Top hands in the hardware trade

McDonald’s Home hardware shines on national stage

A local Home Hardware store was a finalist in a national competition.

Dan and Kim McDonald, operators of McDonald’s Home Hardware, have been serving the Goulds and area for 27 years.

Their store is a staple of the Goulds’ Main Road.

Dan and Kim McDonald outside their Home Hardware store in the Goulds. Their operation was recently deemed among the top stores in the national chain.  Mark Squibb photo

Dan and Kim McDonald outside their Home Hardware store in the Goulds. Their operation was recently deemed among the top stores in the national chain.

Mark Squibb photo

The store was originally located in Bidgoods Plaza, but about 15 years ago the couple upgraded and moved across the street to their current location, moving from a 4,500 square foot space to a 12,000 square foot, purposely-designed building.

“It was a big move for us. It was terrifying,” admitted Dan. “The community was growing. We had to do it, or someone else was going to do it.”

Recently, the store was in the running in a national contest, the ‘Proud of My Home’ Achievement Awards.

Home Hardware stores were nominated in categories including Best Home Hardware under 6,000 square feet and over 6,000 square feet, Best Home hardware Building Centre under 15,000 square feet and over 15,000 square feet, and best Home Furniture, as well as awards for Public Relations and Best Young Retailer.

Entries were evaluated on store appearance and branding compliance, financial health and probability, growth, marketing, innovation, community involvement, customer service, and staff management.

“We asked the dealers to basically submit why they feel they are deserving of this award and what they do in their community and how their store performs, stuff like that,” explained Roy Crawley, Retail Sales and Operations Manager for Home Hardware in Newfoundland.

Dan and Kim were the finalists for the Best Home Hardware in the over 6,000 square feet category.

The McDonalds say they split their day between the floor and the office, noting that being hand’s on is just as important as the deskwork. But they say much of their success is due to their customers.

“99.9 percent of people who come in here, we know them by name,” said Dan. “The other 0.1 percent that we don’t know, we always ask them who they are. That’s probably why we’ve been as fortunate as we have been over the years. We’ve had a lot of long-term customers... It’s a whole lot easier to keep them then to try and get them.”

The McDonalds added their staff of 14, many of whom have worked at the store for many years, are also integral to their success.

“Having great people makes it easy,” said Dan. “It really does. Retail can be a little tough sometimes, but I tell you, if you have good people to work with, it becomes a lot easier.”

Many of the employees have a ‘nuts-and-bolts’ understanding of the business, which gives them a greater ownership of their work, he added.

“We try to make everyone here feel at home. That’s the number one thing,” said Dan.

The store is also heavily involved in the community, including donating merchandise to the Garden Party and Fall Fair. Many of the employees volunteer at community events.

“It just goes to show that you are a part of a community, that you’re willing to get out there in front of people and be recognised,” said Crawley.

The couple first found out that they were finalists in the competition in January, but had to keep quiet until the official announcement in April. They are pleased to be named finalists among the 11,000 stores across Canada, and admit they were quite surprised when they heard the news.

“It was hard to believe,” said Kim.

In fact, Dan at first thought the competition must have been a provincial one.

But Kim easily summarized the reason for their success.

“’Cause we’re the best,” she laughed.

Next year, the McDonalds are hoping to nab the top spot.

“We want to provide the same shopping experience at all of our locations, but we do have stores, like Dan and Kim’s, that go over and above what we ask for,” said Crawley.

squibb@irishlooppost.ca

Posted on May 29, 2019 .