. For a group still learning the ropes of the business, it was a much-needed assist.

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“The raffle was the last thing they announced at the Market, and it was a great win for us,” Moreland says. “We needed Bobby’s help.” Armstrong visited Palace Hardware for a week in November and helped the new retailers condense their inventory to better present products. Palace Hardware was also missing items in several categories at the time, King says. Armstrong was able to place those orders during his visit. For King, the support of the community has helped his business grow faster than he or his partners could have anticipated. They continue to come up with ideas for new categories and expanded product selections, and the team is ready to keep learning. “It really comes down to support from local businesses, churches and organizations, as well as Blish-Mize,” King says. “We hear all the time, ‘Thank you for opening the hardware store.’ We’re here for the community.”

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14 Spring 2018 • Hardlines Strategies



Vacation Savings Catch a Break This Spring at the Blish-Mize Buying Market

With warmer weather on the way, Blish-Mize customers can find hot deals at the Spring 2018 Buying Market in Overland Park, Kansas.

A re you ready for the beach? As the weather heats up, so do the savings at the Blish-Mize Spring Buying Market, which will be held March 22-24 at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kansas.

“Everyone deserves a break, and our customers have been working hard all winter. We wanted to show them our appreciation and also show them a good time, so we’re throwing a spring break bash for everyone,” says Blish Connor, communications director for Blish-Mize. “On top of the savings you expect from our Markets, we’ll also have new discounts and events. It will be a great time!” Come early this year to Thursday night’s MVP Event to get once-in-a- lifetime deals! Find exclusive pricing only available during this kickoff event,

and enjoy food, drinks and live music. Learn more on Page 20. “Attendees will have a great time at the MVP party and buying event,” Connor says. “We’re looking forward to having such a big opening to get everyone excited for the Market, and know that momentum will continue throughout the weekend.” Other new additions to the Market include Margin+ Coupons, as well as 4-percent cash discounts and special dating for warehouse market purchases. In addition, some other favorites, such as THE 24 and Assortment Central, will be at the Spring Buying Market.

16 Spring 2018 • Hardlines Strategies



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Can’t-Miss Areas The Market-only deals are just one of the reasons Blish-Mize customers attend Buying Markets. As you shop the Market floor, check out several special areas, including the following: • THE 24 , which features 24 items offered at some of the lowest possible prices. • Assortment Central , which includes a variety of assortments with deep discounts and spiffs. • “What’s New!?” , which will showcase the latest and greatest products from some of your favorite vendors. • Pallet Buys , which will include special discounts on quantity buys. The full listing is available on blishmize.com. Learn more about these different areas on Page 22. Starting Smart Save time and plan your orders ahead of your trip by using your SmartBook. The booklet, available online or in print, is customized for your store and can help you make smart buying decisions both before and during your time at the Market. The SmartBook includes your purchases out of the warehouse for the past 12 months. It also has suggested ordering amounts for the next three and six months to help better plan your purchases before you arrive at the Market. The SmartBook showcases three groups of items. The first group is the key-selling “Market Featured” items. The second is any new items Blish-Mize has added from that vendor in the last year. The third group will be the balance of the items you have purchased. If you haven’t registered to receive your SmartBook, do so right away so you can start planning your trip. SmartBooks begin shipping in February, and the registration deadline to ensure you receive yours prior to the Market is March 15. Hardware House Hardware House has been bringing Blish-Mize customers the latest in home decor products for decades, and the Spring Buying Market offers even more variety with the introduction of new vanities.

But attendees should be sure to place their orders during their time in Kansas City, when deals are even better: Market terms of 4-percent 10th prox + 60 days will apply throughout Market weekend. And, qualifying accounts will be automatically coded to receive Margin+ Coupons pricing—no minimum advantage of these great Market terms throughout the weekend—this is the best time to buy,” says Clay Uhrmacher, vice president of sales and marketing for Blish-Mize. “We’re really excited to be able to offer these opportunities to our customers. We know they put a lot of effort in to attending our Buying Markets, and we want to be sure they have access to the great Market deals they’re looking for. This is what our customers have come to expect.” ordering quantities are required! “We want our attendees to take

Margin+ Coupons One of the biggest draws of

Blish-Mize Buying Markets are the Market-only special buys and deals. The Spring Buying Market will offer more of those than ever before. The highlight of these savings will be the new Margin+ Coupons, which offer attendees the opportunity to save on more than 300 items. Anyone who purchases $4,000 or more in market warehouse products during the qualifying market period will receive Margin+ Coupons pricing through July 31.

