Destination True Value: Tour the Store

At the organizational level, Destination True Value represents two years of design work, consumer research and merchandise planning, all packaged into a 13,225-square-foot retail format. The new store model debuted in October 2007, at the Chicago co-op’s fall market , and now it’s about to make the move from beta to roll out. Those dark bronze endcaps, set against creamy white gondolas, will soon hold promotional merchandise. Paint chips will be emancipated from wall racks. Textured backgrounds and special floor coverings will call attention to certain departments. Better, brighter lighting will add some pop to the displays.

Amodel Destination True Value store was displayed at the company’s fall market. Pictured here is the seasonal merchandise section of the store, featuring patio furniture, gardening clogs and hats—some female-friendly touches. The store featured a more streamlined hardware section—a new sign is used to identify various fasteners called “Fastener Stronghold.”

At the dealer level, Destination True Value can represent a brand new look for individual stores. True Value is offering a five-year, 50/50 low interest loan—to be paid out of the cash and note portion of the members’ patronage dividend—to those who want to take the plunge, either for a new store or a remodel. Elements of the new format can be adapted to buildings of different sizes and shapes. In addition to core departments like plumbing and electrical, Destination True Value offers 186 “plug and play” options like giftware, pet supplies or ready-to-assemble furniture.

For Bill Johnson of Groton, Conn., two of those departments are giftware and locksmith services. (See profile, page 24.) Johnson and his wife, Cindy, ready for a new retail look after 25 years, own one of several beta test sites for Destination True Value. Now it’s back to business as usual, which at Johnson’s True Value, means selling Boy Scout uniforms and summer dresses along with fertilizer and paint.

Storage units line an aisle of the new store model. The new format offers a wide range of energy-efficient light bulbs.

At the end of January, Doug Christner opened his second hardware store as a Destination True Value. (See profile, page 28.) Christner and his wife Karen retrofitted a 13,000-square-foot grocery store in North Liberty, Iowa. The Christners opted for automotive, pet supply and sporting goods as their niche categories. They also decided to experiment with selling gas—and unwittingly started a gasoline price war in town.

DTV offers various lawn and garden tools, including shovels and rakes. Acentrally located paint department features a soft look and warm hues.

In 2008, True Value is hoping members will remodel 150 stores and open another 30 to 40 new stores, reflecting the Destination True Value ideals. The three-year plan calls for 1,000 stores with the new look and feel.