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Vintage Jukebox a Conversation Piece for Customers

Visitors to the paint department at Charlie’s Hardware & Rental in Mosinee, Wisconsin, will find something not often found in hardware stores: a vintage jukebox.

Owner Jeff Kyhos says showcasing the retro device, which he calls “a great conversation piece,” came about when a customer was moving and mentioned it was in his basement.

“He said he didn’t know how to get rid of it or if he even wanted to move it, so we bought it from him and picked it up from his house,” Kyhos says. The jukebox was placed in the store’s paint department.

“That department is one where there’s sometimes a lull or a customer has a few extra minutes,” says Kyhos. “It made sense to put it there. Even if you’re selling them a few extra products, there might be a bit of a break while they wait for their paint to be mixed.”

The jukebox has been in the store for about six months and has proven to be a hit with customers, he says. As soon as they learn it’s functional, they’re quick to look through the selection of vinyl records and choose a song they’d like to hear. (Kyhos has it set on free play mode, so customers can select any song they like but don’t have to pay.) Now, he hears it playing on and off throughout each day.

“It’s not just providing the customer with the product they need,” Kyhos says. “It’s also about providing them with a unique and memorable shopping experience.” 

About Jesse Carleton

Jesse Carleton has visited independent hardware retailers, conducted original research on the industry and written extensively about the business of hardware retailing. Jesse has written for more than a dozen of NHPA’s contract publishing titles, all related to the hardware retailing industry. He also was instrumental in developing the Basic Training in Hardware Retailing courses now used by thousands of retailers across the country.

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