To market: A preview of True Value’s fall event

Thousands of True Value retailers from across the country are expected to attend the co-op’s annual fall market Oct. 25 to 28 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

Many will spend the weekend in pursuit of market-only deals with special prices, demonstrations and giveaways from vendors on the floor. In addition, True Value members will have the opportunity to interact with Steve Watson, host of HGTV’s “Don’t Sweat It” and new True Value do-it-yourself home improvement expert.

True Value is expected to treat market attendees to a tour of its new “Store Typical,” which features a race track design and more female-targeted inspiration centers. The co-op began building a full-scale model store in its Cary, Ill., warehouse earlier this year, including updated and expanded sections in nuts and bolts, power tools, decorative hardware and home decoration.

The co-op announced at the spring market in March that the new format would be larger than the average 8,600-square-foot True Value store of today—and would be available in three templates, depending on the size of the market.

“This store is being built by our merchants, two-foot by two-foot, looking at each line of merchandise and first determining whether the line should be in a basic hardware and paint store, then determining the size of the assortment needed to be relevant to our customers,” True Value CEO Lyle Heidemann told members during the spring market.

The prototype is the basis for the co-op’s “Retail Growth” initiative, which offers loans, credits, services and other incentives to help co-op members open new stores or add square footage to their current operations. The company hopes to be opening or expanding two stores per week by mid-2008.

The market will give members of the Chicago-based co-op an opportunity to take advantage of ongoing educational opportunities, share best practices and learn about new programs.

Also offered at the market are the following: a variety of informative sessions on merchandising, retail finance and technology offerings, marketing and other business management topics; other seminars and workshops; networking opportunities; entertainment; and business updates from True Value executives.