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Retailer Cleans Up with Detergent Sales

The staff at K&B True Value know what keeps their customers coming back: laundry detergent.

For the past few years, staff at the Annapolis, Maryland, store have offered a laundry detergent filling station for their customers, giving them an easy way to reuse bottles, save money and be eco-friendly.

Customers can bring in empty detergent bottles—generally either 50- or 100-ounce bottles—and fill them with Sun & Earth laundry detergent. The cost is $4.99 per 50 ounces.

Sun & Earth laundry detergent had previously been sold at the store, but owner Jared Littmann didn’t know about the refilling station until the company approached him.

“This service seems to grow each month and year,” Littmann says. “In the past 12 months, we’ve had more than 600 sales. We treat it as a loss leader—our goal is to use the low price to get customers hooked on something they can only get here, and then have them shop while they’re here in our store.”

Try it in your store. Think of products all consumers need and see if you can find a way to easily and less expensively provide them to your customers. If you can promote being eco-friendly, too, that’s even better.

About Liz Lichtenberger

Liz is the special projects editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and trends, visits retailers, and attends industry events. She graduated from Xavier University, where she earned a degree in English and Spanish and was a member of the swim team. Liz is a Louisville, Kentucky, native who lives in Indianapolis with her husband and two children. She enjoys swimming, reading, doing home improvement projects around her house and cheering on her two favorite basketball teams, the Kentucky Wildcats and the Xavier Musketeers.

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