Dennis and Sherry Bishop purchased Petersburg Hardware in 1995 as the second chapter in their careers, and today, they are poised to pass a thriving business on to their children.
Petersburg Do it Best® Hardware was founded in the early 1900s on Main Street in downtown Petersburg, Indiana. When the Bishops purchased the business, they acquired a cramped, 6,000-square-foot, two-story space with limited parking and no room for expansion. They couldn't accommodate shopping carts, and as Sherry puts it, "We were the emergency go-get-something store. You got in, you got out."
The Perfect Fit
In 2000, the Bishops knew they wanted to grow their business and chose Do it Best Corp. as their co-op partner. "Right from the start, they made our family feel comfortable," said Dennis. "It was a whole different feeling. Our relationship with Do it Best Corp. just fits like a glove."
Expanding Opportunity
This past year, a tremendous opportunity arose when a chain store left town that was at a prime site near a newly opened segment of a major highway. The Bishops, along with daughter and son-in-law Robin and Eric Smith, used the Do it Best Corp. Retail Performance Loan Program with its favorable terms and RetailSTART!® to acquire the location and begin planning for the expansion. The Do it Best Corp. team kicked off the project with a comprehensive market survey to get a clear understanding of customer needs and discover new merchandise opportunities.
Creating a Shopping Destination
This project was truly a family affair, as the team from Do it Best Corp. worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the Bishops. With a February 1 soft open, they worked through the holidays to get set up and merchandised. Thousands of new items were added and a number of new categories were introduced, including farm and ranch, major appliances, pet supplies, lawn and garden, work clothes, home décor and more.
To say that the new Petersburg Hardware has been embraced by the community would be a huge understatement. They kicked off a month-long grand opening on April 1 and hit their sales goal for the day before 10 a.m. In just the first few months of operation in the new location, sales are strong, solidly beating projections. The store is already up 132% over previous years, and transaction totals are up 82%.
"Every day, people tell us how nice the store is, and they truly spend time here, shopping the aisles," says Sherry. Dennis adds, "Now that we have a welcoming and shoppable store, we're really seeing the benefit of so many Do it Best Corp. retail programs. For example, our ADpakSM circulars and flyers are performing very well, and new Best RewardsSM loyalty card memberships are off the charts."
Most importantly, the new location with its close proximity to the highway, is poised to continue attracting new customers and thrive as that part of the community grows. As Dennis sums it up, "Our success is a testament to what can happen when you serve your community and invest in meeting their needs. Every day, people tell us how glad they are to find what they need here in town. They're seeing what we are accomplishing as a family, and it's our hope that it will inspire others to invest in our community."
"We started as a family and will keep going as a family," says Sherry. "Do it Best Corp. came in and showed us their commitment, and through it all, they became our family, too."