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D.C. Businesses Welcome Community Members, Provide Unique Goods

In major cities around the world, many consumers are looking for a sense of community and belonging. To help their customers along, many independent retailers are using their businesses to create an inviting space for like-minded people to gather. One place in the U.S. where this is evident is in Washington, D.C., as local home improvement stores go above and beyond to help people connect in unique ways.

Earlier this month, editors from Hardware Retailing traveled to Washington, D.C., for the True Value Spring Reunion. While in town, they had the opportunity to visit stores in the area that welcome locals to explore, create and find their footing in their community. Read on to see how two different retailers utilize their spaces and host a variety of events to unite area residents.

Retail Event Calls All Ladies (and Gentlemen)

One of the many ways a retailer can draw in new customers and create a lasting impression is by hosting a fun event. This is a formula that Gina Schaffer, owner of 10 stores in the D.C. area, believes in and uses in all of her stores.

The events hosted by the stores are designed to unite the local community through their love of DIY. On the evening of Feb. 11, the 5th Street Ace Hardware team welcomed women (and men) to their 7th Annual Ladies’ Night event.

While guests were able to score great deals on different products throughout the store and enjoy free food, wine and giveaways, they were also able to immerse themselves in a variety of DIY demos set up around the store. A few of the activities they could participate in were tips on using painter’s tape, demos on how to use a power drill, a demo on how to make a terrarium and many more unique DIY projects.

The event drew in over 200 guests, making it a great opportunity for residents to explore their local hardware store and meet their neighbors as well.

DIYers, Bikers and Coffee Fans Find Space for Local Community

When a customer walks into District Hardware and Bike, one of their senses is sure to kick into gear. Whether it’s the smell of fresh coffee brewing, a bike being tuned up or a customer asking for help picking out a paint color, it’s a welcome haven to people with all kinds of interests.

The business relocated and opened in a brand new building, which offered third-generation owner Jarrett Conway the opportunity to add to the already unique hardware and bike shop business by adding an 800-square-foot cafe, as Hardware Retailing previously reported.

Adding the cafe has allowed customers to use District Hardware and Bike as a space to work remotely or meet up with friends over coffee and conversation. To add to the mix, the store also offers a wide variety of classes and events. Some examples of the classes offered include bike maintenance and security, how to hang pictures and shelves on drywall, a “Yoga for Athletes” gathering and more.

Whether community members in the neighborhood stop by to shop, work on a project or attend an event, they can find whatever they’re looking for when visiting the unique business.

About Renee Changnon

Renee Changnon is the retail outreach coordinator for NRHA. She meets with retailers in their stores and at industry events and introduces them to the services NRHA provides. Renee previously worked as a member of the NRHA communications team. She earned a degree in visual journalism from Illinois State University, where she served as the features editor for the school newspaper. After college, she implemented marketing and promotions initiatives at Jimmy John’s franchise locations across the country. She enjoys exploring books with her book club, Netflix marathons and hosting goat yoga at her apartment complex. Renee Changnon 317-275-9442 rchangnon@nrha.org

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