Blish-Mize customers will find plenty of great deals at the Spring Buying Market, both at vendors’ booths and in special areas, such as THE 24 and Assortment Central.

18 Spring 2018 • Hardlines Strategies











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Be The MVP! Make the play of the game for your business at the new Most Valuable Profits (MVP) Night at the Blish-Mize Spring Buying Market. This event will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 22, and will include special buys, early market access and new market terms for all customers who attend. It’s a way for Blish-Mize to say “thank you” to their customers for their business, as well as offer them an exclusive opportunity to start off the Market weekend with some great deals! Attendees can also enjoy food, drinks and music as they take a look at the different deals available. You can’t afford to miss this! Show Stoppers Show Stoppers will include 12 individual items with hot Thursday-night-only pricing. Cash in with Show Stopper Cash Spiffs, which will be available from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Purchase any six of the Show Stopper items to earn an additional $50 cash spiff

(as long as minimum quantities are met). Orders must be placed at the Blish-Mize spiff booth, and only one order/spiff per retail location will be accepted. Show Stopper orders must be placed during MVP Night hours. Cash Discounts Save even more money on your orders! Not only will you receive big discounts at the Blish-Mize market, add to your savings with a new 4 percent cash discount on warehouse orders during the qualifying market period. MVP Night warehouse purchases also qualify for a 4 percent cash discount. Order terms will be 4 percent 10th prox plus 60 days.

The new lines offer the same promise all Hardware House items do: high-quality craftsmanship at a great price. They will come in a variety of styles, and each Hardware House item is covered by the Blish-Mize manufacturer’s warranty. Stop by the Hardware House booth to get a good look at the vanities and other offerings from the line, and to enter your name in the drawing for a Hardware House ceiling fan. Learn more about Hardware House’s offerings on Page 40. All in the Palm of Your Hand You’ve booked your hotel, packed your bags and registered for your SmartBook. Now, it’s time to download the app that puts the information you need in one place—right in the palm of your hand. The Blish-Mize Markets app is a new tool that allows attendees to access venue information, a schedule of events

and more during their time at the show. It’s free and easy to download and available for Apple and Android devices. Visit the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to get started. “This technology takes our Buying Markets to the next level,” says Jason Drury, marketing director for Blish-Mize, “and can make the customer experience that much easier.” He says the Blish-Mize team developed the app with Bravura Technologies and George Fern Company after months of research and planning. “This is the best technology to organize and strategize your Market experience. With the app, everything’s right there in one place, making it easy to find whatever you need.” The app will help the Blish-Mize team, too. When you arrive, the Registration Desk will scan a QR code on your packet, letting your sales rep know you have arrived.

The Blish-MizeMarkets app provides an easyway to keep all of your Market information in one place.

20 Spring 2018 • Hardlines Strategies


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Can’t-Miss Products THE 24 returns to offer the best industry snapshot for the coming seasons. These 24 items, selected by Blish-Mize, can be had with tremendous deals during Market hours only. Orders qualify for prize tickets when submitted at participating vendor booths. New and Improved Every year, the What’s New!? area gives you a look at some new products. Scope out what your store could feature in the coming year, and take some time to meet the new vendors at their booths. Friday Fun Kansas City is home to some of the world’s best barbecue. Jack Stack Barbecue will be on hand at 6 p.m. Friday to offer some of the finest meats and sides. Rounding out the entertainment and fun will be the band Soca Jukebox and its unique island blend of all-time favorites!

The app also allows you to click on your sales rep’s name and make an appointment to meet with them or any team members while at the show. You can even include information about what you’d like to discuss during that meeting. “The Markets are a great time to connect with our entire team. This makes the experience far more personal,” Drury says. The Market app also includes information about the venue and different Market specials and programs. It can send you reminders of things you won’t want to miss, such as vendor demonstrations and meal times. You can even add your own information to the event schedule, or create a personal to-do list. The app will include a map of the Overland Park area and a list of landmarks and important destinations. “Our goal is to make Buying Markets as easy and worthwhile as possible for our customers. This technology will

definitely assist in maximizing their Market experience,” says Drury. If you haven’t already, download the Blish-Mize Product Catalog app, which lists real-time product and inventory information and even has UPC barcode- scanning capabilities and customizable sorting options that show your personalized purchase information. You can place orders from your smartphone or tablet, at the Buying Market or in your store. Just search “Blish-Mize” in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Awesome Assortments There’s nothing like seeing how a new addition or update could look in your store, and the returning Assortment Central area offers just that. Find popular displays and see some merchandising techniques across a variety of categories, all while taking advantage of Market-exclusive discounts and deals on the latest product lines.

