I understand that we are an “auto parts ” company, but the customers tend to think that it should cater to both auto parts and plumbing / hardware.

I understand that we are an “auto parts ” company, but the customers tend to think that it should cater to both auto parts and plumbing / hardware.

I understand that we are an “auto parts ” company, but the customers tend to think that it should cater to both auto parts and plumbing / hardware. Customers come in and ask for plumbing glue, PVC piping and elbows along with lag bolts, etc. Is there a reason that we don’t cater to both? If we are to be dominant, shouldn’t we?

It’s a free country with free enterprise. I know many stores that do both or even more. Some do fishing and hunting, some do paint and body supplies, some do hardware. It all depends on the owner and the staff. I think having an extra attraction for foot traffic always helps. It can put some stress on the employees having to be cross-trained in order to be knowledgeable in all areas. Or if you have specialists, it puts pressure on management to cover all the hours of operation with additional staff and getting enough sales to justify that staff payroll expense. All in all it is not a bad thing to have foot traffic. You might as well make the best of it and sell them something. Profits are job security. Helping customers find something to solve their problems creates loyal customers and thereby job security.

Harris Steinberg
Morris Auto Parts Inc.
Philadelphia, PA

 

This is a difficult question to answer because we are in the auto parts business and not the hardware business.  Most of us already have a store full of inventory that will by average be $250,000. With floor space at a premium we have to maximize that space. So in most cases we do not see those items as a high profit center. Then again, most markets already have a hardware store in them and it does not make sense to carry these supplies for a wide array of reasons, mostly competitive issues and or profit issues.

To be a totally dominant supplier does not dictate that we have to have everything but we have to stay focused on the issues we face on a daily basis. We must take care of our customers and concentrate on the business we’re in, which is auto parts.

Gerald Wheelus
Edgewood Auto Parts #253
Edgewood, Texas

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