Think Outside The Big Box

Think Outside The Big Box

It’s lunchtime at Franklin’s (True Value) Hardware Store on a Wednesday afternoon in Woodland Hills, CA and the parking lot behind the store is pretty full.  But, there’s always an easy spot to grab and thankfully it’s a short walk to the store.  I’m in great physical shape and don’t mind a long walk if I’m exercising.  But, I hate most things supersized – sugary beverages, fast food and giant parking lots like those found at big box retail stores – no thank you!  I’ve lived in Los Angeles for almost 30 years now but I am from the New York City area.  So, I like things that are fast, convenient and easy.

I’m pretty helpless when it comes to fixing things around my house.  But, I don’t call a plumber when the toilet won’t stop running or the door knob is jammed.  I am moderately handy with really small repairs, paint jobs, etc. But, the thing is I can’t do most repairs without some kind of help or guidance, which is why I love Franklin’s.

When you walk into their store, someone greets you within 30-60 seconds to ask if you need help with anything from finding the right product to getting a short consultation on your repair project.  I’ve lived in this neighborhood since 1994 and Franklin’s has always been my go-to store for all things related to home improvement whether it’s electrical, lighting, plumbing, hardware, carpentry, gardening supplies or just getting a set of duplicate keys.  The simple reason for this is their customer service is fantastic and they provide a wide range of services for the average home repair.

About twenty years ago, large big box retailers like Home Depot and Orchard Supply Hardware set up stores and mom-and-pop neighborhood hardware stores started shutting their doors.  But Franklin’s survived. Since 1952, it has survived by providing outstanding customer service when you walk in the door.  They offer a wide array of specialty services and carry a large enough range of products that most homeowners can find exactly what they need in their store.

I have gotten lost in Home Depot stores standing almost 6’ tall amongst their giant shelves, long empty walk ways, and lack of floor personnel. I have said that you could drop dead in their stores and it could be awhile before someone found you.  Well, that’s probably a bit of an exaggeration. But, hey, I’m from New York.  We want everything bigger, better and right away.

So if you’re thinking of convenience, remember there’s probably a local True Value in your neighborhood.  As a retailer-owned hardware cooperative with over 5,000 independent retail locations worldwide, they offer much of what the big box stores offer for a reasonable price and with incredibly helpful customer service.

Jonathan Goldhill

Jonathan Goldhill, Founder/Head Coach of The Goldhill Group, provides strategic business, marketing and sales coaching and consulting to owners, managers and salespeople of growing companies in the green industry.  Learn more at www.TheGoldhillGroup.com.

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