Your Market Bucket List We’ve put together a list of what you can’t miss at the Spring Buying Market. Take note of what’s listed and how each of these items can help you take full advantage of what the Buying Market can offer you and your business. 1. Most Valuable Profits (MVP) Event 2. Margin+ Coupons 3. Assortment Central 4. Items From THE 24 5. What’s New!? Product Section 6. Speakers and Educational Sessions

7. Friday Fun With BBQ and Music 8. Trying Out the New Market App

for more information call: 1.800.262.5710 or visit: usetwp.com

22 Spring 2018 • Hardlines Strategies

Smarter home automation.



DECORA SMART™ LIGHTING CONTROL App enabled dimmers and switches with Wi-Fi ® or HomeKit™ technology allow automated lighting control from anywhere in the world. Learn more at Leviton.com/decorasmart




Visit Leviton booth no. 563 or Assortment Central for the latest products, special pricing and dating.


MT16-1353_3.375x4.875.indd 1

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Perfect for bedrooms, bathrooms and other living spaces Offered in oil rubbed bronze, satin nickel, and stainless steel Designed and tested to follow ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 standards Kits include 72” track, hangers, doorstops, anti-jump discs and floor guides

Come visit us at Booth #201 to learn more

233341_NH 1217


Speaker Schedule

Check out these learning opportunities at the Market.

Friday, March 23 10 a.m. Retail Realities: Where Independent Retailers Fit In Today’s Online Environment Dan Tratensek, executive vice president of NRHA and publisher of Hardware Retailing

2 p.m. Spring Lawn Insider Tips With BWI BWI

Saturday, March 24 10 a.m. Advertising Made Easy Jody Maude, advertising and communications manager, Distribution America

Innovative New Products Now Available at DAP!

See us at Booth #200

Booth 425

Blish-Mize NOW fully backs every Campbell Lozier and free-standing display, as well as, nine of the most popular accessory boards.

Come by the booth for these and other specials


Can’t-Miss Items Check Out These Booths at the Market

Blish-Mize Buying Markets offer the perfect opportunity to see new products and meet with vendors to learn more about their offerings. You can touch and feel the products and even see some demonstrations of how they work. You just might find the next big product on the market, or the next best-seller at your store! Make sure to take some time to check out the following items and booths at the Spring Buying Market.

Bazz Lighting This vendor offers the latest in LED recessed and under-cabinet lighting technologies. Their in-store product displays definitely draw a crowd, so be sure to stop by their booth and

Feit Electric FEIT’s new Intellibulb technology will change the way you light your home. You can even choose the brightness and color of the bulb. New lineups include bulbs with battery backups for power outages, dusk-to-dawn options and much more. Booth #570

take a look. Booth #575

Rust-Oleum RockSolid ® products from Rust-Oleum include new garage floor coating and deck resurfacing kits. These items come in a variety of colors and can go a long way in changing the look of your customers’ homes. Booth #125

Shop-Vac Shop Vac will have six newly redesigned models on display at the Spring Buying Market. These models have new features and a new look, but they’re still the well-known vacuums your customers have come to depend on. Booth #655

DAP DAP features five new products from its DynaFlex Ultra lineup. These sealants are 100-percent waterproof and permanently flexible, and they resist mold, mildew and algae. Stop by the booth to learn more. Booth #200

Culligan Take some time to visit the Culligan booth at the Spring Buying Market to see displays of new products that filter and purify water for the home. Learn how to bring the best quality water to your customers’ homes. Booth #807

DeWalt Dewalt is changing the game with its new FLEXVOLT ™ battery-powered air compressor. The FLEXVOLT ™ battery can change voltage to work with different tools. Come by the booth and learn about all that this product can do. Booth #625

Hampton At the Spring Buying Market,

Hampton will be offering door locks and padlocks from Brinks. Also, be sure to check out the power winches and tie-down straps that will be available from Keeper. Booth #767

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Hitting the Books Customer Uses Scholarship To Build Industry Knowledge

