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Road Trip Focuses on Shopping Local

Whether you run a hardware store, sell cabinets or brew beer, independent retailers come in all shapes and sizes but all have a common goal– to provide a great product and create a business that is an important part of the community it’s located in.

The “Main Streets Make Us Better,” road trip wrapped up last Friday in Boston and the team visited with retailers in over six states and drove over 2,000 miles.

North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) editor Renee Changnon joined the Independent We Stand team on its sixth annual road trip last week, which started in Detroit and moved along to cities around Cleveland, Philadelphia, New York and Boston.

The crew met in Detroit on Sunday evening to film a fun time-lapse video as they packed their vehicle for the week, the RAM ProMaster City, provided by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ram Trucks. After getting their bags packed and turning in for the evening at a local, independent hotel, they were more than excited to start their adventure the following day.

The team visited with several businesses along the way, from car dealerships to tire shops, clothing stores to breweries and everything in between. During the trip, they met with retailers at four different hardware stores: JB Zimmerman in New Holland, Pennsylvania; Trio Hardware in Plainview, New York; Cash True Value in Mystic, Connecticut; and TAGS Hardware in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Each hardware retailer spoke about the importance of shopping locally, helping support your community and how NRHA has been of assistance to them, whether it’s through the articles published in Hardware Retailing magazine or the online training provided to help them get their staff comfortable on the sales floor.

The road trip was a great opportunity to visit with hardware storeowners and other independent retailers, and is a reminder of the importance of shopping locally whenever possible. The team sought out independent gas stations, ate at local restaurants and slept at independent hotels, including a bed and breakfast and even a haunted inn.

For more about the trip, read this article by Independent We Stand. Below is a gallery of photos from the trip.

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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