Colombian dealers face rise of big boxes

IMG_3741BOGOTA, Colombia — Smaller hardware stores are still widespread in South America’s third-largest economy. And the culture of Colombia, with a ready pool of affordable labour, does not have the same DIY customers that drive North American home improvement sales. Nevertheless, those dealers were urged to focus on a number of strategies to ward off the rise of big boxes there.

The advice came from our own editor-in-chief, Michael McLarney, who was invited down to present at Expo Fierros, the country’s trade show and conference for the hardware industry. He suggested that dealers develop a presence online, improve their stores’ merchandising, and find niches that can make one’s store a destination that differentiates them from their competitors.