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Lowes Knows!

Want more customers? Grow your own! Lowes uses training as a way to increase sales. Now, Advance is getting in on DIY education.

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As a homeowner, I spend a fair amount of time and money at my local Lowes store. I go there for just about all of my house-fixing projects: paint, light bulbs, tools, etc. I choose Lowes because I find their employees to be knowledgeable, and they have what I need (sound familiar?).

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I am not the handiest person, so I usually only take on the easiest of projects, generally nothing tougher than painting or light wood refinishing. But if I knew more – say, how to install a parquet floor, I might be much more apt to try.

Informed customers are good customers, ones who purchase more, return less product and are generally more pleasant to deal with. Home Depot understands this. So does Lowes. In fact, in October alone, my local Lowes store will offer seven different classes on home repair and remodeling that vary from the installation of ceramic tile to faux finishing techniques. Lowes knows that people who attend these classes will probably end up buying ceramic tile or paint, along with all of the associated tools. Thats why they devote so much attention and money to it.

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And now Advance Auto Parts knows too. The Roanoke, VA-based retailer recently announced that the company is launching a national consumer education campaign, one that is similar to those training programs put on by Home Depot and Lowes. Advance Auto Parts understands the ROI behind training customers, and they want to create more DIY customers through training. The classes will be free and held monthly at stores nationwide.

According to Advance, the classes will teach DIYers how to maintain their vehicles and perform minor repairs. The 20-minute video clinics will take place on the last Saturday of each month and will be broadcast nationwide to more than 2,500 stores on the companys in-store television network. According to Bryan Gregory, Advance Auto Parts consumer education manager, the video clinics are part of a new consumer education program to show drivers the benefits of becoming a do-it-yourselfer.

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In this case, a little knowledge can go a long way. Better informed motorists, like better informed homeowners, will feel more confident in their ability to tackle projects that might otherwise be beyond their reach. Of course, confidence can be a bad thing too, and I suspect that many of these DIYers will also end up driving just as much business to the professional repair technician, who will happily fix those DIY repairs gone bad.

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A sincere and grateful thank you to Managing Editor Melanie Deitch for four years of loyal service at Counterman. This is her last issue, but the aftermarket is not losing her: She has taken a position at aftermarket-focused advertising agency Anthony Thomas Advertising in Akron, OH."

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