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School of Maintenance

School of Maintenance Events Bring Education to Customers

Part of the Chicago community for a century, Clark Devon Hardware has been hosting School of Maintenance events for over 20 years. The events, which feature how-to seminars and workshops covering topics from small engine maintenance to lawn care, were born from vendor relationships the store had established, says chief executive officer Xan Flink. 

The events have evolved to be more valuable for customers and their time, focusing more on giving knowledge specific to the store’s customer base, which includes facility and property management. 

“We’ve always had a lot of foot traffic through the stores, and vendors recognized the opportunity to get their products in front of customers, which was the start of these events,” Flink says. “Now we are more selective in what we present. It has to be focused more on knowledge and less on selling.”

Flink says the events took place every month but were cancelled during the pandemic. The store will host its first class in over four years this spring, hosting them quarterly instead of monthly as they get back into the events. 

“It is also our 100-year anniversary this year, so bringing these back after COVID-19 will be another great way to celebrate,” Flink says. 

To see how other retailers are bringing customers into their stores with events, check out our Checkouts section.

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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