hard sell : old-fashioned santa ana hardware store is modern success story
A real hardware store, crowded aisles packed with everything to meet the needs of nearby mechanics, farmers, builders, handyman and homeowners.
Urbanization and the rise of chain and discount stores like builders malls and family clubs have driven away many old stores
Time hardware store, but in Orange County, almost everyone who is serious goes to a place --it-
Your masters, mechanics, plumbers, carpenters and electricians know all about it.
It is Clark dye hardware in downtown Santa Ana and has become an institution in Orange County, known not only for its offering customers a wide variety of goods, and because of its unwavering resistance to modernizing crowded and overflowing spaces.
This is where the shop assistants in other stores send you when they don\'t have what you want or don\'t know what you\'re trying to describe.
According to the industry, Clark dye is a pure hardware store.
No wood, no garden center, no car parts.
It sells tap washers and old square spindles that have not been produced for 50 years
Glass door handle.
It sells 53 kinds of tape measure, several hundred kinds of cabinet hinges and drawer pulls, 40 kinds of hanging locks, 17 kinds of needles
10 large and small style petrol tanks.
$2,500 chainsaw, exquisite precision measuring instruments, $200 decorative pickle cans with sterling silver accessories and $2,950 custom bathroom taps.
It also sells almost everything in between, including a large number of ceramic gifts, rococo mirrors and photo frames that ooze gold foil.
The precious retail space of over 1,000 square feet of shops was given gifts
Owner Don McLaughlin and Oliver Marquis never thought about getting rid of them because they accounted for quite a bit of sales and, more importantly, they brought people into the storeThe 7,000-square-
Founded in 1946 by Clark Dye, the Foot store was acquired by McLaughlin and Marquis in 1980 and is an outstanding store in the United States for $14. 7-
According to the number of customers per square foot and sales, the retail hardware industry reached a billion dollars.
All of this was done in a narrow building, from the day it was opened, under the leadership of a management team that did not believe in computerized inventory control, this team has not been transformed is crucial to the survival of the store.
\"We installed a computerized billing system after we took over, but although some people tried to sell us the inventory control system, we didn\'t.
We knew when we sold out a lot and needed to order more.
If we enter the computer and special code, it will tie the customer up at the checkout counter.
This means that we do inventory control on the customer\'s time, which is unfair to them.
\"Instead, Clark dye hardware has as many as 33 salespeople pouring into the crowded sales area at a time;
Make sure that these shop assistants know the items they are selling and spare no effort to not only help customers find what they want, but also anticipate their needs and have the items that someone may want in the store, one day
Clark dye with ice tongs. -
If someone has to carry enough 50-
A pound of ice, buy a pair for $59. 95.
Proud builders who want to break ground can buy chrome for $160-
Plating etiquette shovelNot order it. Buy it.
There have been several stores in stock at this hardware store.
It also stores two ironing boards installed in hidden cabinets on walls.
A style costs $350.
The other is $450.
\"People don\'t queue up to buy them, but they move well and our customers know that they are always here if they want.
\"This attitude of inheriting from dyes has helped a lot in explaining the store\'s amazing numbers.
\"When the store opened, it was just another hardware store,\" said McLoughlin, who sold Dye the hardware store for 27 years as a representative of Los Angeles --
The California-based hardware company worked with store manager Marquis to buy the store after Dye decided to retire.
But Clark is smart about what people want.
He is betting more and more on hardware, household goods and gifts.
He doesn\'t want things that people have to wait for special orders to come in.
So today, if someone comes in and wants 1,000 specific style hooks to hang the coffee cup, there\'s a good chance we\'ll get it.
Clark\'s creed is that this is the store of the customer, the customer is the first.
\"Of course, not everyone wants to know what the hardware store is supposed to be.
A man is climbing up his Mercedes-
After the Mercedes-Benz car-
Visit the store in the morning and admit to having a lot of stock.
But he said he didn\'t buy what he wanted because the price was \"too expensive, too expensive.
\"However, Roger Bennett, a resident of Balboa Island, did not mind the price.
\"You will get the quality you are willing to pay for,\" he said . \".
Bennett said he was \"no. and-
About \"customers since moving from Marina to Orange County in 1960.
