Before: The 10,000-sq.-ft. “traditional” hardware store in a southeastern Ohio town of 3,500 was losing its way in a sea of retail competition, according to owner Karena Reusser. “It wasn’t unusual for wives to stay in the truck while their husbands came in to pick up an item,” Reusser said. “One afternoon, I even overheard a 7-year-old girl begging her mom to not make her come into our store. That really caught my attention.”
Solution: After studying the market and the competition, Reusser decided one way to reach the heart of the customer was through the stomach. “I reached out to various fast food franchises to find a good fit for our existing business,” Reusser said. “We zeroed in on Little Caesars pizza because of its simple menu and low price point.”
The store also worked with Do it Best Corp. designers to double the footprint to 20,000 sq. ft., while introducing home decor, toys and oil field supplies. The store also introduced a Verizon Wireless activation center and a Head Fur the Hills Outfitters sporting goods department.
After: “We sold over 1,000 pizzas the first day we were open,” said Reusser. But more than that, the crossover shopping has led to profitable transactions. Consider, for instance, the customer who bought a washer and dryer while waiting for his gourmet pizza to bake.
The store also radically altered its visibility by moving the primary entrance to the opposite side of the building and adding a variety of facades along the new front.
The new entrance and the remodel have led to a 30% increase in ticket count, Reusser said. And the crying kids? “It’s immensely satisfying to see that our store is now central to creating memorable family experiences,” she said.