Between Hurricane Sandy and the threat of winter weather, hardware stores are getting slammed too. Sure, it's good for business, as long as they can keep up. As our Erin Vannella reports, some local shops are working on a new way to do just that
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Phillips Hardware store owner Jon Phillips is starting an email and phone distribution list with other area hardware stores as a proactive means to give customers what they need, when they need it
Phillips said, “The idea came about that every time we get hit, when we don't have product, we start trying to direct customers where they can get it.”
Take Sandy, for example. That spurred a regional run on generators, batteries and gas cans. Here in the Capital Region, hardware store owners could just check the list before waving the white flag.
“All us are out of gas cans, Gary Robinson at Robinson's had a load of gas cans. I had people looking for them, we're shooting them over to Gary,” Phillips said. “And it goes across boards. Gary will get that and sometime I’m going to have something someone doesn't have and hopefully we'll go full circle.”
Deane Pfeil said, “It's friendly competition.”
Deane Pfeil owns Pfiel's Hardware with her husband. She says it's always profitable in the long run to put the customer first.
“Everyone's willing to help everybody else and gosh, we ran out of generators, we sent people to Jon because he had generators. It really works better to work together,” Pfeil said.
Especially when it's as easy as a phone call or email. In the wake of tragedy, it's the least Phillips says they can do to help.
Phillips said, “You know, you never know how big on a scale these disasters are going to be. There might be a time that could be really serious that all of us really need to be connected and if we have to then start figuring out how to do that, we're not going to be able to react quick enough.”