‘Destination True Value’ Addresses Unmet Need in Retail Hardware Space

True Value’s new store format delivers unmatched shopping experience for DIY enthusiasts, Tuesday, November 06, 2007

CHICAGO, —True Value Company today unveiled a new retail format designed to provide customers with a one-stop-shop for all the products, expert advice and inspiration they need to complete their small home-improvement projects. Destination True Value—on display at the cooperative’s annual Fall Market in Atlanta—incorporates best practices in retail, merchandising and store décor, resulting in a competitive design that uniquely meets the needs and demands of today’s DIY enthusiasts.

To provide a consistent and compelling retail experience, stores will be able to offer customers a broad product selection in core hardware categories and include inspiration centers to pique interest in future projects. True Value’s flexible new format enables its independent retailers to adapt the layout and custom-select merchandise assortments that are best-suited for and most relevant to their local market and customer needs. “Destination True Value was designed by retailers, for retailers, with the customer in mind. Our intention is to help sustain and grow our retailers’ sales now and into the future,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Lyle Heidemann. “Elements of this new format are adaptable for all True Value stores, regardless of size or location, providing the blueprint to help make every True Value the best hardware store in town.”

While approximately 50 percent of True Value customers are women, Destination True Value was created to appeal to female customers, yet still feel like a traditional hardware store to the male shopper. Incorporating consumer insights and current successful retail strategies, Destination True Value strives to deliver a more compelling, less intimidating shopping experience.

“From the first point of entry, Destination True Value features an earth-toned color palette, enhanced overall lighting and project inspiration centers to create an ambiance of friendliness and warmth uniquely found in a neighborhood hardware store,” said Carol Wentworth, vice president of marketing. “This format will help customers easily find all the items and receive the local advice they need to complete a project, but also be inspired to tackle their next home-improvement endeavor.”

Core departments — hardware, paint, plumbing, electrical, lawn and garden, and power tools — are called out using textured backdrops, specialty flooring and shelf-level signage that help customers navigate the store and select which product is most appropriate for their needs. Inspiration centers for paint, lawn and garden, and a decorative hardware alley give the format a female-friendly feel.

Destination True Value is being beta tested at St. Charles’ True Value in Houma, La. Since the introduction of the new format at this specific location in September, the store has elicited positive feedback from shoppers. Waters True Value in Manhattan, Kan., an additional beta store, recently debuted the new format at its grand opening Oct. 19. True Value also is beta testing the remodeling of existing stores, such as Groton, Conn.-based Johnson’s True Value, which is scheduled to have its re-grand opening Nov. 9. The co-op is closely monitoring these beta store locations—in addition to its others across the country—to further refine its adaptable Destination True Value formats.

Recognizing that no two True Value stores are exactly alike, the co-op is committed to helping its retailers attract and maintain new customers, grow their sales, and maximize every square foot of existing store space to enhance profitability. Over the next three years, True Value’s goal is to add more than 1.5 million square feet of retail space and $225 million in retail sales—a 154 percent increase over the past three years—and to incorporate various elements of Destination True Value into more than 1,000 retail locations across the country by 2010.

True Value Company, headquartered in Chicago, is one of the world’s largest retailer-owned wholesale hardware cooperatives with sales of $2.0 billion in 2006. The True Value cooperative includes approximately 5,600 independent retailer locations worldwide operating under the store identities of True Value, Grand Rental Station, Taylor Rental, Party Central, Home & Garden Showplace and Induserve Supply.

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