He said that for the next 28 years, he and his wife have purchased, repaired and sold several houses at Newport Beach and have been using Clark dye hardware and tools.
\"We were driving from Newport when there were only two main streets --
\"I like it because of the top of them-
Excellent quality and competitive price.
Most hardware stores have cheaper tools and fixtures, but there are plenty of options.
\"The National Retail Hardware Association\'s survey of 800 hardware, home centres and timber stores.
According to the data, the average total sales per hardware store in 1986 was $695,635, or about $105 per square foot.
1987 of total sales are expected to increase to about $730,000 on average, the association said.
McLoughlin said sales of Clark dye hardware last year were slightly higher than $5 million in sales of $5 million.
About $714 per square foot-
Almost seven times the national average.
General hardware store--
One that doesn\'t sell wood. -
There were about 72,160 customers in 1986, each costing an average of $9. 64.
According to its owner, Clark dye, which closed on Sunday, received about 197,600 customers last year.
Average $25 per person. 30.
At any time, the store\'s average inventory value is about $164,000.
Mr. Marquis said Clark\'s dye inventory was worth about $2 million.
Most of this volume is produced by word of mouth.
The only ad for Clark Day is the full ad once a week
A page in the local newspaper
For many customers, going to the Santa Ana center store is an important trip because, as McLoughlin said, \"It\'s not easy to get here.
I have been thinking about this question.
But people know where we are and I never have the courage to seriously think about moving.
So far, our clients don\'t seem to mind as long as we do our job well.
\"At the moment, all these customers-
An average of 600 people per working day and 800 on Saturday-
Through two cash registers--
The busiest place in the store
\"When we bought the place, there was only one register,\" McLoughlin said . \".
\"It\'s really hard.
It\'s still tough, but there\'s no other place to put one now.
Michael Owen, director of member services and store development at the California Pacific Hardware Association, said: \"Breaking the rules for success. This is unique if a word describes the operation of Clark dyes.
In San Francisco.
\"It\'s too successful and we don\'t know why,\" he said . \"
\"It\'s hard to shop, it\'s crowded, it\'s hard to find goods.
This is not a do-oriented shop. it-yourselfer.
You have to have an employee walk you through.
This is exactly the opposite of what we tell most stores.
But it is successful.
It\'s amazing for us that they sell $5 million or more each year.
However, it is not mysterious for McLaughlin and Marquis.
They just keep doing things like Clark Dane.
That\'s why the layout of the store has barely changed over the past 42 years.
This place is one. of-a-
\"In Orange County, our customers won\'t like it if we change too much,\" McLoughlin said . \".
\"We are an independent hardware store. I cherish it very much.
All the others look the same and sell the same thing.
\"However, some changes have been made.
Under the leadership of McLaughlin and Marquis, Clark dye hardware added to the stock screen door and steel-
McLoughlin said the latch security door, the metal and plastic toolbox that spans the width of the pickup bed, and some other things Clark doesn\'t want.
\"Clark always had something new the other day,\" he said, \"looking around and telling me he didn\'t see anything we could put into sale, but I don\'t know, there\'s always something.
\"In order to prepare more, another change is about to happen for Clark dye hardware.
The lease of the tire shop next door has finally expired. The building bought by the hardware store--
It shares a wall with it.
Sometime next year, the two stores will be connected to a new united front, and a small number of tire stores will be added to Clark Dye\'s retail area.
The remaining space will be used to facilitate the storage of hardware stores--
It currently occupies the basement and attic of the original store, as well as two pieces of wood
Frame House located on the same block of South Street and Old Brick House office of doctor.
But change will not be radical.
The Internal Look will remain the same.
Each available flat space is stacked with hardware, tools, household items and gifts, hung on the ceiling and bolted to the wall.
There\'s another space for a cash register or two, but that\'s it.
After all, McLoughlin asked, why is the fix working?
The average level of the industryS.
Total hardware sales of Clark dye hardware store $695,635 $5,000,000 inventory value $163,156 $2,000,000 retail space (square feet)
Retail sales of 5,827 7,000 per square foot are $105. 34 $714. 29 total space (square feet)
Each square ft 9,059 18,000 of sales total 67 dollars. 11 $277.
$78 sales per customer. 64 $25.
72,160 197,600 Source: National Retail Hardware Association.