Hartville, Ohio is home to America’s largest independent home center at 305,000 sq. ft. In the middle of Hartville Hardware sits a 1,850 sq. ft. “American House” – which was featured in the March 2013 issue of Home Channel News magazine – that is constructed entirely of “Made in the USA” products. Every product, from the foundation up to the shingles, was domestically produced. Howard Miller, president of Hartville Hardware, and a member of the Do-It Best co-op, has seen a definite increase in customers who are placing an added value on products that are “Made in the USA”. His firm acknowledges this trend and is using it as a vast selling tool in their store.
After reading this article, my initial reaction was to be ashamed of the flooring retail community for missing the mark through the majority of its advertising and marketing campaigns. This is a trend that we should have been championing for years. I can’t imagine that there is any segment of the home improvement industry that has a larger percentage of its offerings that are made domestically – and always have been. It would seemingly be no challenge to furnish and install all flooring in a home with 100% USA sourced product. While it’s not practical to construct an entire home in your store, we could all creatively present displays featuring beautiful products while highlighting their source of origin.
Potential customers have indicated their interest and concern in “Made in the USA” products. It would not be difficult or costly to address their interests. Use this as another great opportunity to show what truly great value today’s flooring products represent.