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Idaho Retailer Wins $100K for Business Improvements

One independent home improvement retailer is leaving the National Hardware Show® this week with money lined up to reimagine his business.

That winning retailer is Robert Lau and his business is Caribou Jack’s Trading Co. of Soda Springs, Idaho. Caribou Jack’s will get $100,000 in prize money to build an in-store cafe for hosting grilling and cooking events and allowing community organizations to use for free. In addition, the company will build an area for growing the produce used in the cafe. The company will also develop a mobile app to help groups coordinate events in the store. 

The prize comes from the National Hardware Show’s new Reimagine Retail program, which launched this year to invest in and support the futures of independent home improvement businesses.

Caribou Jack’s, the grand prize winner, was announced May 10 on the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) Village Stage at the National Hardware Show. The show is co-located with the NRHA All-Industry Conference.

Prior to the show, a panel of industry professionals selected 10 finalists for the first Reimagine Retail program. More than 100 retailers vied for the money, submitting plans to improve store design, technology, employees and products.

Caribou Jack’s was chosen from among the finalists and awarded $100,000 toward its proposed business improvement project.

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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