While being designated as “essential businesses” has allowed independent hardware stores to remain open throughout the country, the reality of operating during a stay-at-home order is that retailers are finding new ways to serve their communities.
Papenhausen Hardware in San Francisco knows all about dealing with a crisis—the store was destroyed by a fire on January 23, 2018. With a large helping hand from the community, Owner Matt Rogers, Manager Karl Aguilar and staff opened a temporary pop-up store on the one-year anniversary of the fire.
So it’s not surprising to learn Papenhausen Hardware sprung into action to help its community during the pandemic. Click here to watch a news story video illustrating how the store has served as a coronavirus command center for the community, donating more than 700 masks and goggles for local hospitals.
What do you do as an essential business with a dozen locations when you can’t have all your managers in the same room? You leverage technology to stay connected. Do it Best Territory Sales Manager Tony Miner was recently invited to the Gillman Home Center quarterly managers’ meeting via Zoom.
“We had a great conversation about how they were serving their community in a safe manner for both their customers and their employees,” says Miner. “I was extremely grateful to get the opportunity to join and discuss how the Do it Best team is working to support their needs during this challenging time.”
When the Evers family made the decision to close the inside of their store, Village Hardware in Leipsic, Ohio, they had no idea how curbside service would be received. They set up a tent and table outside, with interaction between staff and customers protected by plexiglass shields. Business has remained steady since, with the Do it Best store pitching in further by donating two miles of elastic for community members to make face masks. Click here to view a news story video.
In Kansas, Do it Best member-owned Waters Hardware is helping provide fun and free learning opportunities for local children during the COVID-19 pandemic. They created curbside sunflower kits that include crafts and information on the Kansas state flower. It is an excellent way for students to keep growing their knowledge outside of the classroom.
In a new era of social distancing, home improvement stores have to be agile and creative in providing a safe environment for employees and customers. It helps to have a little sense of humor, too, as Jones Home Center in West Upton, Ky., did with this video promoting their curbside service.
In honor of Marcus Lumber’s 100th anniversary, the Iowa-based Do it Best member donated 100 food items to the local food pantry, filling some of the needed items on their request list.
Marcus Lumber also shared an uplifting store video on Facebook with the following message: We all could use a little smile during this time…It is a time for safety and definitely a time for care too. To us there’s no better way to show caring than with a smile. And we’ve heard it’s contagious…so here goes nothing! Click here to view.
While Northwoods Hardware, Home & Garden in Glen Arbor, Mich., now offers curbside pickup and free delivery, the Do it Best retailer has something even more enticing to customers. It carries a limited quantity of locally made hand sanitizer from Northern Latitudes Distillery.
Vince Christofora, owner of Woodstock Do it Best Hardware in Woodstock, N.Y., sent a letter to friends and customers, reassuring them that Woodstock Hardware was there to supply them with the products and knowledge to keep their families safe. However, he also urged others to join him in supporting a local not-for-profit organization that is working hard to keep children and seniors fed during this crisis.