Matt Engle, owner and president of Webb Home Center in Abilene, Kansas, was in such a situation, having come to the retail business from a construction background. That experience provided plenty of product knowledge, but the specifics of running a retail business weren’t part of his toolkit. To further his education, Engle enrolled in the North American Retail Hardware Association’s (NRHA) Retail Management Certification Program (RMCP). Launched in 2013, and working in conjunction with Ball State University, the six-month, college-level program is designed to instill advanced knowledge and techniques of the retail world into participants. Engle is the second recipient of the Blish-Mize scholarship for RMCP, which is designed to assist customers in covering the costs of the program. “Matt is an extremely qualified candidate for this program,” says Jonathan Mize, CEO and president of Blish-Mize. “With this opportunity, he’s ready to take his business to the next level. classroom, especially for those directly responsible for running the business, or anyone who may not have years of experience in hardware retailing. D ay-to-day experience offers hardware retailers an unmatched opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the business. But some skills are best learned in the

Matt Engle of Webb Home Center in Abilene, Kansas, presents his Business Improvement Project as part of NRHA’s Retail Management Certification Program. Engle’s project focused on training.

At Blish-Mize, we’re totally committed to the success of the next generation of independent retailers.” Getting Started For Engle, the thought of taking on an educational program on top of his responsibilities at Webb Home Center was daunting, but he liked the idea of a scholarship opportunity available exclusively to Blish-Mize customers that would cover half of the cost of the program. “I contacted our Blish-Mize representative, and they were more than willing to jump in on the scholarship,” he says. RMCP includes three visits to NHRA’s Indianapolis headquarters. Classes cover a variety of topics with the goal of assisting students in taking what they’ve learned and translating it back into their businesses, says Scott Wright, executive director of the Retail Leadership Institute. Each visit has brought a new experience, says Engle, with sessions

ranging from reinforcing business principles to those with specific focus points in store design, merchandising and pricing. One of the most important takeaways has been contacts made during visits with both program instructors and fellow attendees.

Bringing It Back One of the most important components of the program is a

Business Improvement Project, which each student completes as a way to make a tangible improvement to some area of their business. Engle’s project focused on training, an area he felt would be of particular importance, given his goals of expanding Webb Home Center in the future. “That’s where I really see the return on investment for the course,” he says. To learn more about RMCP, visit nrharmcp.com. To learn more about the scholarship, contact Clay Uhrmacher at clay.uhrmacher@blishmize.com.

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On Time, Every Time How to Handle Tardiness in Your Business

The goal for any employer when dealing with tardy employees should be how to best fix their behavior and improve their productivity.

I t’s a common complaint in the retail industry. Punctuality in the workplace can be a constant hassle for any owner or manager, and with employees spanning such a wide range of backgrounds, generations and demographics, finding an effective way to handle tardiness can be an ever-moving target.

Promoting punctuality and placing standards on employees is a needed part of a business for many reasons. Instilling in employees the idea that you respect their time as well as your own helps promote accountability, while productivity and scheduling are dependent on employees being on time and taking care of their assigned tasks. To best work with chronically tardy employees and help them become better with their time, follow a few of these steps. Set an Example It may sound obvious, but being on time starts at the top. This could be expanded to many workplace habits that managers promote in employees, but it deserves to be applied here as well. If employees see the managers

and owners putting in the effort to be where they say they will be, when they say they will be there, it lets them know this is something you take seriously. Maybe they should too. Establish a Record Communication can solve a lot of workplace problems. If an employee’s tardiness is affecting the business and you need to address it, make a note of each occurrence and notify the employee in question that you have made these notes. This lets the employee know that a behavior is being recorded that could poorly affect their career and job, and allows them to correct the behavior if they’re able. If they’re not, it establishes a record for any further discussion that may be needed.

30 Spring 2018 • Hardlines Strategies


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The PPG logo isa trademarkofPPG IndustriesOhio, Inc. ProLuxe isa trademarkofPPGArchitecturalFinishes, Inc. Flood , LiquidNails and Fuze*It areregistered trademarksof thePPGGroupofCompanies. Deft isaregistered trademarkofPRC-DeSoto International, Inc. Homax isaregistered trademarkof Homax Products, Inc. Homax isa trademarkPPGArchitecturalCoatingsBusiness.©2018PPG Industries, Inc.AllRightsReserved.

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