Cranbrook’s Home Hardware store recently won an award for outstanding building supply store in B.C. The Orion Award is issued through the Building Supply Industry Association of British Columbia. Cranbrook’s store was up against 736 other full-service building supply stores in the province.
“It’s always nice to get recognition because you always hope that you are doing the right things for your customers,” said Martin Torgerson, owner of Home Hardware in Cranbrook.
Torgerson explained that the building association uses mystery shoppers to visit the stores anonymously and grade all aspects of the store.
“They grade you, for instance, on things like when you come in the door, are you greeted? How long does it take for a service person to come ask you if you need help?” Torgerson said. “From there it’s your product knowledge. They’ll walk around for a half hour in the yard. It’s not a popularity contest, it’s a standard to the stores. We set a fairly high standard here and we adhere to it.”
Torgerson and his wife Dawn moved to Cranbrook 15 years ago and took over the Beaver Lumber franchise. Beaver Lumber then sold its portion to Home Hardware. He explained that Home Hardware isn’t a franchise, it’s a buying co-operative.
“We own the business, Home Hardware is the brand,” he said.
“A couple times a year they go in and they grade you on exterior and interior appearance, merchandising, expediency of service, attitude of staff, presentation, product knowledge, check-out service.”
Home Hardware is in the largest category of full-service stores.
The store also won the Orion award back in 2006. Torgerson said there’s not really anything special they’ve done to prepare either time, since they have no idea when the mystery shopper will arrive. Even then they only know that they’ve been visited much later when the report comes out. At Home Hardware, the mystery shopper also asked for help on building a deck. Torgerson said the person was taken to contract sales, where someone designed the deck using a program, gave him a drawing and material list.
Torgerson said the next step is just to continue with the high standard that they are already setting.